This paper describes the measurement of convective heat transfer coefficients and friction factors for sCO2 flowing in pin-fin patterned pipes in the Heat Exchange and Experimental Testing (HEET) facility at the US DoE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown, WV. The measurement procedures in the HEET rig were validated by conducting benchmark tests with smooth stainless-steel tube and comparing the results with published correlations for Nusselt number (Nu) and friction factor. Over typical Reynolds number range in sCO2, the measured Nu and friction factors were within 7% of classical correlations for smooth tube flow.
The candidate pin fin patterned pipes were additively manufactured (AM) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The pins were circular or elliptical in cross-section. Pin length to diameter aspect ratios were 1.33 and 2, while the pin diameter to tube diameter ratio was 0.188 and 0.125. Tests were performed for ReD varying from 6.9×104 to 2.2×105 and at conditions equivalent to the low pressure outlet (8.69 MPa, 361 K) of the low temperature recuperator (LTR) in an indirect sCO2 power cycle. The Wilson plot technique was utilized to measure the bulk heat transfer coefficients.
For the better performing design (tube A, pin length to tube diameter ratio: 1.33, pin diameter to tube diameter ratio: 0.188), the local heat transfer coefficient increased by 112% relative to the Dittus-Boelter correlation at the LTR low pressure outlet. This corresponded to a 282% increase in the product of the heat transfer coefficient and the surface area. Large pressure drops across the test articles were observed.