A methodology to investigate the contribution of conduction and radiation heat transfer to the effective thermal conductivity of packed graphite pebble beds, including the wall effect

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • SDG 12
  • Abstract:

    The effective thermal conductivity represents the overall heat transfer characteristics of a packed bed of spheres and must be considered in the analysis and design of pebble bed gas-cooled reactors. During depressurized loss of forced cooling conditions the dominant heat transfer mechanisms for the passive removal of decay heat are radiation and conduction. Predicting the value of the effective thermal conductivity is complex since it inter alia depends on the temperature level and temperature gradient through the bed, as well as the pebble packing structure. The effect of the altered packing structure in the wall region must therefore also be considered. Being able to separate the contributions of radiation and conduction allows a better understanding of the underlying phenomena and the characteristics of the resultant effective thermal conductivity. This paper introduces a purpose-designed test facility and accompanying methodology that combines physical measurements with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations to separate the contributions of radiation and conduction heat transfer, including the wall effects. Preliminary results obtained with the methodology offer important insights into the trends observed in the experimental results and provide a better understanding of the interplay between the underlying heat transfer phenomena