Flow and heat transfer in a closed loop thermosyphon Part II – experimental simulation

J.C. Ruppersberg, R.T. Dobson


A closed loop thermosyphon is an energy transfer device that employs thermally induced density gra-dients to induce circulation of the working fluid thereby obviating the need for any mechanical moving parts such as pumps and pump controls. This increases the reliability and safety of the cool-ing system and reduces installation, operation and maintenance costs. These characteristics make it a particularly attractive option for the cavity cooling system of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). Loop thermosyphons are however, known to become unstable under certain initial and operating conditions. It is therefore necessary to conduct an experimental and theoretical study of the start-up and transient behaviour of such a system. A small scale test loop was built representing a section of a concept cooling system. A number of representative yet typical experimental temperature and flow rate curves for a range of initial and boundary condi-tions were generated, plotted and are given as a function of time. These curves show that oscillatory temperature and flow occurred that was dependent on the differing design and operating conditions. A number of theoretical modelling and actual cooling system design problem areas were identified. These problem areas need to be addressed if more accu-racy is required to capture the erratic and ostensibly chaotic heat transfer behaviour of the loop.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3051/2007/v18i4a3393


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