Additive, Topology-Optimized Ultra-Compact Heat Exchanger

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East Hartford,
Project Term:
09/23/2019 - 08/31/2022

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:

UTRC will develop an ultra-compact, topology-optimized heat exchanger capable of operating in environments with temperatures and pressures up to 800°C (1472°F) and 250 bar (3626 psi) that is substantially smaller and more durable than state-of-the art high-temperature, high-pressure heat exchangers. A quadruple optimization approach that addresses performance, durability, manufacturing, and cost constraints provides the framework for the superalloy-based heat exchanger. UTRC will leverage extensive additive manufacturing research and aerospace and supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power generation experience to develop and commercialize the technology. The team will work on transitioning the heat exchanger into aviation applications with significant fuel burn savings in transport. This would substantially reduce aviation fuel usage and carbon 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.


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.


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


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


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Philseok Kim
Project Contact:
Dr. Ram Ranjan
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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