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Development and Demonstration of Novel Thermal Technologies for Enhanced Air-Side and Two-Phase Performance of CPI-Relevant Heat Exchangers
Almost every process in the chemical and processing industries (CPI) involves heat transfer. Integrated functioning of a variety of heat exchangers with gas, liquid, and vapor/liquid flows of single- and multi-component working fluids, is critical in any processing plant. Improving air and/or process-side performance can significantly reduce energy consumption and capital costs. This project is looking at the novel geometries and mechanical actuation to enhance heat exchanger performance. The level of improvement, and approach to modification will facilitate the design of both “bolt on” process enhancement for existing equipment and the design of standardized modular heat exchangers. Significant effort in this proposal will focus on taking leads demonstrated in the lab and looking to establish cost effective and scalable manufacturing approaches.
Durability, reliability, and maintainability of reeds and ultrasound transducers
Optimal placement of reeds and transducers in different heat exchanger configurations
Acceptance of new technology by heat exchanger manufacturers and use
The proposed novel heat transfer approaches have the potential to transformatively enhance performance of a broad class of heat exchangers currently used in a wide range of applications across the CPI. They also have the potential to enable new applications, including natural gas upgrading by cryogenic distillation, multifunctional modules, and utilization of renewable bioproducts, as well as for integration of multiple processes (e.g., separation and heat transfer for binary and multi-component liquids, for which ultrasound has already demonstrated the capability to produce an atomized mist enriched in one component). The higher energy efficiency and energy productivity will allow for new trade-offs between reduced size/volume/footprint (and hence lower capital cost), and higher throughput (allowing for de-bottlenecking). The potential for swap-in/swap-out retrofit is particularly attractive.