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Experimental facilities and measurement techniques for gas cooling research and technology at INR

At INR, several gas loops and pressurized air strand are used for fluid dynamics research and component testing. A broad range for massflow, pressure and temperature is covered. Some loops are specialized for high gas purity (helium) applications, others allow the injection on particles needed as tracers for optical measurement techniques:

Helium (and other pure gases) loops

 Facility  Pressure  Massflow  Objectives and capabilities
 FLEX (He)  0.4 MPa  12g/s  Minichannels, pebble beds, gas purification
 HELOKA-LP  0.6 MPa  120g/s  Component testing for IFMIF
 HELOKA-HP (He)  11 MPa  1400g/s  Component testing for TBM, TDM

Air loops / strands

 Facility  Pressure  Massflow  Objectives and capabilities
 FLEX (Air)  0.4 MPa  17g/s  Minichannels, pebble beds, gas purification
 GRICAMAN  0.6MPa  430g/s  TBM manifolds mockup
 L-STAR  0.3MPa  660g/s  Fuel rod mockup w/ roughness
 HELOKA-LP (Air)  1.3MPa  850g/s  Component testing for IFMIF

The HELOKA-LP low pressure helium gas testing facility

All gas loops are equiped with the common instrumentation for massflow, pressures and temperatures of the gas at significant control points, and have a data aquisition and/or control system. Additional PCs with LabView environment (or instrument-specific software) can be used for data aquisition. The following measurement techniques are employed:

Conventional techniques

  • High channel count thermocouple aquisition for testsection
  • Pressure scanners for high pressure port number on testsection
  • Deformation measurements (strain, deflection)

Flow structure measurements

  • DANTEC 0D-2C Laser-Doppler-Anemometer system (400mW Ar-Ion laser)
  • High-resolution 1D-1C Laser-Doppler profile sensor (6W Ar-Ion laser)
  • Particle Image Velocimetry 2D-2C (PIV) (700mJ Nd:YAG, 2Mpx CCD)
  • Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) w/ acetone tracers
  • Hot wire anemometer (CTA) 3x velocity, 1x temperature


  • High speed cameras
  • Thermal imaging
  • PIV double shot cameras + timer

Gas analytics

  • Quadrupole mass spectrometers at HELOKA-LP and HELOKA-HP
  • In situ measurement of oxygen and water vapour at FLEX
  • Infrared spectrometer

Application of Laser-Doppler-Anemometry for minichannel gas flow measurements at the ITHEX/FLEX facility