This project will create millichanneled heat exchangers made up of mechanically-, thermally-, and chemically-robust, high-temperature composite materials. It will demonstrate the capability of such heat exchangers for operation in high-temperature heat transfer fluids and supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) at a temperatures of up to 800°C. The proposed composites have demonstrated to be highly-resistant to thermal shock and are able to operate in a sCO2 environment at 800°C. This project was announced on September 16, 2015 at the Solar Power International conference. Read the press release.
Researchers will work to complete tasks in three main areas as they develop the next generation of advanced heat exchangers: processing, properties, and performance. Current heat exchangers for the power tower design are limited to operating at around 600 degrees. Increasing the operational temperature of the heat exchanger to 800 degrees would result in an enhancement of the system efficiency.
Researchers will develop a manufacturing process to economically produce a high-temperature, stiff composite material that has been shown to withstand much higher temperature conditions at elevated pressures, increasing the efficiency of the heat exchanger. The process will be tailored to generate ceramic-rich composites that are mechanically, thermally, and chemically robust. Researchers hope to demonstrate the scalability of the new manufacturing method and the material’s suitability for the heat exchangers.