IR thermography to help study reactors

SEPTEMBER 5, 2007--The Department of Gas and Diphasic Thermohydraulics at the CEA has selected a Cedip Infrared Systems (Croissy-Beaubourg, France) camera system to study thermal transfers.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2007--The Department of Gas and Diphasic Thermohydraulics at the CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique), a French government-funded research organization devoted to the development of new technologies in the fields of energy, heath, information, and communication, has selected a Cedip Infrared Systems (Croissy-Beaubourg, France) Silver 480M IR camera system to study thermal transfers in pipe walls under high-flow, high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. In a typical gas-cooled reactor the temperature of the fluid lies between 100°C with 350°C, and the temperature of pipes walls varies between 20°C and 800°C. Thermal transfer on pipe-wall surfaces determines the performance and long-term behavior of the reactor.

To design and build more efficient, reliable, and safe reactors it is therefore essential to be able to precisely measure pipe-wall temperatures. The Silver 480M was selected by the CEA as it was an affordable, high-performance 3--5-μm IR camera offering the sensitivity and high-frequency acquisition needed.

The CEA developed two test rigs that use the camera to measure pipe-wall temperatures, heat-exchange coefficients, and characterize boiling processes. The first test rig, comprising a heated cell with a sapphire window (transparent in the 3-5-μm region), has enabled the camera to visualize and thermally characterize the fluid boiling process. The second test rig, comprising a heated Inconel wall and a heat extractor charged to extract the power generated by the induced Joule effect in the wall, has enabled the camera to measure transient thermal transfers in the wall (2000°C/s).

For more information go to www.cedip-infrared.com.

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