Coiled Tube Air Heater (CTAH) Models

Current research is focused on developing accurate models of the CTAH.  A computer model is being developed that simulates the temperature distribution of the salt and air as well as calculating the effectiveness of the CTAH.  This model will use computational fluid dynamic and heat transfer equations to develop an accurate simulation of how the air and flibe salt will flow through this heat exchanger.  This model will also make it possible to make parametric changes to the geometry of the CTAH.  The model can then be used to find the exact geometry that both maximizes the effectiveness of the CTAH while also minimizing the total size.

Other research will include redesigning the CTAH for other power conversion cycles.  The primary focus after designing for a molten salt to air interface will be to redesign the CTAH to be used in a supercritical CO2 cycle.  In this design, the liquid coolant flowing inside the tubes would be liquid sodium and the gas that is being heated up is supercritical CO2.