Two-phase pressure drops in a helically coiled steam generator

Lorenzo Santini*, Andrea Cioncolini, Carlo Lombardi, Marco Ricotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


An experimental investigation regarding two-phase diabatic pressure drops inside a helically coiled heat exchanger have been carried out at SIET thermo-hydraulics labs in Piacenza (Italy). The experimental campaign is part of a wide program of study of the IRIS innovative reactor steam generator. The test section consists of an AISI 316 stainless steel tube, 32 m length, 12.53 mm inner diameter, curved in helical shape with a bend radius of 0.5 m and a helix pitch of 0.8 m, resulting in a total height of the steam generator tube of 8 m. The explored operating conditions for two-phase flow experiences range from 192 to 824 kg/m2 s for the mass flux, from 0 to 1 for the quality, from 1.1 to 6.3 MPa for the pressure, from 50 to 200 kW/m2 for the heat fluxes. A frictional two-phase pressure drops correlation, based on an energy balance of the two-phase mixture and including the 940 experimental points, is proposed. Comparison with existing correlations shows the difficulty in predicting two-phase pressure drops in helical coil steam generators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4926-4939
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number19-20
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Coils
  • Helically coiled pipes
  • Pressure drops
  • Steam generator
  • Two-phase flow


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