Compact, Inexpensive, Microchannel Recuperators for Small Gas Turbines

Period of Performance: 09/22/2016 - 06/30/2017

$760K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

Increased mission endurance is a critical requirement for many unmanned air vehicles, creating a need for new propulsion technology. This project aims to increase mission endurance by developing advanced recuperators that will reduce fuel consumption and significantly expand the mission envelopes for turboshaft-powered UAVs. Creares innovative recuperator design enables highly efficient heat transfer, which results in very compact cores with low pressure losses. Innovative fabrication and assembly methods enable these heat exchangers to be built at low cost and to conform to available space around the engine, which shrinks the overall envelope. In Phases I and II, we proved the feasibility of our approach, developed full-size fabrication methods, demonstrated thermomechanical durability, measured thermal and flow performance, and designed and produced full-size recuperator modules. The efficiency and pressure losses agreed well with our design models. We now propose to build a full-size recuperator, integrate it with a common turboshaft engine, and demonstrate that the recuperated engine meets goals for reduced fuel consumption and durability.