Modeling of ITER TF cooling system through 2D thermal analyses and enthalpy balance

Ruggero Forte, Francesca Cau, Alfredo Portone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The winding pack of the ITER Toroidal Field (TF) coils is composed of 134 turns of Nb3Sn Cable in Conduit Conductor (CICCs) wound in 7 double pancakes and cooled by supercritical helium (He) at cryogenic temperature. The cooling of the Stainless Steel (SS) case supporting the winding pack is guaranteed by He circulation in 74 parallel channels. A 2D approach to compute the temperature distribution in the ITER TF winding pack is here proposed. The TF is divided in 32 poloidal segments, for each segment the corresponding 2D model is built and a thermal analysis is performed applying the corresponding nuclear heating computed with MCNP code considering the latest design updates, such as thickness increase of the blanket shield module. The Heat Transfer coefficient (HTC) of the He flowing in the CICC and in the cooling channels of the SS case is computed with Dittus Boelter correlation at the nominal inlet pressure of 6 bar. The He is assumed to enter the coil at 4.5 K in the lower terminal junction, and then the bulk temperature in all the CICCs in each of the 32 segments is calculated by means of enthalpy balance between segments, considering the actual direction of He circulation, i.e. clockwise or counter-clockwise in neighboring pancakes. The He properties needed to compute the HTC, such as viscosity, specific heat and thermal conductivity, are also varied using the same strategy. With these assumptions, He temperatures close to 5.7 K are computed, due to the high values of nuclear heating (which is estimated as high as 21.58 kW in the 18 TF). In the paper, the methodology is presented and the results are discussed in detail. Further parametric analyses are also presented to show the impact of the inlet temperature and of the nuclear heating on the temperature distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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