Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NanoFluids_in_SMART_Reactor
NanoFluids in SMART Reactor Fuel Rod
Dr. Mahmud E. Elgohary/ Eng. Rami M. Saeed/ Eng. Mohammad
T. Bani Ahmad
Abstract & Objectives Materials & Methods
A Nanofluid is a fluid containing nanometer-sized particles, called nanoparticles. These fluids are
engineered colloidal suspensions of nanoparticles in a base fluid. The nanoparticles used in nanofluids are
typically made of metals, oxides, carbides, or carbon nanotubes. Common base fluids include water, ethylene
glycol and oil.
Cooling is one of the most important technical challenges facing many diverse industries, including
microelectronics, transportation, solid-state lighting, and manufacturing. The use of solid particles as an additive
suspended into the base fluid is technique for the heat transfer enhancement. Improving the thermal conductivity
is the key idea to improve the heat transfer characteristics of conventional fluids. Since a solid metal has a larger
thermal conductivity than a base fluid, suspending metallic solid fine particles into the base fluid is expected to
improve the thermal conductivity of that fluid.
The figure below shows a quenching experiment made by inserting a hot rod into water, the figure to the left is
water only and the figure to the right is water nanofluid.
Undergoing research is investigating the potential use of nanofluids in
Nuclear Reactors as they have proven to have a significant effect on the
critical heat flux which would increase the efficiency of the heat removal
Observing the results of the above experiment, the goal of this project is to
simulate a Nuclear Fuel Rod of a SMART Reactor inside a coolant
channel, the coolant used is water and then a nanofluid made of water+ 3%
Aluminum Oxide nanoparticles. The results of this experiment will be used
to verify the benefit of using a nanofluid as a coolant and to obtain a
quantitative estimate of this benefit.
The software package used is COMSOL Multiphysics. The modeling approach revolves around dividing the 2m
long Nuclear Fuel Rod into 10 meshes 20 cm each. The output from the current mesh is used as input for the next
mesh, as shown in the figures below. The process is then repeated for the mentioned nanocoolant and then
temperature of the coolant is noted and recorded.
The Physics interfaces used in simulating this fuel rod are the Conjugate Heat & Mass the Transfer ,to model the
heat transfer from the fuel rod to the flowing coolant, and Laminar Two Phase ,to model to model the
nanoparticles as metallic spherical bubbles with high thermal conductivity as they are made of Aluminum Oxide
in this study. The design parameters are of the SMART Reactor design.
The figure below shows how bubbles form near a fuel rod in pure water (left) and how nanoparticles
agglomerate around a fuel rod, and thus drastically increasing thermal conductivity and critical heat flux.
550 650 750 850 950
Axial Temperature (K)
Total Fuel Cost-Saving for Different prices
Total Fuel Cost
Fuel Mass Saving and Power Enhancement
Normal Reactor Nano-Reactor
Coolant water Nano-Fluid
Pressure/ MPa 15 Specific Enthaply 15 Specific Enthaply
Core Inlet Temp./ °C
Core Outlet Temp./ °C
∆ H 159.82 359.55
Energy ( Mega Watt ) 334.02 751.46
Energy Per Year/ Joule 1.05E+13 2.37E+13
Energy Per Year/ Mev 6.58E+28 1.48E+29
# of Fissions Per Year 3.29E+26 7.41E+26
# of U-235 Particles 3.29E+26 7.41E+26
Avogadro's # 6.02E+23 6.02E+23
Number of Moles 546.62 1229.77
Mass of U-235 utilized/g 128456.39 288995.13
Mass of U-235
utilized/Kg 128.46 289.00
Power Increasing 224.98%
Mass of U-235 Gained/Kg 160.5387403
Mass of U 4.8% Gained/Kg 3344.557091
The use of nanofluids has proven to have significant effect on increasing the amount of heat
extracted from the nuclear fuel rod as evident by the temperature difference across the
coolant channel. The difference across the SMART reactor channel is estimated to be
around 30 °C using water as a coolant and 57.8 °C when the coolant is nanofluid
(water+Al2O3 3%), such increase in temperature difference at a pressure of 15 MPa
amounts to a large amount of heat extracted from the fuel rods. The amount of heat
extracted from the rod can be determined by calculating the enthalpy of the coolants. The
results show a 225% increase in the heat extracted, which is almost equal to obtaining
another reactor by just using nanofluids!
This additional amount of heat extracted after converting it to energy and fissions per year
will help us determine the mass of uranium saved by using nanofluids, and thus how the
increased thermal efficiency of nanofluids has impacted economy of the reactor. This is
shown by the paragraph and is based on the low, nominal, and high prices of uranium.
Theor. Model Comsol Model Theor. Model
Ligh water Ligh water
Temp. Temp. Temp. Temp.
K °C K °C K °C K °C
10.0 916.4 643.4
outlet 626.5 353.5 601.6 328.6
inlet 621.2 348.2 596.4 323.4
9.0 908.7 635.7
outlet 621.2 348.2 596.4 323.4
inlet 612.8 339.8 591.9 318.9
8.0 885.8 612.8
outlet 612.8 339.8 591.9 318.9
inlet 600.7 327.7 587.8 314.8
7.0 849.7 576.7
outlet 605.4 332.4 587.8 314.8
inlet 595.9 322.9 583.9 310.9
6.0 803.6 530.6
outlet 597.9 324.9 583.9 310.9
inlet 591.3 318.3 578.6 305.6
5.0 699.2 426.2
outlet 591.1 318.1 578.6 305.6
inlet 586.9 313.9 572.5 299.5
4.0 650.5 377.5
outlet 582.1 309.1 572.5 299.5
inlet 575.4 302.4 571.0 298.0
3.0 610.3 337.3
outlet 575.4 302.4 571.0 298.0
inlet 571.6 298.6 570.0 297.0
2.0 582.2 309.2
outlet 571.6 298.6 570.0 297.0
inlet 569.5 296.5 568.9 295.9
1.0 568.7 295.7
outlet 569.5 296.5 568.9 295.9
inlet 568.7 295.7 568.7 295.7
347.7 57.8 32.9 30.5
Why IMAN1 ???
The introduction of supercomputing will have numerous advantages, some of which:
1- The ability to increase meshing complexity and thus increasing overall accuracy and
reliability of results.
2- Drastic decrease in computational time, which implies that more room will be
allowed for development, the model that ran for over two hours on our personal
laptops now take around six minutes.
3- The ability to increase diversity and complexity of model, by simulating different
nanofluids at different concentrations.
1. S. J. Kim, I. C. Bang, J. Buongiorn, The Enhancement of the Critical Heat Flux in Water-Based Nanofluids for
Applications in Nuclear Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
2. Status report 77 - System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART).