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Research Papers

Pressure Drop Studies on Supercritical Helium Flowing in Horizontal Tubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Neville Joaquim Rebelo

Inox CVA,
504, ISKON ATRIA-1, Gotri,
Vadodara 390021, Gujarat, India
e-mail: neville.rebelo@gmail.com

Parthasarathi Ghosh

Cryogenic Engineering Centre,
IIT-Kharagpur,
Kharagpur 721302, West Bengal, India
e-mail: psghosh@hijli.iitkgp.ernet.in

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received April 30, 2014; final manuscript received May 25, 2015; published online November 11, 2015. Assoc. Editor: P. K. Das.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 8(1), 011011 (Nov 11, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-14-1099; doi: 10.1115/1.4030794 History: Received April 30, 2014

Supercritical helium owing to its single-phase characteristics and enhanced heat transfer near the pseudo-critical region is envisaged as a potential coolant for superconducting magnets used in particle accelerators and fusion devices. However, near the transposed critical line, there is a wide fluctuation of thermophysical properties like specific heat at constant pressure, density, thermal conductivity, viscosity, etc. As a consequence of this fluctuation, heat transfer and fluid flow studies become difficult for accurate prediction of heat transfer coefficient and friction factor. In this paper, numerical simulation of supercritical helium flowing under turbulent conditions in a horizontal heated tube is performed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software ANSYS FLUENT v12.0.16. It is found that results of pressure drop obtained from simulation closely match experimental data in case of fluctuation free regimes. The friction factor indicating the frictional pressure drop occurring in a horizontal tube can be matched to existing correlations within given accuracies for fluctuation regimes. A correlation for friction factor that yields better results than those in literature is proposed based on the simulation data obtained. The accurate determination of the overall pressure drop in the tubes along with the optimum flow rates gives the estimation of pumping power required for enhanced heat transfer with flow of supercritical helium.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

T–S diagram for helium showing the pseudo-critical line

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Fig. 2

Plot of specific heat versus temperature at different pressures

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Fig. 3

Variation of density with temperature at supercritical pressures

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Fig. 4

Plot of viscosity versus temperature at different pressures

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Fig. 5

Plot of thermal conductivity versus temperature at different pressures

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Fig. 16

Comparison of pressure drop simulation results against experimental for three cases

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Fig. 15

Comparison of wall and bulk density variation along the length (case 1.3)

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Fig. 14

Comparison of wall and bulk temperature variation along the length (case 1.3)

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Fig. 13

Comparison of wall and bulk density variation along the length (case 1.2)

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Fig. 12

Comparison of wall and bulk temperature variation along the length (case 1.2)

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Fig. 11

Comparison of wall and bulk density variation along the length (case 1.1)

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Fig. 10

Comparison of wall and bulk temperature variation along the length (case 1.1)

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Fig. 9

Plot of wall y+ for two cases with refined radial nodes

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Fig. 8

Plot of wall temperature versus length for different axial nodes

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Fig. 7

Wall temperature variation with different turbulence models

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Fig. 6

2D representation of the heated stainless steel tube

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Fig. 17

Specific heat variation along axial length (case 2.1)

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Fig. 18

Pressure drop along the axial length (case 2.1)

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Fig. 19

Wall and bulk temperature variation along the length (case 2.1)

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Fig. 20

Wall and bulk density variation along the length (case 2.1)

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Fig. 21

Pressure drop along the axial length (case 2.2)

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Fig. 22

Wall and bulk temperature variation along the length (case 2.2)

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Fig. 23

Wall and bulk density variation along the length (case 2.2)

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Fig. 24

Specific heat variation along axial length (case 2.2)

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Fig. 25

Pressure drop along axial length (case 2.3)

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Fig. 26

Specific heat variation along axial length (case 2.3)

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Fig. 27

Wall and bulk temperature variation along the length (case 2.3)

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Fig. 28

Wall and bulk density variation along the length (case 2.3)

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