Master thesis in concentrated solar power: CFD simulation of a Sodium/He heat exchanger

  • chair:Master thesis in concentrated solar power: CFD simulation of a Sodium/He heat exchanger
  • type:Master Thesis
  • time:immediately
  • place:

    Dr. Alexandru Aurelian Onea ( und Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Ruck (

  • Liquid metals are characterized by excellent heat transfer properties compared to other heat transfer media. Due to their high thermal conductivity and allowable maximum temperatures for single phase conditions, high wall heat flux densities and enthalpy fluxes can be achieved in heat exchangers under high temperature conditions. Thus, they are a distinguished heat transfer media in receivers of concentrating solar power plants. The heat generated by the solar thermal energy in the receiver can either be directly transferred to a Brayton-cycle via a liquid-metal/gas heat exchanger, or indirectly by a secondary circuit transferred to steam circuit. To equalize the fluctuating heat input from solar radiation, the liquid metal can be temporarily stored in thermal liquid metal heat storage units and provide heat for the primary or secondary circuit as needed.

    Within the scope of the work, the numerical model of a liquid-metal He-tube bundle heat exchanger intended for experimental studies is to be developed. For this purpose, the relevant design and model parameters will first be determined, taking into account the thermal-hydraulic boundary conditions in the sodium running KASOLA test facility of the INR. The constructive design will be derived on the basis of a parameter study, which will then be calculated in detail in a CFD study.


    The master thesis includes the following tasks:

    • Working in the field: Computational fluid dynamics, turbulence modelling, heat exchanger design, liquid metal flows, concentrated solar power plants
    • Layout and design of a liquid sodium/He tube and shell heat exchanger for different operation conditions
    • Geometry and numerical grid generation for CFD
    • CFD simulation and result evaluation
    • Writing the master thesis and presenting the results within a scientific colloquium


    Duration: 6 Month

    Starting Date:  immediately

    Institute of Neutron Physics and Reactor Technology (INR)
    Group: Facility Design, System Dynamics and Safety

    Contact and Supervisor: Dr. Alexandru Aurelian Onea ( and Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Ruck (