Aspects of waste heat recovery and utilisation (WHR&U) in pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) technology

Senda, Franck Mulumba (2012-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The focus of this project was on the potential application of waste heat recovery and utilisation (WHR&U) systems in pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) technology. The background theory provided in the literature survey showed that WHR&U systems have attracted the attention of many researchers over the past two decades, as using waste heat improves the system overall efficiency, notwithstanding the cost of extra plant. PBMR waste heat streams were identified and investigated based on the amount of heat rejected to the environment. WHR&U systems require specially designed heat recovery equipment, and as such the used and/or spent PBMR fuel tanks were considered by the way of example. An appropriately scaled system was designed, built and tested, to demonstrate the functioning of such a cooling system. Two separate and independent cooling lines, using natural circulation flow in a particular form of heat pipes called thermosyphon loops were used to ensure that the fuel tank is cooled when the power conversion unit has to be switched off for maintenance, or if it fails. A theoretical model that simulates the heat transfer process in the as-designed WHR&U system was developed. It is a one-dimensional flow model assuming quasi-static and incompressible liquid and vapour flow. An experimental investigation of the WHR&U system was performed in order to validate the theoretical model results. The experimental results were then used to modify the theoretical heat transfer coefficients so that they simulate the experiments more accurately. Three energy conversion devices, the dual-function absorption cycle (DFAC), the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) and the Stirling engine (SE), were identified as suitable for transforming the recovered heat into a useful form, depending on the source temperatures from 60 ºC to 800 ºC. This project focuses on a free-piston SE with emphasis on the thermo-dynamic performance of a SE heat exchanger. It was found that a heat exchanger with a copper woven wire mesh configuration has a relatively large gas-to-metal and metal-to-liquid heat transfer area. Tube-in-shell heat exchanger configurations were tested, with the working fluid flowing in ten copper inner pipes, while a coolant flows through the shell tube. A lumped parameter model was used to describe the thermo-fluid dynamic behaviour of the SE heat exchanger. In order to validate the theoretical results, a uni-directional flow experimental investigation was performed. The theoretical model was adjusted so that it simulated the SE heat exchanger. It was found that after this correction the theoretical model accurately predicts the experiment. Finally, a dynamic analysis of the SE heat exchanger experimental set-up was undertaken to show that, although vibrating, the heat exchanger setup assembly was indeed acceptable from a vibrational and fatigue point of view.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die hoofoogmerk met hierdie projek was die moontlike aanwending van afvalhitteherwinningen- benutting-(WHR&U-) stelsels in modulêre-gruisbedreaktor-(PBMR-) tegnologie. Agtergrondteorie in die literatuurondersoek toon dat WHR&U-stelsels al menige navorser se belangstelling geprikkel het, hetsy vanweë die moontlike ekonomiese voordele wat dit inhou óf vir besoedelingsvoorkoming, bo-en-behalwe die koste van bykomende toerusting. Die PBMRafvalhittestrome is ondersoek en bepaal op grond van die hoeveelheid hitte wat dit na die omgewing vrystel. Om in die prosesbehoeftes van WHR&U-stelsels te voorsien, moet goed ontwerpte, doelgemaakte hitteherwinningstoerusting in ʼn verkoelings- en/of verhittingsproses gebruik word, dus is die PBMR as voorbeeld gebruik vir die konsep. ʼn Toepaslik geskaleerde WHR&U-stelsel is dus ontwerp, gebou en getoets om die geldigheid van die stelselontwerp te toon. Twee onafhanklike verkoelingslyne, wat van natuurlike konveksie gebruik maak, in die vorm van hitte-pype of termoheuwel lusse, was gebruik om te verseker dat verkoeling verskaf word wanneer die hoof lus breek of instandhouding nodig hê. ʼn Teoretiese model is ontwikkel wat die hitteoordragproses in die ontwerpte WHR&U-stelsel simuleer. Dié model was ʼn eendimensionele vloeimodel wat kwasistatiese en onsamedrukbare vloeistof- en dampvloei in die WHR&U-stelsel-lusse veronderstel. ʼn Eksperimentele ondersoek is op die WHR&U-stelsel uitgevoer ten einde die teoretiese model se resultate te bevestig. Die eksperimentele resultate was dus geneem om die teoretiese hitteoordragkoëffisiënte aan te pas sodat dit die eksperimente kon simuleer. Drie energieomsettingstoestelle, naamlik die dubbel funksie absorpsie siklus (DFAC), die organiese Rankine siklus (ORC) en die Stirling enjin (SE), is as geskikte toestelle uitgewys om die herwonne hitte op grond van brontemperature tussen 60 ºC en 800 ºC in ʼn bruikbare vorm om te sit. Hierdie tesis het op vryesuier-SE’s gekonsentreer, met klem op die hitteruiler. Meer bepaald is die termodinamiese werkverrigting van ʼn SE-hitteruiler ondersoek. Daar is bevind dat ʼn hitteruiler met ʼn geweefde koperdraadmaas-samestelling oor ʼn betreklik groot gas-totmetaal- en metaal-tot-vloeistof-oordragoppervlakte beskik. Die verhitter en verkoeler is in ʼn buis-in-mantel-vorm ontwerp, met die werksvloeistof wat deur tien koperbinnepype vloei en ʼn koelmiddel deur die mantelbuis. ʼn Saamgevoegde-parameter-model is gebruik om die termodinamiese gedrag van die SEhitteruiler te beskryf. Ten einde die teoretiese resultate te bevestig, is ʼn eenrigtingvloeiproefondersoek uitgevoer. Die teoretiese model is aangepas sodat dit die SE-hitteruiler kon simuleer. Ná die nodige verstellings is daar bevind dat die teoretiese model die proefneming akkuraat voorspel. Laastens was ʼn dinamiese ontleding van die SE-hitteruiler ook onderneem om te toon dat, hoewel dit vibreer, die hitteruiler proef samestel inderdaad veilig is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19957
This item appears in the following collections: