Topology Optimization Of Additively Manufactured Heat-Exchanger Plates For Enhanced Performance (TOP-HEX)

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Exploratory Topics
Storrs, Connecticut
Project Term:
02/07/2022 - 02/06/2024

Technology Description:

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.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. William Horak
Project Contact:
Prof. Julian Norato Escobar
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Michigan State University

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