High Energy Density Modular Heat Exchangers through Design, Materials Processing, and Manufacturing Innovations

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Project Term:
09/16/2019 - 03/15/2023

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 Carnegie Mellon team will develop a modular radial heat exchanger that includes flow through pin arrays and counter-flow headers. The team will fabricate the heat exchanger via laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing, with superalloys selected for high temperature and high pressure capability. Multiple approaches will be used to smooth the heat exchanger components’ internal passages to minimize pressure drop. Developing 3D metals printing technology for high temperature heat exchangers would radically remove constraints on heat exchanger design, making it a potentially disruptive technology.

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:
Prof. Anthony Rollett
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


National Energy Technology Laboratory

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