High-temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) is under construction in Shidao Bay, Shandong of China. It is supposed to be the world’s first pebble-bed modular commercial demonstration plant for High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). In HTR-PM project, water-Rankine cycles have been used in the power conversion system. Meanwhile, supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton cycle has shown great potentials for future HTGR technology.

Comparing with typical helium Brayton cycle, in S-CO2 cycle where critical properties of carbon dioxide are utilized, compressor work may reduce significantly and thermal efficiency may improve greatly. Furthermore, the general sizes of S-CO2 cycle equipment, such as heat exchanger and turbine, would be orders of magnitude smaller than water-Rankine system at similar power output. Therefore, parameters study of S-CO2 were conducted in this paper for future HTGR.

Firstly, a physical model of S-CO2 Brayton cycles was built and the performance of cycles were analyzed. Secondly, compression ratio, temperature ratio, the inlet temperature of turbine, inlet parameters of compressor, and recuperated effectiveness were discussed as key cycle parameters. For heat capacities of CO2 are significantly different as a function of temperature and pressure, flow recompression was considered. Calculation was based on a split-flow cycle configuration. The split flow ratio was also analyzed. Finally, the parameters of S-CO2 cycle were optimized for HTGR. In conclusion, S-CO2 Brayton cycle will be a good option for future HTGR.

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