Date of Award

Fall 2023

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Sandra Boetcher

Committee Co-Chair

Mark Ricklick

First Committee Member

Rafael Rodriguez

College Dean

Jim Gregory


Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) sees heightened heat transfer characteristics near its critical point due to its drastically changing thermophysical properties. Conventional single phase heat transfer theory was not developed to capture this nonlinear variation in properties and cannot predict the heat transfer characteristics of sCO2 to a practical level useful for design. To delve deeper into the behavior near the critical point and shed light on this crucial phenomenon, a state-of-the-art closed flow loop was developed. This setup enabled convective heat transfer experiments of sCO2 under diverse boundary conditions and test section geometries. Key components of the loop include the test section, constant temperature bath, pump, flow meter, and pre-heater, all designed and rigorously validated to ensure precise experimental conditions within this research. The loop was validated from previous work whose experimental parameters and test section dimensions were matched establishing a solid foundation for reliable and consistent results. The experi- mental results were then analyzed and compared with available correlations and models in the literature. The findings of this thesis contribute to a better understanding of convec- tive heat transfer characteristics of sCO2 near its critical point and give valuable insights for the design and optimization of cutting-edge energy systems based on sCO2, further driving the frontiers of sustainable energy technology.