Validation of Universal Cryogenic Flow Boiling Correlations in Thermal Desktop for Liquid Hydrogen

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Developing accurate models of two-phase cryogenic flow will reduce risk and reduce margins for future NASA vehicles such as the Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system. Currently there is a need for more accurate, direct cryogenic data-anchored models for various boiling and two-phase phenomena. The focus of the current work is on modeling steady state cryogenic flow boiling in the transfer line that connects a propellant storage tank to an engine or customer receiver tank. This paper presents Thermal Desktop model validation results against several historical liquid hydrogen (LH2) heated tube experiments that cover a wide range of inlet conditions, mass flux, and heat flux. New universal cryogenic flow boiling correlations were recently developed and anchored to the largest cryogenic flow boiling database assembled in the world to-date. The new universal correlations are patched together and implemented into Thermal Desktop to compare model performance against the built-in flow boiling correlations. Axial wall temperature predictions as a function of preponderant parameters like heat flux, mass flux, inlet pressure, inlet quality, tube diameter, etc. using the two sets of flow boiling correlations are compared against the experimental data. Overall, the Thermal Desktop model with the new universal cryogenic flow boiling correlations demonstrates an improvement in predictive performance over the Thermal Desktop model using built-in correlations for both wall temperature and location of critical heat flux compared to the data for LH2 flow boiling in heated tubes.

Publication Title

AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024