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Coupled heat transfer and thermodynamic optimization of supercritical CO2 heat exchangers

Project description

New experimental approaches to predict heat flow in supercritical CO2 Brayton power cycles

While conventional power plants produce power from turbines using water or steam as the working fluid, supercritical CO2 Brayton cycles use CO2 that is in a supercritical state. Heat exchangers play a crucial role in the efficiency of these cycles. However, the highly variable properties of CO2 flowing through the components of such systems make heat transfer difficult to predict. The EU-funded CHT-sCO2 project will combine, for the first time, advanced optical diagnostic techniques and infrared thermography to understand the flow and heat transfer characteristics of supercritical fluid flows. Furthermore, it will develop a method to predict the coupled heat transfer on both sides of a supercritical CO2 heat exchanger.


The clean energy and its efficient utilization are effective solutions for the energy security, health and environmental pollution, which are highly promoted in Work Programme 2018-2020. The supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle has a great potential to generate clean power from sources such as solar energy and safer new-generation nuclear reactors. Heat exchangers play a crucial role on the cycle efficiency, safety and stability of the system. However, the sharply variable properties of CO2 through the components make heat transfer an extremely complex process, which is far from being fully comprehended or well-predicted, and seriously challenge conventional heat exchanger design and optimization theories and tools, thereby hindering further system development, implementation and uptake. To address these issues, this proposal attempts to perform first-of-a-kind measurements using the advanced optical (laser-based) diagnostic techniques and IR thermography simultaneously, which will provide previously-unavailable data and develop advanced tools for the prediction of the flow and heat transfer characteristics of supercritical fluids. Furthermore, a new optimization design method will be developed based on the piecewise design method and thermodynamic theory which can treat the coupled heat transfer problem on both sides of a heat exchanger, overcoming the problems with the existing single-side approaches. This action aims to deepen our essential understanding of flow and heat transfer of supercritical fluids, and develop novel coupled heat transfer enhancement theory. This proposal will be supervised by Prof. Christos Markides at Imperial College London. The host’s academic standing and expertise, and the innovative nature of the project, ensure this action not only provides an excellent pathway for knowledge transfer, but also provides a unique opportunity for my further maturity, which is instrumental to my achieving my career goal of leading my own research team.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
South kensington campus exhibition road
SW7 2AZ London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00