• HTTR;
  • natural convection;
  • thermal radiation;
  • heat transfer;
  • high temperature gas;
  • two vertical concentric cylinders;
  • Rayleigh number;
  • Nusselt number;
  • experiment;
  • numerical analysis


Water cooling panels have been adopted as the vessel cooling system of the High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) to cool the reactor core indirectly by natural convection and thermal radiation. In order to investigate the heat transfer characteristics of high temperature gas in a vertical annular space between the reactor pressure vessel and cooling panels of the HTTR, we carried out experiments and numerical analyses on natural convection heat transfer coupled with thermal radiation heat transfer in an annulus between two vertical concentric cylinders with the inner cylinder heated and the outer cylinder cooled. In the present experiments, Rayleigh number based on the height of the annulus ranged from 2.0 × 107 to 5.4 × 107 for helium gas and from 1.2 × 109 to 3.5 × 109 for nitrogen gas. The numerical results were in good agreement with the experimental ones regarding the surface temperatures of the heating and cooling walls. As a result of the experiments and the numerical analyses, the heat transfer coefficient of natural convection coupled with thermal radiation was obtained as functions of Rayleigh number, radius ratio, and the temperatures and emissivities of the heating and cooling wall surfaces. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Heat Trans Asian Res, 34(5): 293–308, 2005; Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI 10.1002/htj.20070