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Additively Manufactured High Efficiency and Low-Cost sCO2 Heat Exchangers

University of Maryland (UMD)
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$1,303,532
Location: 
College Park, MD
Project Term: 
08/15/2019 to 08/14/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 

Heat exchangers are critical to efficient thermal energy exchange in a variety of applications, including electricity generation, transportation, petrochemical plants, waste heat recovery, and more. Heat exchangers designed to handle very high pressures and high temperatures simultaneously are more efficient and compact. Their design also requires finer heat transfer surface and fin features at the limits of existing manufacturing capabilities with high temperature materials. Durable, reliable, and cost-effective higher temperature and pressure heat exchangers that exceed current operating conditions could reduce fuel consumption, system footprint, and capital cost while boosting the performance of a variety of power generation and industrial processes.

Project Innovation + Advantages: 

The University of Maryland will design, manufacture, and test high-performance, compact heat exchangers for supercritical CO2 power cycles. Two innovative additive manufacturing processes will enable high performance. One facilitates up to 100 times higher deposition rate compared with regular laser powder additive manufacturing. The other enables crack-free additive manufacturing of an advanced nickel-based superalloy and has the potential to print features as fine as 20 micrometers. These developments could halve the fabrication cost and enable heat exchanger operations above 800°C (1472°F) and 80 bar (1160 psi). These systems could be applied to high-efficiency fossil energy, concentrating solar power, and small modular nuclear energy.

Potential Impact: 

HITEMMP projects will enable a revolutionary new class of heat exchangers and innovative approaches to advanced manufacturing with applications for a wide range of commercial and industrial energy producers and consumers.

Security: 

High performance, efficient heat exchangers would increase industrial productivity, supporting domestic industries. The developed manufacturing techniques for high temperature materials could strengthen U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing.

Environment: 

More efficient electricity generation and industrial processes could significantly reduce emissions by enabling more efficient operations.

Economy: 

HITEMMP technologies could enable more cost-effective, efficient, and compact modular power generation systems for multiple applications.

Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Zak Fang
Project Contact: 
Prof. Ji-Cheng Zhao
Partners
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Release Date: 
8/9/2018