Experimental evaluation of a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube as a particle separator
CITATION: Burger, A. & Dobson, R. T. 2012. Experimental evaluation of a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube as a particle separator. R&D Journal, 28:25-30.
The original publication is available at https://www.saimeche.org.za/page/RDJournal
The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) is a Generation IV graphite-moderated helium cooled nuclear reactor developed in South Africa from the German Arbeitsgemeinschaft Versuchreaktor (AVR). After decommissioning of the AVR plant, radioactive isotopes of silver 44Ag110 as well as graphite particles were found in the primary helium coolant loop of the reactor. Hence the main objective of this work was to evaluate the efficiency of the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube (RHVT) as a separation device for removing graphite particles from a helium coolant stream. This objective was accomplished by designing and building an experimental test apparatus and measuring the particle separation efficiency of the RHVT under different operating conditions. It was found that the RHVT is a very efficient particle separator, which may, however, not easily be incorporated into the PBMR system.