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Thermal Performance of a Dual-Channel, Helium-Cooled, Tungsten Heat Exchanger

By DENNIS L. YOUCHISON and MART T. NORTH

Abstract

Helium-cooled, refractory heat exchangers are now under consideration for first wall and divertor applications. These refractory devices take advantage of high temperature operation with large delta-Ts to effectively handle high heat fluxes. The high temperature helium can then be used in a gas turbine for high-efficiency power conversion. Over the last five years, heat removal with helium was shown to increase dramatically by using porous metal to provide a very large effective surface area for heat transfer in a small volume. Last year, the thermal performance of a bare-copper, dual-channel, helium-cooled, porous metal divertor mock-up was evaluated on the 30 kW Electron Beam Test System at Sandia National Laboratories. The module survived a maximum absorbed heat flux of 34.6 MW/m{sup 2} and reached a maximum surface temperature of 593 C for uniform power loading of 3 kW absorbed on a 2-cm{sup 2} area. An impressive 10 kW of power was absorbed on an area of 24 cm{sup 2}. Recently, a similar dual-module, helium-cooled heat exchanger made almost entirely of tungsten was designed and fabricated by Thermacore, Inc. and tested at Sandia. A complete flow test of each channel was performed to determine the actual pressure drop characteristics. Each channel was equipped with delta-P transducers and platinum RTDs for independent calorimetry. One mass flow meter monitored the total flow to the heat exchanger, while a second monitored flow in only one of the channels. The thermal response of each tungsten module was obtained for heat fluxes in excess of 5 MW/m{sup 2} using 50 C helium at 4 MPa. Fatigue cycles were also performed to assess the fracture toughness of the tungsten modules. A description of the module design and new results on flow instabilities are also presented

Topics: Heat Flux, Surface Area, Heat Transfer, 70 Plasma Physics And Fusion Technology, First Wall, Helium, Gas Turbines, Electron Beams, Thermonuclear Reactors, Pressure Drop, Tungsten, Divertors, Heat Exchangers, Fracture Properties, Performance
Publisher: Sandia National Laboratories
Year: 2000
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Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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