After a period of several years of operation, steam generators can be affected by fouling and clogging. Fouling means that deposits of sludge accumulate on tubes or tube support plates (TSP). That results in a reduction of heat exchange capabilities and can be modelled by means of a fouling factor. Clogging is a reduction of flow free area due to an accumulation of sludge in the space between TSP and tubes. The increase of the clogging ratio results in an increase of the overall TSP pressure loss coefficient. The link between the clogging ratio and the overall TSP pressure loss coefficient is the most important aspect of our capability to accurately calculate the thermal-hydraulics of clogged steam generators. The aim of the paper is to detail the experimental approach chosen by EDF and AREVA NP to address the calculation uncertainties. The calculation method is classically based on the computation of a single-phase (liquid-only) pressure loss coefficient, which is multiplied by a two-phase flow factor. Both parameters are well documented and can be derived on the basis of state of the art methods such as IDEL’CIK diagrams and CHISHOLM formula. The experimental approach consists of a validation of the correlations by performing tests on a mock-up section with an upward flow throughout a vertical array of tubes. A mixture of water and vapour refrigerant R116 is used to represent two-phase flows. The tube bundle is composed of a 25 tubes array in a square arrangement. The overall height of the mock-up is 2 m. Eight test TSPs were manufactured, considering eight different clogging configurations: six plates with a typical clogging profile at six clogging ratios (0, 44%, 58%, 72%, 86%, 95%), and two plates with a clogging ratio of 72% associated with two different clogging profiles (large bending radius profile and rectangular profile). A series of tests were performed in 2009 in single-phase flow conditions. Two-phase flow tests with a mixture of liquid water and vapour refrigerant R116 will be performed in 2010. The paper illustrates the main results obtained during the single-phase tests performed in 2009.

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