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Compact Diffusion Bonded Printed-Circuit Heat Exchanger Development Using Nickel Superalloys for Highly Power Dense and Efficient Modular Energy Production Systems

Vacuum Process Engineering (VPE)
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$2,114,614
Location: 
Sacramento, CA
Project Term: 
08/19/2019 to 08/18/2022
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: 

Vacuum Process engineering will develop a superalloy-based printed circuit heat exchanger for operation at temperatures exceeding 800°C (1472°F) and pressures above 80 bar (1160 psi). The team will build the heat exchanger applying a diffusion solid-state welding manufacturing technique, which uses stacked individual metal sheets with semi-circular channels formed from a chemical treatment process. The goal is to create a highly effective, high temperature compact heat exchanger with a high-strength bond during the welding capable of containing the very high pressure fluid at elevated temperatures. This project will enable increased deployment of clean, efficient, compact, and cost-effective power dense power production systems that will reduce energy-related emissions.

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 could increase industrial efficiency, 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 for multiple applications.

Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Michael Ohadi
Project Contact: 
Dr. Dereje Amogne
Partners
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratory
Release Date: 
8/9/2018