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research-article

Numerical Investigation of Convective Heat Transfer to Supercritical Pressure Hydrogen in A Straight Tube

[+] Author and Article Information
Yu Ji

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Ad-vanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
jiyu1994joe11@163.com

Jun Sun

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Ad-vanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
sunjun@tsinghua.edu.cn

Lei Shi

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Ad-vanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
shlinet@tsinghua.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039600 History: Received October 26, 2017; Revised February 23, 2018

Abstract

Hydrogen is adopted as coolant for regenerative cooling nozzle and reactor core in nuclear thermal propul-sion (NTP), which is a promising technology for human space exploration in the near future due to its large thrust and high specific impulse. During the cooling process, the hydrogen alters its state from subcritical to supercritical, accompanying with great variations of fluid properties and heat transfer characteristics. This paper is intended to study heat transfer processes of supercritical pressure hydrogen under high extremely heat flux by using numerical approach. To begin with, the models explaining the variation of density, specific heat capacity, viscosity and thermal conductivity are introduced. Later on, the convective heat transfer to supercritical pressure hydrogen in a straight tube is investigated numerically by employing a computational model, which is simplified from experiments performed by Hendricks et al. During the simulation, the stand-ard k-e model combining the enhanced wall treatment is used to formulate the turbulent viscosity, and the results validates the approach through successful prediction of wall temperature profile and bulk tempera-ture variation. Besides, the heat transfer deterioration which may occur in the heat transport of supercritical fluids is also observed. According to the results, it is deduced that the flow acceleration or the velocity profile distortion to "M" shape due to properties variation of hydrogen contributes to the suppression of turbulence and the subsequent deteriorated heat transfer.

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