Supercritical CO2

at the Institute of Nuclear Technology and Energy Systems

Research area supercritical CO2

Supercritical CO2 shows great potential as a future working fluid in power plants, refrigeration units plants and heat pumps. In comparison to application using sub-critical fluids heat transfer, it has advantageous physical properties, such as high density and high specific heat capacity. Furthermore, close to its critical point (Tcr = 31 °C, pcr = 7.4 MPa) there are anomalies in the physical properties that can significantly affect the heat transfer within a heat exchanger (so-called Enhanced or Detoriated Heat Transfer). Thus, the use of supercritical CO2 as working fluid allows relatively high system efficiencies at moderate investment costs. For this reason, there are already a lot of applications for supercritical CO2, e.g. refrigerant R744 in stationary air-conditioning systems.
Different experimental and numerical activities form the basis of this research area:


  • Heat transfer in single channels and pipes
  • Heat exchanger analyses


Numerical Simulations


System analyses

  • Feasibility study of a joule cycle with supercritical CO2 as working fluid to be used as self-propelling heat removal system in a boiling water reactor
  • Experimental investigation of a printed compact heat exchanger (PCHE)