Currently, there is a number of Generation-IV SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear-Reactor (SCWR) concepts under development worldwide. These high temperature and pressure reactors will have significantly higher operating parameters compared to those of current water-cooled nuclear-power reactors (i.e., “steam” pressures of about 25 MPa and “steam” outlet temperatures up to 625 °C). Additionally, SCWRs will have a simplified flow circuit in which steam generators, steam dryers, steam separators, etc. will be eliminated, as the steam will be flowing directly to a steam turbine.
In support of developing SCWRs studies are being conducted on heat transfer at SuperCritical Pressures (SCPs). Currently, there are very few experimental datasets for heat transfer at SCPs in power-reactor fuel bundles to a coolant (water) available in open literature.
Therefore, for preliminary calculations, heat-transfer correlations developed with bare-tube data can be used as a conservative approach. Selected empirical heat-transfer correlations, based on experimentally obtained datasets, have been put forward to calculate Heat Transfer Coefficients (HTCs) in forced convective in various fluids, including water at SCPs.
The Mokry et al. correlation (2011) has shown a good fit for experimental data at supercritical conditions within a wide range of operating conditions in Normal and Improved Heat-Transfer (NHT and IHT) regimes. However, it is known that a Deteriorated Heat-Transfer (DHT) regime appears in bare tubes earlier than that in bundle flow geometries. Therefore, it is important to know if bare-tube heat-transfer correlations for SCW can predict HTCs at heat fluxes beyond those defined as starting of DHT regime in bare tubes.
The Mokry et al. (2011) correlation fits the best SCW experimental data for HTCs and inner wall temperature for bare tubes at SCPs within the NHT and IHT regimes. However, this correlation might have problems with convergence of iterations at heat fluxes above 1000 kW/m2.