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An axisymmetric 2-D mathematical model was established and the volume of fluid +method was adopted to numerically investigate the condensation heat transfer process of alkali metal in the alkali metal thermal to electric converter (AMTEC) porous wick condenser. The steady-state physical fields of working medium were obtained and the impacts of some relevant parameters including geometrical and operational parameters on condensation heat transfer characteristics were discussed. The results show that the thickness of the liquid sodium increases along the radial direction. The temperature distribution in liquid phase is approximately linear. The condensation rate at the phasechange interface decreases along the radial direction, and the cold end heat flux, q, increases initially and then decreases along the radial direction. The porous wick condenser has very limited self-adaptive ability once the mass flow rate, M , exceeds in some critical value. In addition, there is a corresponding T for a certain M to ensure the w in stable phase-change interface. The performance of AMTEC can be enhanced by reducing the distance between artery and cell wall.
PAPER REVISED: 2018-02-04
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2018-02-11
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© 2019 Society of Thermal Engineers of Serbia. Published by the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International licence