This paper presents an analysis of heat-transfer to SuperCritical Water (SCW) in bare vertical tubes. A large set of experimental data, obtained in Russia, was analyzed and a new heat-transfer correlation for SCW was developed. This experimental dataset was obtained within conditions similar to those for proposed SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear Reactor (SCWR) concepts. Thus, the new correlation presented in this paper can be used for preliminary heat-transfer calculations in SCWR fuel channels. The experimental dataset was obtained for SCW flowing upward in a 4-m-long vertical bare tube. The data was collected at pressures of about 24 MPa for several combinations of wall and bulk-fluid temperatures that were below, at, or above the pseudocritical temperature. The values ranged for mass flux from 200–1500 kg/m2s, for heat flux up to 1250 kW/m2 and for inlet temperatures from 320 to 350°C. Previous studies have confirmed that there are three heat-transfer regimes for forced convective heat transfer to water flowing inside tubes at supercritical pressures: (1) Normal Heat-Transfer (NHT) regime; (2) Deteriorated Heat-Transfer (DHT) regime, characterized by lower than expected Heat Transfer Coefficients (HTCs) (i.e., higher than expected wall temperatures) than in the NHT regime; and (3) Improved Heat-Transfer (IHT) regime with higher-than-expected HTC values, and thus lower values of wall temperature within some part of a test section compared to those of the NHT regime. Also, previous studies have shown that the HTC values calculated with the Dittus-Boelter and Bishop et al. correlations deviate quite substantially from those obtained experimentally. In particular, the Dittus-Boelter correlation significantly over predicts the experimental data within the pseudocritical range. A new heat-transfer correlation for forced convective heat-transfer in the NHT regime to SCW in a bare vertical tube is presented in this paper. It has demonstrated a relatively good fit for HTC values (±25%) and for wall temperature calculations (±15%) for the analyzed dataset. This correlation can be used for supercritical water heat exchangers linked to indirect-cycle concepts and the co-generation of hydrogen, for future comparisons with other independent datasets, with bundle data, as the reference case, for the verification of computer codes for SCWR core thermalhydraulics and for the verification of scaling parameters between water and modeling fluids.

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