Abstract

This paper describes the measurement of convective heat transfer coefficients and friction factors for sCO2 flowing in a smooth tube and compares the results with published correlations for validation. The paper also describes the Heat Exchange and Experimental Testing (HEET) rig recently designed and built at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown, WV. The Wilson-plot technique used for measuring the heat transfer coefficients is described along with the data reduction process. The Wilson-plot technique was chosen as the basis for the design of NETL’s HEET rig. Advantages of the Wilson-plot technique include the (1) ability to measure high convective heat transfer coefficients accurately, (2) ability to measure average heat transfer coefficient for complicated heat exchange geometries like those produced using additive manufacturing, (3) ability to measure heat transfer coefficients on both sides of a heat exchanger independently, and (4) simplicity of experimental setup. Capabilities of the HEET rig include pressure to 24 MPa (3500 psig), temperature to 538 °C (1000 °F), mass flow rate to 1.5 kg/s (3 lb/s), and Re to 500,000. The rig is designed to operate with pure CO2 or a mixture of CO2 and up to 10% N2 by volume to study the impact of gas mixtures typical of direct-fired sCO2 power cycles on the convective heat transfer and pressure drop. Preliminary tests in the HEET rig were performed with smooth stainless-steel tube and pure CO2, and the results were compared with published correlations for Nusselt number (Nu) and friction factor. Over a Reynolds number (Re) range from 58,000 to 228,000, measured Nu was compared to predictions using the Dittus and Boelter equation (Kreith and Bohn, 1993, “Principles of Heat Transfer, West Publishing Company”) within 5% and measured friction factors were compared to predictions using the McAdams correlation (“McAdams, 1954, “Heat Transmission,” 3rd ed., McGraw Hill, New York)” for smooth tube to be within 5%.

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