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Plasma Sci. Technol. ›› 2018, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 035601.doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa969f

• Fusion Engineering • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Optimal design of the first stage of the plate-fin heat exchanger for the EAST cryogenic system

Qingfeng JIANG (蒋庆峰)1,2, Zhigang ZHU (朱志刚)1, Qiyong ZHANG (张启勇)1 , Ming ZHUANG (庄明)1 and Xiaofei LU (陆小飞)1   

  1. 1 Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, People’s Republic of China 2 University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, People’s Republic of China
  • Received:2017-08-15 Published:2017-12-27
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by funds of the Science Foundation within the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. Y32ETY130B). The authors express their great appreciation to the EAST cryogenic group for their help.


The size of the heat exchanger is an important factor determining the dimensions of the cold box in helium cryogenic systems. In this paper, a counter-flow multi-stream plate-fin heat exchanger is optimized by means of a spatial interpolation method coupled with a hybrid genetic algorithm. Compared with empirical correlations, this spatial interpolation algorithm based on a kriging model can be adopted to more precisely predict the Colburn heat transfer factors and Fanning friction factors of offset-strip fins. Moreover, strict computational fluid dynamics simulations can be carried out to predict the heat transfer and friction performance in the absence of reliable experimental data. Within the constraints of heat exchange requirements, maximum allowable pressure drop, existing manufacturing techniques and structural strength, a mathematical model of an optimized design with discrete and continuous variables based on a hybrid genetic algorithm is established in order to minimize the volume. The results show that for the first-stage heat exchanger in the EAST refrigerator, the structural size could be decreased from the original 2.200×0.600×0.627 (m3) to the optimized 1.854×0.420×0.340 (m3), with a large reduction in volume. The current work demonstrates that the proposed method could be a useful tool to achieve optimization in an actual engineering project during the practical design process.

Key words: EAST, cryogenic system, plate-fin heat exchanger, optimization, genetic algorithm