0
Research Papers

Numerical Study of High-Temperature and High-Velocity Gaseous Hydrogen Flow in a Cooling Channel of a Nuclear Thermal Rocket Core

[+] Author and Article Information
Kazim M. Akyuzlu

Mem. ASME Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70124
e-mail: kakyuzlu@uno.edu

Manuscript received January 31, 2015; final manuscript received June 10, 2015; published online September 3, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Jovica R. Riznic.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 1(4), 041006 (Sep 03, 2015) (13 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1014; doi: 10.1115/1.4030833 History: Received January 31, 2015; Accepted June 11, 2015; Online September 16, 2015

Two mathematical models (a one-dimensional (1D) and a two-dimensional (2D)) were adopted to study, numerically, the thermal-hydrodynamic characteristics of flow inside the cooling channels of a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine. In the present study, only one of the cooling channels of the reactor core is simulated. The 1D model adopted here assumes the flow in this cooling channel to be unsteady, compressible, turbulent, and subsonic. The governing equations of the compressible flow in the cooling channel are discretized using a second-order accurate (MacCormack) finite-difference scheme. The steady-state results of the proposed model were compared to the predictions by a commercial CFD code. The 2D CFD solution was obtained in two domains: the coolant (gaseous hydrogen) and the ZrC fuel cladding. The wall heat flux which varied along the channel length (as described by the nuclear variation in the nuclear power generation) was given as an input. Numerical experiments were carried out using both codes to simulate the thermal and hydrodynamic characteristics of the flow inside a single-cooling channel of the reactor for a typical Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA)-type NTR engine. It is concluded that both models predict successfully the steady-state axial distributions of temperature, pressure, density, and velocity of gaseous hydrogen flow in the NTR cooling channel.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Typical NERVA-derived NTR engine [2]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

NTR fission reactor cross section [4]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

NTR fission reactor fuel element and tie tube cross sections [3]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

NERVA NTR engine power and temperature distributions [5]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Cross-sectional view of the 3D computational domain for the 2D two-domain model (solid wall shown in gray color)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Isometric view of the 3D computational domain for the 2S two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Effect of constant properties (at 300 K) versus variable fluid properties (cv, k, and ν) on mean fluid temperature distribution

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Heat flux distribution along the cooling channel of an NTR core

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Pressure distributions along the axial length as predicted by the 1D and 2D models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Density distributions along the axial length as predicted by the 1D and 2D models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Axial velocity distributions along the axial length as predicted by the 1D and 2D models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Mean fluid temperature distributions along the axial length as predicted by the 1D and 2D models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Pressure distribution along the axial length as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Density distribution along the axial length as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Velocity distribution along the axial length as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Temperature distribution along the axial length as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Inner and outer wall temperature distributions along the axial length as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Fluid temperature profile at the outlet as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Axial velocity profile at the outlet as predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 20

Fluid temperature contours inside the cooling channel predicted by the 2D two-domain model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 21

Comparison of the mean fluid temperature distributions as predicted by the 1D model, 2D two-domain model, and the experiment

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 22

Results of the effect of inlet mass flow rate study

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 23

Results of the effect of wall heat flux study

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In