Research Papers

Validated Simulations of Heat Transfer From a Vertical Heated-Rod Array to a Helium-Filled Isothermal Enclosure

[+] Author and Article Information
Dilesh Maharjan

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Nevada Reno,
1664 North Virginia Street MS 312,
Reno, NV 89557
e-mail: dileshm@nevada.unr.edu

Mustafa Hadj-Nacer

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Nevada Reno,
1664 North Virginia Street MS 312,
Reno, NV 89557
e-mail: mhadjnacer@unr.edu

Narayana Chalasani

Johns Manville,
10100 W Ute Avenue,
Littleton, CO 80127
e-mail: NarayanaRao.Chalasani@jm.com

Miles Greiner

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Nevada Reno,
1664 North Virginia Street MS 312,
Reno, NV 89557
e-mail: greiner@unr.edu

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received November 29, 2016; final manuscript received May 18, 2017; published online September 6, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Pedro Mago.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(2), 021007 (Sep 06, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-16-1349; doi: 10.1115/1.4037493 History: Received November 29, 2016; Revised May 18, 2017

Measurements of heat transfer from an array of vertical heater rods to the walls of a square, helium-filled enclosure are performed for a range of enclosure temperatures, helium pressures, and rod heat generation rates. This configuration is relevant to a used nuclear fuel assembly within a dry storage canister. The measurements are used to assess the accuracy of computational fluid dynamics (CFD)/radiation simulations in the same configuration. The simulations employ the measured enclosure temperatures as boundary conditions and predict the temperature difference between the rods and enclosure. These temperature differences are as large as 72 °C for some experiments. The measured temperature of rods near the periphery of the array is sensitive to small, uncontrolled variations in their location. As a result, those temperatures are not as useful for validating the simulations as measurements from rods near the array center. The simulated rod temperatures exhibit random differences from the measurements that are as large as 5.7 °C, but the systematic (average) error is 1 °C or less. The random difference between the simulated and measured maximum array temperature is 2.1 °C, which is less than 3% of the maximum rod-to-wall temperature difference.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


U.S. Department of Energy, 1988, “ Characteristics of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level Waste, and Other Radioactive Wastes Which May Require Long-Term Isolation,” Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), Washington, DC, Report No. DOE/RW-0184. https://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/7151365
Saling, J. H. , and Fentiman, A. W. , 2002, Radioactive Waste Management, 2nd ed., Taylor and Francis, New York.
Holtec, 2010, “ HI-STORM 100 FSAR,” Holtec International, Marlton, NJ, Report No. HI-2002444.
Colmont, D. , and Roblin, P. , 2008, “ Improved Thermal Modeling of SNF Shipping Cask Drying Process Using Analytical and Statistical Approaches,” Packag. Transp. Storage Secur. Radioact. Mater., 19(3), pp. 160–164. [CrossRef]
Incropera, F. , and DeWitt , 1996, Introduction to Heat Transfer, 3rd ed., Wiley, Hoboken, NJ. [PubMed] [PubMed]
Hadj-Nacer, M. , Manzo, T. , Ho, M. T. , Graur, I. , and Greiner, M. , 2016, “ Effects of Gas Rarefaction on Used Nuclear Fuel Cladding Temperatures During Vacuum Drying,” Nucl. Technol., 194(3), pp. 387–399. [CrossRef]
NRC, 2003, “ Cladding Considerations for the Transportation and Storage of Spent Fuel,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Report No. ISG-11 R3. https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/isg/isg-11R3.pdf
NRC, 2005, “ NACLWT Legal Weight Truck Cask System Safety Analysis Report,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Report No. 71-9225.
Adkins, H. E. , Koeppel, B. J., Jr. , Cuta, J. M. , Guzman, A. D. , and Bajwa, C. S. , 2006, “ Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the Caldecott Tunnel Fire Scenario,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington, DC/Richland, WA, Report No. NUREG/CR-6894. https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/contract/cr6894/
Michener, T. E. , Rector, D. R. , Cuta, J. M. , Dodge, R. E. , and Enderlin, C. W. , 1995, “ COBRA-SFS: A Thermal-Hydraulic Code for Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Casks,” Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA, Report No. PNL-10782. http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/27/032/27032682.pdf
Tseng, Y. S. , Wang, J. R. , Tsai, F. P. , Cheng, Y. H. , and Shih, C. , 2011, “ Thermal Design Investigation of a New Tube-Type Dry-Storage System Through CFD Simulations,” Ann. Nucl. Energy, 38(5), pp. 1088–1097. [CrossRef]
Li, J. , and Liu, Y. Y. , 2015, “ Validation of Thermal Analysis of Dry Storage Casks at Diablo Canyon,” ASME Paper No. PVP2015-45847.
Kamichetty, K. K. , Venigalla, V. , and Greiner, M. , 2014, “ Development, Use, and Accuracy of a Homogenized Fuel Region Model for Thermal Analysis of a Truck Package Under Normal and Fire Accident Conditions,” ASME J. Pressure Vessel Technol., 136(2), p. 021208. [CrossRef]
McKinnon, M. A., Michener, T. E., Jensen, M. F., and Rodman, G. R., 1989, “Testing and Analyses of the TN-24P PWR Spent-Fuel Dry Storage Cask Loaded With Consolidated Fuel,” Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA, Report No. PNL-6631. https://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/6372210/cite/
Creer, J. M. , Michener, T. E. , McKinnon, M. A. , Tanner, J. E. , Gilbert, E. R. , and Goodman, R. L. , 1987, “ The TN-24P PWR Spent Fuel Storage Cask: Testing and Analyses,” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, Report No. PNL-6054. https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:19002181
Holtec, 2000, “ Topical Report on the HI-STAR/HI-STORM Thermal Model and Its Benchmarking With Full-Scale Cask Test Data,” Holtec International, Marlton, NJ, Report No. HI-992252. https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0235/ML023570079.pdf
Lovett, P. M. , 1991, “ An Experiment to Simulate the Heat Transfer Properties of a Dry, Horizontal Spent Nuclear Fuel Assembly,” M.S. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/89746
Canaan, R. E. , and Klein, D. E. , 1996, “ An Experimental Investigation of Natural Convection Heat Transfer Within Horizontal Spent-Fuel Assemblies,” Nucl. Technol., 116(3), pp. 306–318. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.13182/NT96-A35286
Dalton, T. E. , 1994, “ An Experimental Study of Natural Convection in Horizontal Rod-Bundle Enclosures,” M.S. thesis, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
Keyhani, M. , Kulacki, F. A. , and Christensen, R. N. , 1985, “ Experimental Investigation of Free Convection in a Vertical Rod-Bundle—A General Correlation for Nusselt Numbers,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 107(3), pp. 611–623. [CrossRef]
Canaan, R. E. , and Klein, D. E. , 1998, “ A Numerical Investigation of Natural Convection Heat Transfer Within Horizontal Spent-Fuel Assemblies,” Nucl. Technol., 123(2), pp. 193–208. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.13182/NT98-A2892?journalCode=unct20
Chalasani, N. R. , Araya, P. , and Greiner, M. , 2009, “ Benchmark of Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Temperatures Measured Within Enclosed Vertical and Horizontal Arrays of Heated Rods,” Nucl. Technol., 167(3), pp. 371–383. [CrossRef]
Chalasani, N. R. , and Greiner, M. , 2010, “ Benchmark of Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Temperatures Measured Within Enclosed Vertical and Horizontal Arrays of Heated Rods,” ASME Paper No. PVP2010-25803.
Chalasani, N. R. , 2010, “ Benchmark of CFD Simulations Using Temperatures Measured Within an Enclosed Array of Heater Rods Oriented Vertically and Horizontally,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Nevada, Reno, NV. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010PhDT.......219C
Optotherm, 2001, “ Emissivity Table,” Optotherm, Inc., Sewickley, PA, accessed Aug. 11, 2017, http://www.optotherm.com/emiss-table.htm
Wheeler, A. J. , and Gangi, A. R. , 2010, Introduction to Engineering Experimentation, 3rd ed., Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
ANSYS, 2015, “ ANSYS Fluent User's Guide,” ANSYS Inc., Canonsburg, PA.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Dissembled experimental apparatus (a) heater rod array, (b) spacer plates, and (c) enclosure

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Assembled experimental apparatus: (a) axial cross section showing internal components and (b) photograph showing external insulation, and top extension tubes with wire feedthroughs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Experimental apparatus cross section showing heater rods, enclosure walls, coordinate system, and row and column names. Numbers in rods indicate z-location of thermocouples, and Greek letters indicate symmetry group (Table 2)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Measured thermocouple (open and filled symbols) and simulated (solid and dotted lines and ×+*  symbols) temperatures within boundaries and rods for experiments III and VII

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Measured enclosure wall and top and bottom spacer plate temperatures for different insulation thicknesses and helium pressures versus heat generation rate (a) average temperatures (b) 95%-deviation temperatures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Deviation temperatures within each symmetry group versus group average temperature minus wall temperature

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Computational domain (a) Full x, y-plane divided into nine middle, M, side, S, and corner, C, regions (b) enlarged view of section 1 from part (a), showing eccentricity of the heater rods

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Computational results for experiment VII. (a) Rod surface temperature contours (half of the rods are removed to show highest temperatures) and (b) vertical component of gas velocity in the midplane, z = 0.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Simulated versus measured thermocouple-to-wall temperature differences for all 12 experiments




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