ISSN 0253-2778

CN 34-1054/N

Open AccessOpen Access JUSTC Engineering & Materials 20 April 2022

Numerical investigation on heat transfer characterization of liquid lithium metal in pipe

Cite this:
https://doi.org/10.52396/JUSTC-2021-0043
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  • Author Bio:

    Yongfu Liu is a PhD student at the University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests include advanced energy systems and heat transfer characterization of high-temperature liquid metals for nuclear reactor applications

    Peng Tan is a professor at the School of Engineering Science of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2016. He worked at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2016 and joined the USTC in 2018. His research primarily focuses on the design, characterization, and optimization of advanced energy storage systems, aiming at the understanding of coupled heat/mass transfer and electrochemical processes for performance improvement

  • Corresponding author: E-mail: pengtan@ustc.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 05 February 2021
  • Accepted Date: 15 May 2021
  • Available Online: 20 April 2022
  • Liquid Li metal is a promising nuclear reactor coolant; however, relevant research regarding its heat transfer characteristics remains insufficient. In this study, a steady-state two-dimensional mathematical model is established to describe the heat transfer process of liquid Li in a straight pipe. A numerical analysis is conducted to investigate the effects of inlet velocity, inlet temperature, and wall heat flux on heat transfer in liquid Li. The results indicate the advantage of using liquid Li for improving heat transfer at high inlet temperatures (> 1000 K) compared with using liquid sodium and lead–bismuth eutectic. Considering the mechanism of the outlet radial heat flow model, the ratio of turbulent to molecular diffusion coefficients presents a parabolic distribution along the radius of the pipe. Increasing the inlet velocity, decreasing the inlet temperature, and decreasing the wall heat flux can effectively weaken the dominant role of molecular heat transfer owing to the low Prandtl number of liquid Li. The heat transfer of liquid Li is investigated comprehensively in this study, and the results provide a basis for the practical application of liquid Li as a promising coolant.

      Liquid lithium has excellent heat transfer properties and is expected to be a coolant for next-generation space nuclear reactors.

    Liquid Li metal is a promising nuclear reactor coolant; however, relevant research regarding its heat transfer characteristics remains insufficient. In this study, a steady-state two-dimensional mathematical model is established to describe the heat transfer process of liquid Li in a straight pipe. A numerical analysis is conducted to investigate the effects of inlet velocity, inlet temperature, and wall heat flux on heat transfer in liquid Li. The results indicate the advantage of using liquid Li for improving heat transfer at high inlet temperatures (> 1000 K) compared with using liquid sodium and lead–bismuth eutectic. Considering the mechanism of the outlet radial heat flow model, the ratio of turbulent to molecular diffusion coefficients presents a parabolic distribution along the radius of the pipe. Increasing the inlet velocity, decreasing the inlet temperature, and decreasing the wall heat flux can effectively weaken the dominant role of molecular heat transfer owing to the low Prandtl number of liquid Li. The heat transfer of liquid Li is investigated comprehensively in this study, and the results provide a basis for the practical application of liquid Li as a promising coolant.

    • Numerical analysis of turbulent heat transfer of liquid lithium is carried out.
    • A high flow rate, temperature, and heat flux are favorable for performance.
    • The radial heat flux mechanism in a straight pipe is revealed.

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    [3]
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    [4]
    Castelliti D, Lomonaco G. A preliminary stability analysis of MYRRHA primary heat exchanger two-phase tube bundle. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2016, 305: 179–190. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.05.019
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    [7]
    Tenchine D, Baviere R, Bazin P, et al. Status of CATHARE code for sodium cooled fast reactors. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2012, 245: 140–152. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.01.019
    [8]
    Kirillov I R. Lithium cooled blanket of RF DEMO reactor. Fusion Engineering and Design, 2000, 49-50: 457–465. doi: 10.1016/S0920-3796(00)00447-6
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    Satpathy K, Velusamy K, Patnaik B S V, et al. Numerical simulation of liquid fall induced gas entrainment and its mitigation. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2013, 60: 392–405. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2013.01.006
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    Chen F, Huai X L, Cai J, et al. Investigation on the applicability of turbulent-Prandtl-number models for liquid lead-bismuth eutectic. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2013, 257: 128–133. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2013.01.005
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    Govindha N, Velusamy K, Sundararajan T, et al. Simultaneous development of flow and temperature fields in wire-wrapped fuel pin bundles of sodium cooled fast reactor. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2014, 267: 44–60. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2013.11.066
    [12]
    Ma W M, Karbojian A, Sehgal B R, et al. Thermal-hydraulic performance of heavy liquid metal in straight-tube and U-tube heat exchangers. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2009, 239: 1323–1330. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.03.014
    [13]
    Wang Y W, Xi W X, Li X F, et al. Influence of buoyancy on turbulent mixed convection of LBE in a uniform cooled inclined tube. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2017, 127: 846–856. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.08.095
    [14]
    Kimura N, Ezure T, Tobita A, et al. Experimental study on gas entrainment at free surface in reactor vessel of a compact sodium-cooled fast reactor. Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 2008, 45: 1053–1062. doi: 10.1080/18811248.2008.9711892
    [15]
    Xiao Z J, Zhang G Q, Shan J Q, et al. Experimental research on heat transfer to liquid sodium and its incipient boiling wall superheat in an annulus. Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2006, 17: 177–184. doi: 10.1016/S1001-8042(06)60034-1
    [16]
    Wang M, Qiu S Z, Wu Y W, et al. Numerical research on local heat transfer distribution of liquid sodium turbulent flow in an annulus. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 2013, 65: 70–80. doi: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2013.01.005
    [17]
    Xu W, Curreli D, Andruczyk D, et al. Heat transfer of TEMHD driven lithium flow in stainless steel trenches. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2013, 438: 422–425. doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.01.085
    [18]
    Schulenberg T, Stieglitz R. Flow measurement techniques in heavy liquid metals Thomas. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2010, 240: 2077–2087. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.11.017
    [19]
    Recebli Z, Selimli S, Gedik E. Three dimensional numerical analysis of magnetic field effect on Convective heat transfer during the MHD steady state laminar flow of liquid lithium in a cylindrical pipe. Computers and Fluids, 2013, 88: 410–417. doi: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2013.09.009
    [20]
    Ge Z H, Liu J M, Zhao P H, et al. Investigation on the applicability of turbulent-Prandtl-number models in bare rod bundles for heavy liquid metals. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2017, 314: 198–206. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2017.01.032
    [21]
    Menter F R. Zonal two equation κ-ω turbulence models for aerodynamic flows. 23rd Fluid Dynamics, Plasmadynamics, and Lasers Conference. Orlando, USA: AIAA, 1993: 2906. https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.1993-2906
    [22]
    Cheng X, Tak N I. Investigation on turbulent heat transfer to lead-bismuth eutectic flows in circular tubes for nuclear applications. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2006, 236: 385–393. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2005.09.006
    [23]
    Jeppson D W, Ballif J L, Yuan W W, et al. Lithium literature review: lithium’s properties and interactions.Richland Washington, USA: Hanford Engineering Development Lab, 1978. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6885395
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    Davison H W. Compilation of thermophysical properties of liquid lithium. Washington, USA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1968. https://xs.dailyheadlines.cc/books?id=gUuvTb3QU7IC&printsec=frontcover&hl=zh-CN
    [25]
    Mochizuki H. Consideration on Nusselt numbers of liquid metals under low Peclet number conditions. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2018, 339: 171–180. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2018.09.010
    [26]
    Mochizuki H. Consideration on Nusselt numbers of liquid metals flowing in tubes. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2019, 351: 1–19. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2019.05.022
    [27]
    Lyu Y J. Large eddy simulation of turbulent heat transfer characteristics of liquid metal in annular pipe. Hefei: University of Science and Technology of China, 2015. https://wwwtandfonline.53yu.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01457632.2016.1255077
  • 加载中

Catalog

    Figure  1.  Schematic illustration of liquid metal flowing in a pipe.

    Figure  2.  Comparison of simulation Nu, obtained from simulation, Lyon empirical correlation and experimental data of Johnson et al.

    Figure  3.  Heat transfer coefficients of three types of liquid metals at inlet temperatures of (a) 600 K and (b) 1000 K.

    Figure  4.  Effects of inlet velocity on heat transfer: (a) Local convective heat transfer coefficients along pipeline. (b) Turbulent heat flux. (c) Ratio of turbulent diffusion coefficient to molecular diffusion coefficient along the radius of the pipe.

    Figure  5.  Effects of inlet temperature on heat transfer performance: (a) Local convective heat transfer coefficients. (b) Ratio of turbulent thermal diffusion coefficient to molecular diffusion coefficient.

    Figure  6.  Effect of heat flux on heat transfer performance: (a) Local convective heat transfer coefficient. (b) Ratio of turbulent thermal diffusion coefficient to molecular diffusion coefficient.

    [1]
    Wu Y C, Bai Y Q, Song Y, et al. Development strategy and conceptual design of China lead-based research reactor. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 2016, 87: 511–516. doi: 10.1016/j.anucene.2015.08.015
    [2]
    Wong C P C, Salavy J F, Kim Y, et al. Overview of liquid metal TBM concepts and programs. Fusion Engineering and Design, 2008, 83: 850–857. doi: 10.1016/j.fusengdes.2008.06.040
    [3]
    Fisher A E, Kolemen E, Hvasta M G. Experimental demonstration of hydraulic jump control in liquid metal channel flow using Lorentz force. Physics of Fluids, 2018, 30 (6): 067104. doi: 10.1063/1.5026993
    [4]
    Castelliti D, Lomonaco G. A preliminary stability analysis of MYRRHA primary heat exchanger two-phase tube bundle. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2016, 305: 179–190. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.05.019
    [5]
    Ma W M, Karbojian A, Hollands T, et al. Experimental and numerical study on lead-bismuth heat transfer in a fuel rod simulator. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2011, 415: 415–424. doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2011.04.044
    [6]
    Jaeger W. Heat transfer to liquid metals with empirical models for turbulent forced convection in various geometries. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2017, 319: 12–27. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2017.04.028
    [7]
    Tenchine D, Baviere R, Bazin P, et al. Status of CATHARE code for sodium cooled fast reactors. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2012, 245: 140–152. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.01.019
    [8]
    Kirillov I R. Lithium cooled blanket of RF DEMO reactor. Fusion Engineering and Design, 2000, 49-50: 457–465. doi: 10.1016/S0920-3796(00)00447-6
    [9]
    Satpathy K, Velusamy K, Patnaik B S V, et al. Numerical simulation of liquid fall induced gas entrainment and its mitigation. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2013, 60: 392–405. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2013.01.006
    [10]
    Chen F, Huai X L, Cai J, et al. Investigation on the applicability of turbulent-Prandtl-number models for liquid lead-bismuth eutectic. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2013, 257: 128–133. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2013.01.005
    [11]
    Govindha N, Velusamy K, Sundararajan T, et al. Simultaneous development of flow and temperature fields in wire-wrapped fuel pin bundles of sodium cooled fast reactor. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2014, 267: 44–60. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2013.11.066
    [12]
    Ma W M, Karbojian A, Sehgal B R, et al. Thermal-hydraulic performance of heavy liquid metal in straight-tube and U-tube heat exchangers. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2009, 239: 1323–1330. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.03.014
    [13]
    Wang Y W, Xi W X, Li X F, et al. Influence of buoyancy on turbulent mixed convection of LBE in a uniform cooled inclined tube. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2017, 127: 846–856. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.08.095
    [14]
    Kimura N, Ezure T, Tobita A, et al. Experimental study on gas entrainment at free surface in reactor vessel of a compact sodium-cooled fast reactor. Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 2008, 45: 1053–1062. doi: 10.1080/18811248.2008.9711892
    [15]
    Xiao Z J, Zhang G Q, Shan J Q, et al. Experimental research on heat transfer to liquid sodium and its incipient boiling wall superheat in an annulus. Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2006, 17: 177–184. doi: 10.1016/S1001-8042(06)60034-1
    [16]
    Wang M, Qiu S Z, Wu Y W, et al. Numerical research on local heat transfer distribution of liquid sodium turbulent flow in an annulus. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 2013, 65: 70–80. doi: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2013.01.005
    [17]
    Xu W, Curreli D, Andruczyk D, et al. Heat transfer of TEMHD driven lithium flow in stainless steel trenches. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2013, 438: 422–425. doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.01.085
    [18]
    Schulenberg T, Stieglitz R. Flow measurement techniques in heavy liquid metals Thomas. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2010, 240: 2077–2087. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.11.017
    [19]
    Recebli Z, Selimli S, Gedik E. Three dimensional numerical analysis of magnetic field effect on Convective heat transfer during the MHD steady state laminar flow of liquid lithium in a cylindrical pipe. Computers and Fluids, 2013, 88: 410–417. doi: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2013.09.009
    [20]
    Ge Z H, Liu J M, Zhao P H, et al. Investigation on the applicability of turbulent-Prandtl-number models in bare rod bundles for heavy liquid metals. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2017, 314: 198–206. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2017.01.032
    [21]
    Menter F R. Zonal two equation κ-ω turbulence models for aerodynamic flows. 23rd Fluid Dynamics, Plasmadynamics, and Lasers Conference. Orlando, USA: AIAA, 1993: 2906. https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.1993-2906
    [22]
    Cheng X, Tak N I. Investigation on turbulent heat transfer to lead-bismuth eutectic flows in circular tubes for nuclear applications. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2006, 236: 385–393. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2005.09.006
    [23]
    Jeppson D W, Ballif J L, Yuan W W, et al. Lithium literature review: lithium’s properties and interactions.Richland Washington, USA: Hanford Engineering Development Lab, 1978. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6885395
    [24]
    Davison H W. Compilation of thermophysical properties of liquid lithium. Washington, USA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1968. https://xs.dailyheadlines.cc/books?id=gUuvTb3QU7IC&printsec=frontcover&hl=zh-CN
    [25]
    Mochizuki H. Consideration on Nusselt numbers of liquid metals under low Peclet number conditions. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2018, 339: 171–180. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2018.09.010
    [26]
    Mochizuki H. Consideration on Nusselt numbers of liquid metals flowing in tubes. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2019, 351: 1–19. doi: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2019.05.022
    [27]
    Lyu Y J. Large eddy simulation of turbulent heat transfer characteristics of liquid metal in annular pipe. Hefei: University of Science and Technology of China, 2015. https://wwwtandfonline.53yu.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01457632.2016.1255077

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