Flow characteristics in HyperVapotron elements operating with nanofluids

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Abstract

HyperVapotrons are highly robust and efficient heat exchangers able to transfer high heat fluxes of the order of 10–20 MW/m2. They employ the Vapotron effect, a complex two phase heat transfer mechanism, which is strongly linked to the hydrodynamic structures present in the coolant flow inside the devices. HyperVapotrons are currently tested in the Joined European Torus (JET) and the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) fusion experiments and are considered a strong candidate for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The efficiency of heat transfer and the reliability of the components of a fusion power plant are important factors to ensure its longevity and economical sustainability. Optimisation of the heat transfer performance of these devices by the use of nanofluids is investigated in this paper. Nanofluids are advanced two phase coolants that exhibit heat transfer augmentation phenomena. A cold isothermal nanofluid flow is established inside two HyperVapotron models representing the geometries used at JET and MAST. A hybrid particle image velocimetry (PIV) method is employed to measure the flow and create a dense velocity vector map of a region of interest. The vector spatial resolution is 30 μm. The instantaneous and mean flow structures of a nanofluid are compared to those present during the use of a traditional coolant (water) in order to detect any departure from the hydrodynamic design operational regime of the device. It was discovered that the flow field of the JET model is considerably affected when using nanofluids, while the flow in the MAST geometry does not change significantly by the introduction of nanofluids. Evidence of a shear thinning mechanism is found inside the momentum boundary layer of the nanofluid flows and it might be important to calculating the pumping power losses of a functional nuclear fusion power plant cooling system ran with nanofluids instead of water.

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Sergis, A., Hardalupas, Y., & Barrett, T. R. (2018). Flow characteristics in HyperVapotron elements operating with nanofluids. Fusion Engineering and Design, 128, 182–187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fusengdes.2018.01.046

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