This manuscript presents the design of a capacitive void fraction sensor for cryogenic LN2 two phase flows and its validation at room conditions. The capacitive void fraction sensor is first designed by means of Electric Field Analysis (EFA) simulations taking into account specific technical constraints coming from the test section in which it should be accommodated. Then it is manufactured and validated using a proper combination of fluids (Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and air) having a dielectric constant ratio similar to the one encountered in LN2/GN2 two phase flows. The validation is performed through comparison with void fraction measured by means of optical visualizations and shows how the capacitive measurement technique robustness allows obtaining reasonable accurate values of void fraction also for the substitute fluid case. The sensor presented in this manuscript was used to evaluate the void fraction during LN2 chilldown of a rectangular cooling channel and the results are presented in the second part of this work.
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