Design of Condensation Heat Transfer Experiment to Evaluate Scaling Distortion in Small Modular Reactor Safety Analysis


Designing a novel scaled modular test facility as a part of an experiment for condensation heat transfer (CHT) in small modular reactors (SMRs) is the main focus of this study. This facility will provide data to evaluate models' scalability for predicting heat transfer in the passive containment cooling system (PCCS) of SMR. The nuclear industry recognizes SMRs as future candidates for clean, economic, and safe energy generation. However, licensing requires proper evaluation of the safety systems such as PCCS. The knowledge gap from the literature review showed a lack of high-resolution experimental data for scaling of PCCS and validation of computational fluid dynamics tools. In addition, the presently available test data are inconsistent due to unscaled geometric and varying physics conditions. These inconsistencies lead to inadequate test data benchmarking. To fill this research gap, this study developed three scaled (different diameters) condensing test sections with annular cooling for scale testing and analysis. This facility considered saturated steam as the working fluid with noncondensable gases like nitrogen and helium in different mass fractions. This facility also used a precooler unit for inlet steam conditioning and a postcooler unit for condensate cooling. The high fidelity sensors, instruments, and data acquisition systems are installed and calibrated. Finally, facility safety analysis and shakedown tests are performed.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Condensation Heat Transfer; Passive Containment Cooling; Scaled Test; SMR

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2021 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2021