Taking into account the expected increase in global energy demands and increasing climate change issues there is a pressing need to develop new environmentally sustainable energy systems. Nuclear energy will play a big part in being part of the energy mix since it offers a relatively clean, safe and reliable source of energy. However, opportunities for building new generation nuclear systems will depend on their economic and safety attractiveness as well as flexibility in design to adapt to different countries and situational needs. Keeping these objectives in mind, a framework for international cooperation was set forth in a charter of Generation IV International Forum (GIF, 2002). The main design goals for the Generation IV nuclear system concept were to improve economic gains, enhance safety, extend sustainability, and strengthen proliferation resistance.
To achieve high thermal efficiencies of up to 45–50%, the use of SuperCritical Fluids (SCFs) as working fluids in heat transfer cycles is proposed. An important step towards development of SCF applications in novel Generation IV Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) designs and in other industries; is to understand the thermal hydraulic behavior and prediction of Heat Transfer Coefficients (HTCs) at supercritical (SC) conditions.
Heat transfer under SC turbulent conditions is generally very complex and is extremely sensitive to the test geometry and operational flow parameters. Detailed sets of experiments have been conducted around the world in tubes and other geometries with SCFs to study the basics of heat transfer. By variation of operational parameters and test geometries, fundamental heat transfer data sets are collected that will help in our understanding of SC heat transfer phenomena.
Applications for SCFs are not limited to power industry; recent advancements have indicated the use of SCFs in a much wider range of applications due to its unique and attractive heat transfer characteristics. In this paper, proposed uses of SCFs are presented and basic concept of DHT within SCFs is analyzed.