Plate Fin Heat Exchanger Model with Axial Conduction and Variable Properties

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Future superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities, as part of Project X at Fermilab, will be cooled to superfluid helium temperatures by a cryogenic distribution system supplying cold supercritical helium. To reduce vapor fraction during the final Joule-Thomson (J-T) expansion into the superfluid helium cooling bath, counter-flow, plate-fin heat exchangers will be utilized. Due to their compact size and ease of fabrication, plate-fin heat exchangers are an effective option. However, the design of compact and high-effectiveness cryogenic heat exchangers operating at liquid helium temperatures requires consideration of axial heat conduction along the direction of flow, in addition to variable fluid properties. ... continued below

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8 pages

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Hansen, B.J.; White, M.J.; Klebaner, A. & /Fermilab June 10, 2011.

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Future superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities, as part of Project X at Fermilab, will be cooled to superfluid helium temperatures by a cryogenic distribution system supplying cold supercritical helium. To reduce vapor fraction during the final Joule-Thomson (J-T) expansion into the superfluid helium cooling bath, counter-flow, plate-fin heat exchangers will be utilized. Due to their compact size and ease of fabrication, plate-fin heat exchangers are an effective option. However, the design of compact and high-effectiveness cryogenic heat exchangers operating at liquid helium temperatures requires consideration of axial heat conduction along the direction of flow, in addition to variable fluid properties. Here we present a numerical model that includes the effects of axial conduction and variable properties for a plate fin heat exchanger. The model is used to guide design decisions on heat exchanger material choice and geometry. In addition, the J-T expansion process is modeled with the heat exchanger to analyze the effect of heat load and cryogenic supply parameters. A numerical model that includes the effects of axial conduction and variable properties for a plate fin heat exchanger was developed and the effect of various design parameters on overall heat exchanger size was investigated. It was found that highly conductive metals should be avoided in the design of compact JT heat exchangers. For the geometry considered, the optimal conductivity is around 3.5 W/m-K and can range from 0.3-10 W/m-K without a large loss in performance. The model was implemented with an isenthalpic expansion process. Increasing the cold side inlet temperature from 2K to 2.2 K decreased the liquid fraction from 0.856 to 0.839 which corresponds to a 0.12 g/s increase in supercritical helium supply needed to maintain liquid level in the cooling bath. Lastly, it was found that the effectiveness increased when the heat load was below the design value. Therefore, the heat exchanger should be sized on the high end of the required heat load.

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8 pages

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  • Presented at Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference CEC-ICMC 2011, Spokane, Washington, 13-17 June 2011

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-CONF-11-261-AD
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1019048
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833281

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 10, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Aug. 29, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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Hansen, B.J.; White, M.J.; Klebaner, A. & /Fermilab. Plate Fin Heat Exchanger Model with Axial Conduction and Variable Properties, article, June 10, 2011; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833281/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.