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Ultra Performance Heat Exchanger Enabled by Additive Technology (UPHEAT)

General Electric (GE) Global Research
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$2,498,493
Location: 
Fairfield, CT
Project Term: 
07/22/2019 to 01/21/2022
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 processing, and waste heat recovery. Heat exchangers designed to handle ultra high pressures and high temperatures simultaneously would help to facilitate more efficient and cost effective thermochemical processes. However, the successful design of such devices is expected to require heat transfer surface and fin features that are too fine for current high temperature material manufacturing processes. 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 GE-led team will develop a metallic-based, ultra-performance heat exchanger enabled by additive manufacturing technology and capable of operation at 900°C (1652°F) and 250 bar (3626 psi). The team will optimize heat transfer versus thermomechanical load using new micro-trifurcating core structures and manifold designs. The team will leverage a novel, high-temperature capable, crack-resistant nickel superalloy, designed specifically for additive manufacturing. When completed, the heat exchanger could enable increased thermal efficiency of indirect heated power cycles such as supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) Brayton power generation, reducing energy consumption and 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 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. David Tew
Project Contact: 
Dr. Peter de Bock
Partners
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Release Date: 
8/9/2018