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Research Papers: Nuclear Power

On the Performance of Very High Temperature Reactor Plants With Direct and Indirect Closed Brayton Cycles

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohamed S. El-Genk, Jean-Michel Tournier

Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies and Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 132(3), 032902 (Nov 24, 2009) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3126264 History: Received October 27, 2008; Revised October 27, 2008; Published November 24, 2009; Online November 24, 2009

The performance of very high temperature reactor plants with direct and indirect closed Brayton cycles (CBCs) is compared and the effects of the molecular weight of the CBC working fluid on the number of stages and sizes of the axial flow, single shaft compressor and turbine are investigated. The working fluids considered are helium (4 g/mole), He–Xe, and HeN2 binary mixtures (15 g/mole). Also investigated are the effects of using low and high pressure compressors with intercooling, instead of a single compressor, and changing the reactor exit temperature from 700°C to 950°C on the plant thermal efficiency, the CBC pressure ratio, and the number of stages in and size of the turbomachines. For plants with direct CBCs, the effect of cooling the reactor pressure vessel with He bled off at the exit of the compressor is also investigated. The present analyses are performed for a reactor thermal power of 600 MW, shaft rotation speed of 3000 rpm, and intermediate heat exchanger temperature pinch of 50°C.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Direct and indirect closed Brayton cycles

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Figure 2

Velocity triangles for turbine and compressor

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Figure 3

Turbine and compressor blade cascades

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Figure 4

Blade profile with parabolic-arc camberline

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Figure 5

Effect of RPV cooling on performance of direct He-CBC VHTR plants

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Figure 6

Direct and indirect He-CBC VHTR plants without RPV cooling

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Figure 7

Indirect CBC VHTR plants without RPV cooling

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Figure 8

Number of stages in turbomachine with He, He–Xe, and He–N2 indirect-CBCs

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Figure 9

Comparison of the size and dimensions of single-shaft turbomachine with intercooling

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