This paper presents the experimental and numerical investigation results of the convection heat transfer of CO2 at supercritical pressures in a 0.0992 mm diameter vertical tube at various inlet Reynolds numbers, heat fluxes and flow directions. The effects of buoyancy and flow acceleration resulted from the dramatic properties variation were investigated. Results showed that the local wall temperature varied non-linearly for both upward and downward flow when the heat flux was high. The difference of the local wall temperature between upward flow and downward flow was very small when other test conditions were held the same, which indicates that for supercritical CO2 flowing in a mini tube as employed in this study, the buoyancy effect on the convection heat transfer was quite insignificant, and the flow acceleration induced by the axial density variation with temperature was the main factor that lead to the abnormal local wall temperature distribution at high heat fluxes. The predicted values using the LB low Reynolds number turbulence model correspond well with the measured data. Velocity profiles and turbulence kinetic energy near the wall varying along the tube generated by the numerical simulations were presented to develop a better understanding.

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