Compact, Inexpensive, Microchannel Recuperators for Small Gas Turbines

Period of Performance: 10/03/2012 - 04/02/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Small manned and unmanned aircraft need advanced propulsion technology to increase mission capabilities and improve reliability. We propose to develop an innovative recuperator technology that can significantly reduce fuel consumption for small gas turbines. Our microchannel recuperators are built using advanced manufacturing techniques that will enable a compact, inexpensive recuperator to significantly improve the performance of gas turbines and enable them to replace internal combustion engines in small aircraft. In Phase I we will work with a major supplier of UAVs to select the optimum application for the recuperated gas turbine. We will prove the feasibility of our approach by designing the recuperator, demonstrating the proposed fabrication approach, and analyzing flow, heat transfer, and structural integrity of the recuperator. We will assess the key design trade-offs, optimize the design, and estimate the manufacturing costs. In subsequent phases we will build prototype recuperators and demonstrate their performance in the laboratory and integrated with a gas turbine engine.