New infrastructures – The KASOLA facility

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SESAME Newsletter #1 (March 2016) 

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The KASOLA facility is around 12 m in height (see image below) and, with the exception of the sodium storage tank; it shelters all components inside a steel secured building. The facility needs a total electric power of about 2 MW, of which about 800 kW are available as heating power for the experiments. It is foreseen to operate the facility in a temperature range of 150 – 550 °C. The basic loop of the facility contains the main components such as the magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) pump, the sodium-air heat exchanger, the magnetic flow meter for controlling the sodium flow rate, the expansion tank and the sodium precipitator. In by-pass to the basic loop a cold trap will be used for sodium purification and a Coriolis flow meter for calibration. To allow a maximal flexibility of the facility with respect to the considered large spectrum of tests, the basic loop contains a versatile test section. Having an available height of up to 6 m above the MHD pump, the versatile test section is highly flexible for different flow configurations. Multiple test ports are foreseen for different experiments: operational studies of a high temperature sodium storage tank for solar applications, free surface flows and investigations of new safety and shut-down systems for innovative reactor concepts.

Summary of the components:

  • Storage tank with a volume of 8 m³ containing 7 m³ of sodium and an argon gas cover.
  • Metallic filter at the outlet of the storage tank to avoid the transport of solid particles from the storage into the basic loop.
  • Magneto-hydrodynamic pump of the ALIP design (annular linear induction pump) with a power output of 75 kW delivering a maximal pressure of 6 bar and a flow rate of 37 kg/s.
  • Cold-trap for the purification of the sodium by filtering e.g. sodium oxide and corrosion products.
  • Sodium-Air heat exchanger with maximal thermal output of 970 kW.
  • Expansion tank located at the top of the basic loop with a volume of 0.3 m³.
  • Valves to bypass parts of the basic loop, to allow a release of the sodium into the storage tank, etc.
  • Piping system with a developed length of roughly 37 m and an inner diameter of 109.1 mm (DN100).
  • Coriolis and magnetic flow meter for the mass flow rate measurement (piping diameter in the magnetic flow meter is reduced to 78 mm).
  • Trace heating around the pipes and tanks to heat from room temperature to 150°C and to compensate for heat losses.
  • Building with an inner diameter of 7.5 m and a height of 12 m made of several cylindrical steel segments housing the loop.

Within the SESAME project, the KASOLA facility will be used to create experimental data prototypical to the flow in components with changing flow area e.g. inlets/outlets of heat exchangers, tanks and piping systems that are common for every reactor type and other energy and process engineering facility. Such data can be used for validation of simulation approaches.

Especially for the application of liquid metals, almost no experimental data are available up till now. Therefore, KASOLA is expected to provide unique data to the liquid metal thermal hydraulics community.