Heat Transfer Correlations Between a Heated Surface and Liquid & Superfluid Helium : For Better Understanding of the Thermal Stability of the Superconducting Dipole Magnets in the LHC at CERN
This thesis is a study of the heat transfer correlations between a wire and liquid helium cooled to either 1.9 or 4.3 K. The wire resembles a part of a superconducting magnet used in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator currently being built at CERN. The magnets are cooled to 1.9 K and using helium as a coolant is very efficient, especially at extremely low temperatures since it then becomes a superfluid with an apparent infinite thermal conductivity. The cooling of the magnet is very important, since the superconducting wires need to be thermally stable.
Thermal stability means that a superconductive magnet can remain superconducting, even if a part of the magnet becomes normal conductive due to a temperature increase. This means that if heat is generated in a wire, it must be transferred to the helium by some sort of heat transfer mechanism, or along the wire or to the neighbouring wires by conduction. Since the magnets need to be superconductive for the operation of the particle accelerator, it is crucial to keep the wires cold. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the heat transfer mechanisms from the wires to the liquid helium.
The scope of this thesis was to describe the heat transfer mechanisms from a heater immersed in liquid and superfluid helium. By performing both experiments and simulations, it was possible to determine properties like heat transfer correlations, critical heat flux limits, and the differences between transient and steady-state heat flow. The measured values were in good agreement with values found in literature with a few exceptions. These differences could be due to measurement errors. A numerical program was written in Matlab and it was able to simulate the experimental temperature and heat flux response with good accuracy for a given heat generation.
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