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Optimizing Natural Convection from a Heat Generating Cylinder for Dry Cask Storage Applications

Clifford, Corey (2015) Optimizing Natural Convection from a Heat Generating Cylinder for Dry Cask Storage Applications. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Although high-density fuel pool storage provides an acceptable method for housing used fuel assemblies, a number of concerns have triggered a call for the reduction of current fuel pool inventories by mandating a maximum permissible time in which fuel assemblies may be placed in wet storage before transfer to passive, dry storage conditions. In anticipation of an accelerated fuel transfer program, the principal goal of this investigation is to develop a fundamental understanding of the physics associated with the buoyancy-induced flow around dry casks in an effort to improve the heat rejection capability of the overall system. The aim of this investigation is to minimize the amount of active pool cooling necessary by maximizing the thermal capacity of dry storage configurations. The natural convection flow through horizontally-oriented dry cask systems is numerically investigated using the commercial FLUENT software package. A simplified geometry of a heated horizontal cylinder confined between two, vertical adiabatic walls is employed to evaluate the coupled heat and mass transfer. Two different treatments of the cylinder surface are investigated: constant temperature (isothermal) and constant heat flux (isoflux). To quantify the effect of wall distance on the effective heat transfer from the cylinder surface, 18 different confinement ratios are selected in varying increments from 1.125 to 18.0. Each of these geometrical configurations are evaluated at seven distinct Rayleigh numbers ranging from 102 to 105. Using the largest confinement ratio as a point of comparison, the results of the computational models are validated to within 5% of previously established heat transfer correlations for free cylinders. Maximum values of the surface-averaged Nusselt number are observed at an optimum confinement ratio for each analyzed Rayleigh number. Relative to the pseudo-unconfined cylinder at the largest confinement ratio, a 54.2% improvement in the heat transfer from an isothermal cylinder surface is observed at the optimum wall spacing for the highest analyzed Rayleigh number. Likewise, an analogous improvement of 46.6% is determined for the same conditions with a constant heat flux surface.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Clifford, Coreycec49@pitt.eduCEC49
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKimber, Markmlk53@pitt.eduMLK53
Committee MemberAumiller, Daviddla12@pitt.eduDLA12
Committee MemberJana,
Date: 28 January 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 December 2013
Approval Date: 28 January 2015
Submission Date: 26 November 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: CFD, decay heat, dry cask storage, heat transfer, natural convection
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 16:27
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:25


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