Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Pressure Measurements in a Wire-Wrapped 61-Pin Hexagonal Fuel Bundle

[+] Author and Article Information
Rodolfo Vaghetto

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: r.vaghetto@tamu.edu

Philip Jones

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: pgjones87@tamu.edu

Nolan Goth

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: negcm7@tamu.edu

Mason Childs

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: masonchilds@tamu.edu

Saye Lee

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: sayalee@tamu.edu

Duy Thien Nguyen

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: thien.duy.ng@tamu.edu

Yassin A. Hassan

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: y-hassan@tamu.edu

1Present address: 3133 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received March 20, 2017; final manuscript received August 27, 2017; published online October 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Hui Hu.

J. Fluids Eng 140(3), 031104 (Oct 25, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: FE-17-1170; doi: 10.1115/1.4038086 History: Received March 20, 2017; Revised August 27, 2017

To achieve longer-life liquid-metal fast reactor cores, designers are considering to increase the wall gap of the wire-wrapped hexagonal fuel bundles to account for volumetric void swelling and radiation creep. A new wire-wrapped hexagonal test bundle has been constructed, with a wall gap larger than prior experiments, and experimental pressure drop data have been generated under laminar, transition, and turbulent flow regimes (corresponding to Re of 250–19,000), to complement the existing database of small wall gap experimental bundles. The comparison of the experimental data set with the predictions of four existing correlations (Baxi and Dalle Donne, Cheng and Todreas detailed (CTD), Kirillov, and Rehme) showed general agreement between data and the selected correlations. However, the CTD correlation most accurately predicted the experimental trend and the transition between flow regimes. The analysis of the experimental data also revealed that the larger wall gap size caused a lower bundle pressure drop due to the increased bypass flow area.

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Fig. 1

Experimental facility overview

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Fig. 4

Sixty-one pin hexagonal fuel bundle and pin geometry

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Fig. 3

Three-dimensional representation of the test bundle (one-pitch length) left; acrylic pin (as fabricated), right

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Fig. 2

Test section, left; inlet plenum, bottom right; outlet plenum, top right

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Fig. 5

Experimental friction factor

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Fig. 6

Experimental friction factor—laminar regime

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Fig. 7

Experimental friction factor—turbulent regime



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