Investigation of Natural Convection Heat Transfer in a Unique Scaled-Down Dual-Channel Facility


Multiphase Reactors Engineering and Applications Laboratory (mReal) has designed and constructed a scaled-down dual-channel facility to investigate plenum-to-plenum natural circulation heat transfer through two channels for coolant flow that would be encountered during a loss of flow accident in the prismatic modular reactor (PMR). Heat transfer characterization of the current facility has been investigated under different upper plenum and cooled channel outer surface temperatures using sophisticated flush mounted heat transfer sensors. Results show a reduction in the values of local heat-transfer coefficient and Nusselt number along the heated channel with increasing outer surface temperatures. One significant observation was the heat transfer reversal close to heated channel exit, where the heat flows from gas to the channel wall. This flow reversal is attributed to recirculation at the heated channel exit to the upper plenum. The average heat transfer results, when compared with previous literature, showed a similar qualitative trend.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Second Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Atmospheric Temperature; Channel Flow; Heat Convection; Natural Convection; Surface Properties; American Institute of Chemical Engineers; Average Heat Transfers; Dual Channel; Flow Reversals; Local Heat Transfer Coefficient; Modular Reactors; Multi-Phase Reactor; Natural Circulation; Heat Transfer; Dual-Channel Facility; Heat Transfer Characterization; Prismatic Modular Reactor (PMR)

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0001-1541; 1547-5905

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2017