Hydrodynamic Effects of S-CO2 Property Variations in Nuclear Energy Systems

by Michael Z. Podowski & Tara Gallaway
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Center for Multiphase Research

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Supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) is a very promising material for a variety of industrial applications, including but not limited to, energy conversion systems. The purpose of this paper is to overview recent advancements in the state-of-the art thermo-fluid sciences of supercritical fluids, and their application in the analysis of future S-CO2 nuclear energy systems. Two specific issues will be discussed in detail. One such issue is concerned with the effect of fluid property variations at near-supercritical pressures on the dynamics of energy systems. In particular, a review is given of several aspects of the modeling of flow-induced oscillations at supercritical pressures and new nondimensional stability maps are presented.

The other issue deals with the analysis of local flow and heat transfer in fluids at supercritical pressures. The impact is discussed of using a mechanistic modeling framework for the coupled fluid mechanics and thermal phenomena on the predictive capabilities of computational models used for system design and optimization purposes. The overall analysis is illustrated using recent results of model testing and validation.