Development of a Thin Film Primary Surface Heat Exchanger for Advanced Power Cycles Email Page
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Performer:  Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Location:  San Antonio, Texas
Project Duration:  10/01/2014 – 03/31/2016 Award Number:  FE0024104
Technology Area:  Advanced Combustion Systems Total Award Value:  $625,000
Key Technology:  Enabling Technologies/Innovative Concepts DOE Share:  $500,000
Performer Share:  $125,000

Vehicle engine recuperator showing example<br/>application of Primary Surface Heat Exchanger Technology
Vehicle engine recuperator showing example
application of Primary Surface Heat Exchanger Technology

Project Description

The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with support from Solar Turbines Inc., will develop a high-temperature heat exchanger design capable of operation in carbon dioxide (CO2) at temperatures up to 1510 degrees Fahrenheit (821 degrees Celsius) and pressure differentials up to 130 pounds per square inch (9 bar). The heat exchanger is proposed for use as a recuperator in an advanced low-pressure oxy-fuel Brayton cycle that is predicted to achieve over 50 percent thermodynamic efficiency, although the heat exchanger could also be used in other high-temperature, low-differential-pressure cycles. The proposed work is based on a proven concept that is actively used for the Mercury 50 gas turbine and will significantly increase the temperature rating of a primary surface heat exchanger used for recuperation.

Project Benefits

The SwRI project will have a major technological and scientific impact as it will enable power cycles capable of achieving efficiency greater than 50 percent while producing sequestration-ready CO2. Another benefit of the proposed cycle is that the higher cycle efficiency and increased density of CO2 compared to air result in a cycle volume flow that is approximately 70 percent that of an equivalent net power air cycle. The reduced volume flow allows for the use of smaller turbomachinery, potentially reducing equipment capital costs. The proposed heat exchanger concept is based on existing primary surface recuperators that are compact, low-cost, and have proven reliability and high effectiveness in automotive and gas turbine applications with low differential pressures.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager K David Lyons:
Technology Manager John Rockey:
Principal Investigator Tim Allison: