Investigating the use of nanofluids to improve high heat flux cooling systems
Nanofluid coolants have the potential to significantly enhance the thermal performance of high heat flux devices in a fusion reactor. No major shortcomings have so far been identified, but there is a need to quantify nanofluid behaviour and effects in fusion-relevant geometries over a prolonged period. An experiment has been prepared which addresses this need. It compares a sustained nanofluid flow in a HyperVapotron with an identical flow loop containing pure water. Procedures have been demonstrated for nanofluid synthesis and quality assessment, and fluid sample analysis methods have been described which will measure the rate of nanoparticle clustering, particle settling and surface erosion. The end results from this long-running experiment are expected to allow an initial assessment of the suitability of nanofluids as coolants in a fusion reactor.