A new model is presented for the prediction of the critical heat flux (CHF) of subcooled flow boiling based on a liquid-sublayer dryout mechanism, i.e., the dryout of a thin, liquid layer beneath an intermittent vapor blanket due to the coalescence of small bubbles. The model focuses on the analysis of the CHF in subcooled flow boiling under conditions of very high mass flux and liquid subcooling, typical of fusion reactor thermal-hydraulic design, and is characterized by the absence of empirical constants always present in earlier models. Peripheral nonuniform heating and/or twisted-tape inserts are accounted for in the model, which was originally developed for uniform heating and straight flow. The simultaneous occurrence of the two events is also well predicted by the model. Although initially formulated for operating conditions typical of the thermal-hydraulic design of fusion reactor high-heat-flux components, the model is proven to be able to satisfactorily predict the CHF under more general conditions, provided local thermodynamic conditions of the bulk flow at the CHF are sufficiently far from the saturated state.
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