Effect of thermocouple time constant on sensing of temperature fluctuations in a fast reactor subassembly
Knowledge of temperature fluctuations in fast reactor subassembly is very important from a safety point of view. The time constant of thermocouples which are used for measuring coolant temperature in a fast reactor varies owing to various factors. Hence, it becomes necessary to investigate the effect of change in the time constant on sensed fluctuations. This paper investigates the dependence of temperature fluctuations on thermocouple time constants. A Scilab model consisting of source temperature profile, second-order thermocouple and histogram calculation is designed. Simulation is performed for various levels of fluctuations, fixed and variable thermocouple time constants. Kurtosis for each condition is calculated with the help of a histogram. It is found that the effect of true source fluctuations on sensor output is very large compared to that of a similar percentage of time-constant variations. Hence in systems like fast reactors, where the degree of source fluctuations (fluid enthalpy) is large in comparison to that of time-constant variations, the overall effect can be considered with great confidence to be the outcome of coolant temperature rather than thermocouple time-constant variations.