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John O | April 2019

DOE announces $36 million in funding for high-temperature materials projects

By Josh Perry, Editor


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the award of $36 million in funding to support 18 projects, as part of the High Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes (HITEMP) program and the final OPEN+ Cohort, Higher-Temperature Devices.


The DOE awarded $36 million to researchers exploring next-generation heat exchangers that will work in extreme temperatures. (Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)


This program is dedicated to developing new technologies for the design and manufacture of high-temperature, high-pressure, and highly compact heat exchangers and components that the DOE claims could “make energy conversion much more efficient, which in turn could reduce fuel consumption, system footprint, capital and operational cost, and emissions.”


HITEMMP projects are focused on heat exchangers capable of functioning for tens of thousands of hours under extreme temperatures (greater than 800°C) and pressures (more than 80 bar/1,160 psi).


Two projects were highlighted in the press release.


Researchers at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) are designing and testing compact heat exchangers for supercritical CO2 power cycles. “Two innovative additive manufacturing processes will enable high performance,” the press release said. “One facilitates up to 100 times higher deposition rate than regular laser powder additive manufacturing. The other enables crack-free additive manufacturing of an advanced nickel-based superalloy and has the potential to print features as fine as 20 micrometers.”


In the second project, International Mezzo Technologies (Baton Rouge, La.) is designing and manufacturing a compact, nickel-based superalloy supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) recuperater. The release explained, “The recuperator will incorporate laser-welded micro tubes and function at 800°C (1,472°F) and 275 bar (3,989 psi). Currently, the cost of recuperators of power systems operating in these conditions is prohibitive. Laser welding micro tubes offers a low-cost approach to fabricating heat exchangers, which will increase the economic competitiveness of sCO2 power cycles.”


Learn more about the HITEMMP program and see the full list of projects at https://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=document/hitemmp-project-descriptions

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