Setup of the Supercritical CO2 Test Facility “SCARLETT” for Basic Experimental Investigations of a Compact Heat Exchanger for an Innovative Decay Heat Removal System

[+] Author and Article Information
Wolfgang Flaig

Institute of Nuclear Technology and
Energy Systems,
University of Stuttgart,
Pfaffenwaldring 31,
Stuttgart 70569, Germany
e-mail: Wolfgang.Flaig@ike.uni-stuttgart.de

Rainer Mertz

Institute of Nuclear Technology
and Energy Systems,
University of Stuttgart,
Pfaffenwaldring 31,
Stuttgart 70569, Germany
e-mail: Rainer.Mertz@ike.uni-stuttgart.de

Joerg Starflinger

Institute of Nuclear Technology and
Energy Systems,
University of Stuttgart,
Pfaffenwaldring 31,
Stuttgart 70569, Germany
e-mail: Joerg.Starflinger@ike.uni-stuttgart.de

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 22, 2017; final manuscript received March 7, 2018; published online May 16, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Mark Anderson.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 4(3), 031004 (May 16, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: NERS-17-1121; doi: 10.1115/1.4039595 History: Received September 22, 2017; Revised March 07, 2018

Supercritical fluids show great potential as future coolants for nuclear reactors, thermal power, and solar power plants. Compared to the subcritical condition, supercritical fluids show advantages in heat transfer due to thermodynamic properties near the critical point. A specific field of interest is an innovative decay heat removal system for nuclear power plants, which is based on a turbine-compressor system with supercritical CO2 as the working fluid. In case of a severe accident, this system converts the decay heat into excess electricity and low-temperature waste heat, which can be emitted to the ambient air. To guarantee the retrofitting of this decay heat removal system into existing nuclear power plants, the heat exchanger (HE) needs to be as compact and efficient as possible. Therefore, a diffusion-bonded plate heat exchanger (DBHE) with mini channels was developed and manufactured. This DBHE was tested to gain data of the transferable heat power and the pressure loss. A multipurpose facility has been built at Institut für Kernenergetik und Energiesysteme (IKE) for various experimental investigations on supercritical CO2, which is in operation now. It consists of a closed loop where the CO2 is compressed to supercritical state and delivered to a test section in which the experiments are run. The test facility is designed to carry out experimental investigations with CO2 mass flows up to 0.111 kg/s, pressures up to 12 MPa, and temperatures up to 150 °C. This paper describes the development and setup of the facility as well as the first experimental investigation.

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Fig. 1

Calculated heat transfer coefficient

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Fig. 2

Scheme of the test facility

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Fig. 3

Log-pressure-enthalpy diagram

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Fig. 4

Piping and instrumentation diagram of the test facility (according to EN ISO 10628)

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Fig. 5

Computer aided design sketch of the test facility

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Fig. 6

Current picture of the test facility

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Fig. 7

Scheme of the decay heat removal system

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Fig. 8

Sketch of the principle setup of a DBHE

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Fig. 9

Bonding sample. Top left: cross section. Bottom left: channel under reflected light microscope. Right: microsection.

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Fig. 10

Computer aided design sketch of the test section

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Fig. 11

Heat exchanger and heating plate before bonding

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Fig. 12

Picture of the test section

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Fig. 13

Technical drawing of the heating plate

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Fig. 14

Characteristic line of the compressor

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Fig. 15

Process uncontrolled

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Fig. 16

Process controlled

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Fig. 17

Thermographic picture of the DBHE surface. Inlet condition: p = 8.0 MPa, T = 28 °C, m˙sCO2 = 0.04 kg/s, Pel = 1340 W.

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Fig. 18

Continuous surface temperature in x-direction at the middle for 0.04 kg/s and 0.09 kg/s



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