A fusion energy experiment that is under construction, the ITER machine, has the mission to be the first device to demonstrate the technological feasibility of fusion energy and serve as the primary step towards commercialization of fusion reactors. The ITER machine and future fusion energy machines will require a continuous supply of hydrogenic fuel pellets for sustained operation. The purpose of this research is to provide the fundamental visco-plastic flow measurements as well as the numerical models that are necessary to design a hydrogenic pellet production system (PPS) to meet the ITER fueling specifications. A numerical model of a PPS for the ITER machine is presented and used to design a system that precools, liquefies, and solidifies hydrogenic material that is ultimately extruded and cut into fuel pellets. The specific components modeled within the PPS include a precooling heat exchanger, a liquefier, and a twin-screw solidifying extruder. Numerical models of these components are developed and used as design tools. The modeling results suggest that the performance of the PPS will be dictated by the heat transfer and viscous dissipation associated with the solid and solidifying hydrogen in the twin-screw extruder. This observation motivates experimental efforts that are aimed at precise measurement of these quantities. Steady-state measurements are presented of the dynamic shear stress and heat transfer during flow of solid hydrogen, deuterium, and neon in a Couette type viscometer cell. Thermal conductivity measurements in the stationary condition are compared with those reported in the literature. The measurements span a range of shear rates and extend from temperatures associated with the onset of solidification to sub-cooled solid states. The viscous dissipation is found to vary directly with the applied heat load from the onset of solidification to the point at which the solid begins to sub-cool. Flow of the sub-cooled solid exhibits behavior that is applicable to the Herschel-Bulkley visco-plastic model and correlations are developed based on this observation. Reductions of the shear stress with parameters of the Lennard-Jones 6-12 potential indicate a favorable prediction of tritium properties using the quantum law of corresponding states.
- Pub Date:
- Engineering, Mechanical;Engineering, Nuclear