This Exploratory Topic seeks to supplement ARPA-E’s HITEMMP (High Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes) program by supporting the development of new approaches and technologies for the design and manufacture of high-temperature, high-pressure, and compact heat exchangers. Teams will develop improvements in HITEMMP heat exchanger designs to enable superior thermomechanical performance and increased power density, life cycle durability, and cost effectiveness through the combined utilization of the twin technologies of topology optimization (TO) and additive manufacturing (AM) which, when combined, have the potential to expand the design space and enable transformative designs.
Heat exchangers are critical to efficient thermal energy exchange in numerous industrial applications and everyday life, and have significant applications in electricity generation, transportation, petrochemical processing, waste heat recovery, and a range of other sectors. Heat exchangers present unique challenges in materials and manufacturing due to the difficulty of finding the optimum balance between enhanced heat transfer rates without excessive pressure drop penalties while meeting the thermo-mechanical and cost requirements, and life cycle durability. Topology teams will utilize TO integrated with advanced manufacturing techniques such as additive manufacturing to fully tap the combined benefits of the two technologies, yielding superior thermal performances, lower fabrication cost, and reduced post-processing requirements for HITEMMP heat exchanger designs.
Projects funded within this Exploratory Topic will work concurrently with teams selected under the following ARPA-E program(s):
Dr. Zak Fang
Projects Funded Within This Exploratory Topic
RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES RESEARCH CENTER
MULTI-MATERIAL TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE HEAT EXCHANGERS
Raytheon Technologies Research Center (RTRC) proposes to develop a multi-material and multi-physics topology optimization (TopOpt) design framework to efficiently design novel high temperature (capable of operations up to 800°C) and pressure (up to 25 MPa) heat exchangers (HX) with superior power density and structural durability. The result will increase heat duty for a similar heat exchanger weight and improve durability while remaining cost competitive. The proposed framework combines novel TopOpt methods incorporating multi-physics considerations and additive manufacturing constraints based on the approach selected. The proposed unified, multi-physics conceptual design approach will enable power generation systems for hybrid aviation and ground power systems that can reduce energy consumption by more than one quad per year.
MULTI-PHYSICS TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION FOR DUAL FLOW HEAT EXCHANGERS
Siemens Corporation (Siemens) aims to develop a multi-physics, multi-material topology optimization approach to rapidly generate improved HX designs that can operate at high temperature and high pressure. Siemens will address the comprehensive multi-physics structural, fluid dynamics, and thermal aspects of HXs; parameterize the design with a multi-phase interpolation scheme that handles four material phases; and account for additive manufacturing (AM) constraints to ensure that the final HX design can be manufactured via the chosen AM technique. Siemens will apply machine learning techniques to accelerate the optimization. The proposed approach could potentially reduce the certification time and cost of developed HXs by at least 50%.
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION OF ADDITIVELY MANUFACTURED HEAT-EXCHANGER PLATES FOR ENHANCED PERFORMANCE (TOP-HEX)
High-temperature and high-pressure heat exchangers are needed to enable efficient energy production systems. The University of Connecticut will formulate and demonstrate a computational methodology to design the fin structures in a plate heat exchanger (HX) to maximize its heat transfer efficiency and guarantee its structural integrity. The plate structures will be fabricated via the Scalable and Expeditious Additive Manufacturing (SEAM) process using an oxide dispersion-strengthened alloy. The methodology focuses on fin structure design for plate HXs operating under high-pressure (25 MPa) and very high-temperature (up to 1,100°C) conditions. The team will employ topology optimization techniques that represent the fin and the overall HX structure as the combination of individual geometric primitives described by a small number of parameters. When combined, these primitives can produce designs with different material distribution topologies and shapes. The proposed computational method uses commercial computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis software to simulate the HX’s heat transfer and mechanical behavior.
BOEING RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY
MULTIDISCIPLINARY TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION OF EXTREME ENVIRONMENT HEAT EXCHANGERS
Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T) will develop a multidisciplinary topology optimization (MDTO) algorithm that couples fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and structural analysis to design, manufacture via additive manufacturing techniques, and demonstrate a high-performance, extreme environment heat exchanger (EEHX) capable of operating at up to 900°C with a 17 MPa pressure differential with supercritical carbon dioxide. The key to delivering this EEHX technology is a revolutionary and computationally efficient MDTO capability that leverages a powerful open-source level-set topology optimization code coupled with the development of a high-speed graphics processing unit-accelerated multi-physics solvers for coupled fluid flow, heat transfer, and structural mechanics simulation. The use of an open-source topology optimization platform will reduce development costs and accelerate market adoption.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
MULTI-PHYSICS TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR HIGH-TEMPERATURE HEAT EXCHANGERS
The University of Wisconsin aims to integrate multi-physics topology optimization and additive manufacturing to radically improve key performance metrics of high-temperature, high-pressure heat exchangers. To improve thermohydraulic performances and reduce thermal stress, the team will develop a three-physics, two-fluid topology optimization tool for heat exchanger design. The team will also account for additive manufacturing constraints, such as support structure, overhang angle, and build orientation during optimization. This consideration will increase the heat exchanger power density while improving its manufacturability via selective laser melting machine. The additively manufactured heat exchangers will be inspected and tested to determine their thermohydraulic performances using an X Ray computed tomography machine and a test loop.