The high heat load on the first wall of the helium cooled blanket is removed by tube flow of helium gas. Heat transfer augmentation is considered to be acquired by downsizing of channels. Therefore, this paper experimentally studied the influence of inner diameter on the heat transfer performance of helium gas flowing in a minichannel. The helium gas flowed in the small platinum tubes with the inner diameters of 0.8 mm and 1.8 mm, respectively. The heat generation rate of the tube was controlled by a heat input subsystem and raised with an exponential equation. The surface temperature and heat flux of the tubes were obtained under a wide range of e-folding time at different flow velocities. The heat transfer coefficients of different inner diameter tubes were compared at the same conditions. The heat transfer performance of the 0.8 mm-diameter tube was compared with a classical correlation. The experimental results showed that the heat transfer performance in the minichannel is better than a conventional large-diameter tube. The heat transfer coefficients of the 0.8 mm-diameter tube were higher than those of the 1.8 mm-diameter tube. The heat transfer process was enhanced with reducing the inner diameter of the minichannel. The heat transfer process was divided into two parts including transient and quasi-steady-state regions.

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