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CFD Study of Heat Exchangers Applied in Brayton Cycles: a Case Study in Supercritical Condition Using Carbon Dioxide as Working Fluid

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The need to improve operational cost of power generation cycles has led to the realization of numerous researches related to the study of Brayton Cycles, as well as its components performance, in order to find a better way to satisfy the growing and the current energy demand, in addition to the implementation of technologies that can guarantee the least environmental impact. In the present study, CFD analyses of heat exchangers applied in Supercritical Brayton Cycles using Carbon Dioxide as working fluid have been performed, in order to determine the better condition that favor heat transfer, considered the development and the design of geometrical configuration that improves the fluid thermal behavior inside of the exchanger. The study is presented from the first and second law of thermodynamics, and the effects of operating parameters in two Brayton cycle configurations are analyzed: a) Simple Brayton Cycle and b) Main Compressor with partial intercooling (MC) Brayton cycle configuration. The effect of temperature, pressure, and another parameter like Reynolds number of the fluid inside the exchanger and cycle behavior are presented. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) study is carried out in the PCHE (Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger) in order to investigate the behavior of this component during the operation of the cycle. Three geometrical configurations of the PCHE have been analyzed. The result shows that Zig-Zag configuration of 32.5° model has better behavior, due to its good performance at the time of heat transfer and lower pressure drop during the fluid flow. The study allows potentiating the application of this type of cycles in industrial applications.
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CFD; Brayton Cycle; Efficiency; Heat Exchanger; Supercritical

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