Compact, Inexpensive, Microchannel Recuperators for Small Gas Turbines

Period of Performance: 11/01/2013 - 10/31/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Increased mission endurance is a critical requirement for many unmanned air vehicles, leading to a need for new propulsion technology. This project aims to enable increased mission endurance by developing advanced recuperators that will reduce fuel consumption and significantly expand the mission envelopes for turboshaft-powered UAVs. Creare s innovative recuperator design enables highly efficient heat transfer, which results in very compact cores with low pressure losses. Simple fabrication and assembly methods enable these heat exchangers to be built at low cost. Our fabrication approach enables the recuperator to conform with available space around the engine, which shrinks the overall envelope. In Phase I we proved the feasibility of our approach through fabrication trials, proof-of-concept experiments with sample recuperator cores, design of a prototype core, and assessment of benefits compared with conventional technology. In Phase II, we will scale up fabrication methods, demonstrate thermomechanical and thermal performance, and design and produce a full-size prototype. We will deliver this recuperator to the Army at the conclusion of Phase II for engine testing and evaluation.