Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Jamil A Khan


This thesis experimentally investigates the enhancement of single-phase heat transfer, frictional loss and pressure drop characteristics in a Single Heater Element Loop Tester (SHELT). The heater element simulates a single fuel rod for Pressurized Nuclear reactor. In this experimental investigation, the effect of the outer surface roughness of a simulated nuclear rod bundle was studied. The outer surface of a simulated fuel rod was created with a three-dimensional (Diamond-shaped blocks) surface roughness. The angle of corrugation for each diamond was 45 degrees. The length of each side of a diamond block is 1 mm. The depth of each diamond block was 0.3 mm. The pitch of the pattern was 1.614 mm. The simulated fuel rod had an outside diameter of 9.5 mm and wall thickness of 1.5 mm and was placed in a test-section made of 38.1 mm inner diameter, wall thickness 6.35 mm aluminum pipe.

The Simulated fuel rod was made of Nickel 200 and Inconel 625 materials. The fuel rod was connected to 10 KW DC power supply. The Inconel 625 material of the rod with an electrical resistance of 32.3 kilo-ohm was used to generate heat inside the test-section. The heat energy dissipated from the Inconel tube due to the flow of electrical current flows into the working fluid across the rod at constant heat flux conditions. The DI water was employed as working fluid for this experimental investigation. The temperature and pressure readings for both smooth and rough regions of the fuel rod were recorded and compared later to find enhancement in heat transfer coefficient and increment in the pressure drops. Tests were conducted for Reynold's Numbers ranging from 10e4 to 10e5. Enhancement in heat transfer coefficient at all Re was recorded. The maximum heat transfer co-efficient enhancement recorded was 86% at Re = 4.18e5. It was also observed that the pressure drop and friction factor increased by 14.7% due to the increased surface roughness.