Experimental and Computational Investigations of Heat Transfer Components for Molten Salt Reactors and Fusion Device First Wall Heat Removal

with Lane Carasik (He/Him/His)
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
Virginia Commonwealth University

Friday, August 26, 2022
10:10 to 11:00 am
Virginia Tech, Goodwin Hall, room 440

Advanced energy systems require heat transfer equipment (e.g. heat exchangers and pumps) to transfer heat from heat generation components to power conversion components. Improved economics (capital, operating & maintenance costs) of these systems can be achieved through reduced equipment size, coolant mass, etc. In this talk, the current and future efforts by Dr. Carasik's FAST Research Group to investigate heat transfer enhancements, molten salt pumps, and advanced process instrumentation in support of the deployment of molten salt reactors and fusion devices to address these objectives. These efforts include experiments leveraging surrogate fluids for molten salts to observe relevant thermal hydraulics behavior and deploying novel medical imaging technology (PEPT) and embedded sensors to acquire needed flow field measurements for pebble beds. To address novel designs, Dr. Carasik’s team has implementing additive manufacturing to produce full length test sections needed for thermal-fluids experiments needed for MSR heat exchanger design and analysis. The FAST research group supports deployment with extensive computational activities involving the CFD code, Nek5000/NekRS, to learn the thermal hydraulic performance of twisted tape-inserts, twisted elliptical tubes, and helically grooved tubing as heat transfer enhancements for in-core and secondary salt heat exchangers. Additionally, the FAST research group has activities involving fusion first wall heat removal to explore existing design tools needed for the ITER project and future DEMO projects.

Lane Carasik (He/Him/His) is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Carasik is also the Director of the Fluids in Advanced Systems and Technology (FAST) research group that focuses on thermal hydraulics research in advanced energy systems including nuclear fusion/fission and concentrated solar power. Between January 2021 to June 2021, he was the Director of the VCU High Performance Research Computing core facility as a part-time administrative role providing strategic leadership for growing high performance computing needs. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Carasik was a Nuclear Thermal Fluids Engineer at Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation and before that, Kairos Power as a CFD & Thermal Fluids Engineer. Dr. Carasik is an Associate Editor of the American Nuclear Society Fusion Science and Technology Journal as well as a current External Affairs Committee and Diversity and Inclusion in ANS Committee member. Previously, he was on the Thermal Hydraulics Division Executive Committee and chair of the Diversity and Inclusion in ANS committee. Dr. Carasik has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lastly, he was a co-recipient of the 2020 ASME FED Moody and 2018 ASME CFD Best Paper Awards for work completed while employed at Kairos Power on a DOE GAIN Voucher.