Development aspects of a high temperature heat pipe heat exchanger for high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor systems

Laubscher, Ryno (2013-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: High temperature heat sources are becoming an ever-increasing imperative in the process industry for the production of plastics, ammonia and fertilisers, hydrogen, coal-toliquid fuel and process heat. Currently, high temperature reactor (HTR) technology is capable of producing helium temperatures in excess of 950°C; however, at these temperatures, tritium, which is a radioactive contaminant found in the helium coolant stream, is able to diffuse though the steel retaining wall of the helium-to-steam heat exchanger. To circumvent this radioactivity problem, regulations require an intermediate heat exchange loop between the helium and the process heat streams. In this paper, the use of a uniquely designed sodium-charged heat pipe heat exchanger is considered, and has the distinct advantage of having almost zero exergy loss as it eliminates the intermediate heat exchange circuit. In order to investigate this novel heat pipe heat exchanger concept, a special intermediate-temperature (± 240°C) experimental heat pipe heat exchanger (HPHE) was designed. This experimental HPHE uses Dowtherm A as working fluid and has two glass windows to enable visual observation of the boiling and condensation two-phase flow processes. A high temperature air-burner supply simulates the high temperature stream, and the cold stream is provided by water from a constant-heat supply tank. This experimental apparatus can be used to evaluate the validity of steady-state and start-up transient theoretical models that have been developed. This paper will highlight the special design aspects of this HPHE, the theoretical model and the solution algorithm described. Experimental results will be compared with the theoretically calculated results. The theoretical model will then be used to predict the performance of a high temperature (sodium working fluid at 850°C) HPHE will be undertaken and conclusions and recommendation made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hoë temperatuur hitte bronne is besig om ‘n toenemende noodsaaklikheid te raak in die proses industrie vir die vervaardiging van plastieke, ammoniak, kunsmis, waterstof, steenkool-tot-vloeibare brandstof en proses hitte. Huidige hoë temperatuur reaktor tegnologie is in staat om helium te verhit tot temperature hoër as 950°C, maar by sulke hoë temperature is die vorming van tritium, wat ‘n radioaktiewe produk is, in die helium verkoeling stroom wat deur die reaktor vloei, ‘n probleem. Die tritium is in staat om deur die staal wand van ‘n enkel fase warmte uitruiler te diffundeer. Om hierdie radioaktiewe probleem te uitoorlê, stel huidige regulasies voor dat ‘n oorgangs hitte uitruil lus gebruik raak tussen die helium en proses strome van die reaktor stelsel. In hierdie tesis word ‘n unieke natrium gevulde hitte pyp warmte uitruiler nagevors, hierdie ontwerp het die voordeel dat dit geen “exergy” verlies het omdat dit nie ‘n oorgangs hitte uitruil lus benodig nie. Hierdie unieke konsep was nagevors deur ‘n spesiale oorgangs temperatuur (± 230°C) eksperimentiële hitte pyp warmte uitruiler te ontwerp. Hierdie eksperimentiële hitte pyp warmte uitruiler gebruik Dowtherm A as oordrags medium tussen die warm en koue strome en het twee glas venters waardeur die kook en kondensasie van die oorgangs medium dop gehou kan word. ‘n Hoë temperatuur verbrander simuleer die warm stroom deur die reaktor en die koue stroom word gesimuleer deur koue water. Die eksperimentiële opstelling sal gebruik word om die tyd afhangklike en tyd onafhangklike teoretiese wiskundige modele te valideer. Hierdie tesis sal die spesiale ontwerp aspekte van die hitte pyp warmte uitruiler, teoretiese modelle en oplos algoritme te bespreek. Eksperimentiele resultate sal met die teoretiese resultate vergelyk word en dan sal die teoretiese modelle gebruik word om ‘n natrium gevulde warmte uitruiler te simuleer. Gevolgtrekkings en aanbevelings sal in die lig van die resultate verskaf word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL:
This item appears in the following collections: