Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new design and fabrication method for high pressure heat exchangers (HX) using additive manufacturing (AM). This method would allow for the creation of primary heat exchanger (PHX) systems with minimal energy loss.
Straight tube heat exchangers transfer heat between a solid and a liquid, or between liquids. Finned tube heat exchangers transfer heat between air, gas and liquids or steam. They can be used in more applications, are space-saving and more efficient than straight tube heat exchangers but are also more expensive. Both modern heat exchangers, however, are created with reductive manufacturing, resulting in weak spots at braze and weld points which, when combined with a lack of modularity, limits them to lower pressure applications.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new design and method to create a high pressure heat exchanger by utilizing additive manufacturing. This new method would allow for the creation of high pressure heat exchangers that have little to no weak spots. Additive manufacturing also allows for modular manufacturing, decreasing the overall manufacturing costs when adapting the system for various needs. The inventors have successfully designed and manufactured a primary heat exchanger (PHX) for waste heat recovery. The fabricated PHX was preliminarily tested and able to withstand an internal pressure of ~200 bar at ~550°C. The design has a high effectiveness due to a near counter-flow design with the use of high temperature superalloys, low pressure drop in the hot gas side and microscale pin fin architecture in the high pressure side.
heat exchanger, additive manufacturing, additively manufactured, 3D printing, high temperature, high pressure, microscale, pin fin, power cycles, combustors, weld integrity, supercritical carbondioxide, sCO2, waste heat recovery