A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CRYOGENIC HEAT EXCHANGER

Period of Performance: 01/01/1994 - 12/31/1994

$600K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator

Abstract

RECUPERATIVE HEAT EXCHANGERS ARE KEY COMPONENTS IN REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS USED TO COOL SUPERCONDUCTING DEVICES IN HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS RESEARCH. PRESENT PLATE-FIN HEAT EXCHANGERS HAVE EFFECTIVENESS OF AROUND 0.97 AND PRESSURE DROPS OF SEVERAL PERCENT OF THE STREAM PRESSURE. APPROXIMATELY HALF THE LOSSES IN A CRYOGENIC REFRIGERATOR ARE THE RESULTS OF INEFFECTIVENESS AND PRESSURE DROP IN THE HEAT EXCHANGERS. LARGE VACUUM ENCLOSURES AND VACUUM PUMPING SYSTEMS ARE REQUIRED TO HOUSE THE HEAT EXCHANGERS. THIS PROJECT WILL DEVELOP A HIGH PERFORMANCE CRYOGENIC HEAT EXCHANGER WHICH HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR DECREASING HEAT EXCHANGER LOSSES BY A FACTOR OF 3 AND DECREASING THE HEAT EXCHANGER SIZE BY A FACTOR OF 10 OR MORE. PERFORMANCE GAINS ARE ACHIEVED THROUGH A NOVEL CORE CONFIGURATION WHICH MINIMIZES AXIAL CONDUCTION LOSSES IN THE METAL AND ALLOWS A VERY COMPACT DESIGN. PHASE I WILL EVALUATE THE FEASIBILITY OF THE PROPOSED HEAT EXCHANGER CONCEPT BY PERFORMING A THERMAL DESIGN OF THE HEAT EXCHANGER AND DEMONSTRATING THE KEY FABRICATION STEPS. IN PHASE II A FULL SCALE PROTOTYPE HEAT EXCHANGER WILL BE BUILT AND TESTED.