Critical heat flux (CHF) is one of the most significant thermal criteria for nuclear reactor design and safety in subcooled flow boiling. The accurate prediction capabilities of the characteristic size of departure bubbles are crucial for predicting the net vapor generation point (NVG) and CHF. An experimental research facility was designed to determine the bubble departure diameter and subcooling at the net vapor generation point, not only for vertical flow boiling but also in any orientation between vertical and downward-facing horizontal. An improved force-balanced model is proposed to calculate the bubble departure diameter at the net vapor generation point to predict CHF in vertical subcooled flow boiling. The force-balance equation was solved numerically through iteration to calculate the bubble departure diameter using a novel MATLAB script. The net vapor generation point was modified using the bubble departure diameter obtained from the proposed model. The model agrees well with the experimental data. Finally, the modified departure diameter and NVG were applied to the liquid sublayer dryout model to predict the CHF on upward subcooled flow boiling. It was found that the model predicts the experimental CHF data with an average relative error of 7.17%.

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