Experimental investigation on heat transfer characteristics in cryogenic chilldown of a helically coiled tube


Chilldown of transfer lines is an important phenomenon associated with cryogenic liquid transfer from the storage facility to the location of its intended application. Analysis of heat transfer characteristics during cryogenic chilldown of a helical coil is the focus of this study. In view of the ease in availability and handling compared to other cryogens, Liquid nitrogen is adopted. The cryogen was transmitted through copper helical test sections with 7.94 mm outer diameter, 0.81 mm wall thickness and having helix angles 4°, 6°, 8°, 10°, 12° and 16° with horizontal axes, at three different mass fluxes, that is, 66 kg/m2s, 86 kg/m2s and 102 kg/m2s under terrestrial gravity conditions. Temperature-time relationships were obtained and the results were compared with that of straight channels. The results of the experiment indicated that the chilldown time for coils of different helix angles were different at a given mass flux. Also, for a given helix angle, chilldown time varied inversely with mass flux. Results suggested the prospect of an optimum helix angle that can serve in minimizing the chilldown time, thereby reducing cryogenic liquid consumption. Finding correlations connecting heat transfer parameters in helical coils would enhance the scope of this study.

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C :

Specific heat, J (kg K)–1

d :

Diameter, m

L :

Length, m

g :

Acceleration due to gravity, ms–2

h :

Heat transfer coefficient, W(m2. K)–1

h fg :

Latent heat of vaporization, J(kgK)-1

m :

Mass of cryogen, kg

G :

Mass flux, kg (m2s)–1

q” :

Heat flux, Wm–2

r :

Radius, mm

T :

Temperature, K

t :

Time, s

\( \Delta {{T}} \) :

Wall super heat, K


Absolute viscosity, Pa s

\( \rho \) :

Density, kgm–3

\( \sigma \) :

Surface tension coefficient, Nm–1


Helix angle of the coil (0)


Critical heat flux


Leidenfrost point


Minimum heat flux


Onset of nucleate boiling






Inner surface of wall


Outer surface of wall


Parasitic heat load


Conductive heat load


Convective heat load


Radiative heat load

a :

Axial length


Saturation conditions




Leidenfrost point


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Authors would like to thank the Space Technology Laboratory in TKM College for Engineering for experimental set-up. They would also like to express gratitude for Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme Phase-II (TEQIP-II) promoted by National Project Implementation Unit, MHRD, Government of India for their support.

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Correspondence to Jesna Mohammed.

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Mohammed, J., Bindu, S.S., Mohizin, A. et al. Experimental investigation on heat transfer characteristics in cryogenic chilldown of a helically coiled tube. Sādhanā 46, 2 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12046-020-01524-w

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  • Cryogenic chilldown
  • CHF
  • Helical coil
  • Helix angle
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Straight tube