From The Grainger College of Engineering at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign : “Illinois researchers demonstrate extreme heat exchanger with additive manufacturing”

From The Grainger College of Engineering (US)

at

U Illinois bloc

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (US)

9/9/2021

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Computer Tomography (CT) X-ray image of the tube-in-tube heat exchanger. Color indicates whether hot fluid (red) in the outer tube or cold fluid (blue) in the inner tube. Credit: Hyunkyu Moon, Davis McGregor, Nenad Miljkovic and William P. King.

Demonstrating next-generation energy technology, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using topology optimization and metal 3D printing to design ultra-compact, high-power heat exchangers.

Used in most major industries – including energy, water, manufacturing, transportation, construction, electronic, chemical, petrochemical, agriculture and aerospace – heat exchangers transfer thermal energy from one medium to another.

For decades, heat exchanger designs have remained relatively unchanged. Recent advancements in 3D printing allow the production of three-dimensional exchanger designs previously thought impossible. These new and innovative designs operate significantly more effectively and efficiently but require specific software tools and design methods to manufacture the high-performance devices.

Recognizing the need to unlock new, high-performing heat exchangers, Grainger College of Engineering researchers have developed software tools that enable new 3D heat exchanger designs.

“We developed shape optimization software to design a high-performance heat exchanger,” said William King, professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at The Grainger College of Engineering and co-study leader. “The software allows us to identity 3D designs that are significantly different and better than conventional designs.”

The team started by studying a type of exchanger known as a tube-in-tube heat exchanger – where one tube is nested inside another tube. Tube-in-tube heat exchangers are commonly used in drinking water and building energy systems. Using a combination of the shape optimization software and additive manufacturing, the researchers designed fins (only made possible using metal 3D printing) internal to the tubes.

“We designed, fabricated and tested an optimized tube-in-tube heat exchanger,” said Nenad Miljkovic, associate professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering and co-study leader. “Our optimized heat exchanger has about 20 times higher volumetric power density than a current state-of-the-art commercial tube-in-tube device.”

With billions of heat exchangers in use worldwide today and even more attention placed on our need to reduce fossil fuel consumption, compact and efficient heat exchangers are increasing in demand, particularly in industries where heat exchanger size and mass significantly impacts performance, range and costs.

The article “Ultra-power-dense heat exchanger development through genetic algorithm design and additive manufacturing,” written by Hyunkyu Moon, Davis McGregor, Nenad Miljkovic and William P. King, is published in the journal Joule.

Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal systems (POETS) and the International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research (WPI-I2CNER).

See the full article here .

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U Illinois campus

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (US) is a public land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. It is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois system and was founded in 1867. Enrolling over 56,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Illinois is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the nation.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a member of the Association of American Universities (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”, and has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities (2001) by Howard and Matthew Greene. In fiscal year 2019, research expenditures at Illinois totaled $652 million. The campus library system possesses the second-largest university library in the United States by holdings after Harvard University (US). The university also hosts The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (US) and is home to the fastest supercomputer on a university campus.

Illinois contains 16 schools and colleges and offers more than 150 undergraduate and over 100 graduate programs of study. The university holds 651 buildings on 6,370 acres (2,578 ha) and its annual operating budget in 2016 was over $2 billion. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign also operates a Research Park home to innovation centers for over 90 start-up companies and multinational corporations, including Abbott, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Capital One, Dow, State Farm, and Yahoo, among others.

As of August 2020, the alumni, faculty members, or researchers of the university include 30 Nobel laureates, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 2 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields medalist. Illinois athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Fighting Illini. They are members of the Big Ten Conference and have won the second-most conference titles. Illinois Fighting Illini football won the Rose Bowl Game in 1947, 1952, 1964 and a total of five national championships. Illinois athletes have won 29 medals in Olympic events, ranking it among the top 40 American universities with Olympic medals.

Research

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is often regarded as a world-leading magnet for engineering and sciences (both applied and basic). Having been classified into the category comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary and very high research activity by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Illinois offers a wide range of disciplines in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

According to The National Science Foundation (US), the university spent $625 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 37th in the nation. It is also listed as one of the Top 25 American Research Universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance. Beside annual influx of grants and sponsored projects, the university manages an extensive modern research infrastructure. The university has been a leader in computer based education and hosted the PLATO project, which was a precursor to the internet and resulted in the development of the plasma display. Illinois was a 2nd-generation ARPAnet site in 1971 and was the first institution to license the UNIX operating system from Bell Labs.

Research Park

Located in the southwest part of campus, Research Park opened its first building in 2001 and has grown to encompass 13 buildings. Ninety companies have established roots in research park, employing over 1,400 people. Tenants of the Research Park facilities include prominent Fortune 500 companies Capital One, John Deere, State Farm, Caterpillar, and Yahoo, Inc. Companies also employ about 400 total student interns at any given time throughout the year. The complex is also a center for entrepreneurs, and has over 50 startup companies stationed at its EnterpriseWorks Incubator facility.

In 2011, Urbana, Illinois was named number 11 on Popular Mechanics’ “14 Best Startup Cities in America” list, in a large part due to the contributions of Research Park’s programs. The park has gained recognition from other notable publications, such as inc.com and Forbes magazine. For the 2011 fiscal year, Research Park produced an economic output of $169.5M for the state of Illinois.

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

The university hosts the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (US), which created Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, the foundation upon which the former Netscape was based on and Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer are based, the Apache HTTP server, and NCSA Telnet. The Parallel@Illinois program hosts several programs in parallel computing, including the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center. The university contracted with Cray to build the National Science Foundation-funded supercomputer Blue Waters.

The system also has the largest public online storage system in the world with more than 25 petabytes of usable space. The university celebrated January 12, 1997 as the “birthday” of “HAL 9000”, the fictional supercomputer from the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey; in both works, HAL credits “Urbana, Illinois” as his place of operational origin.

Prairie Research Institute

The Prairie Research Institute is located on campus and is the home of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and the Illinois State Archeological Survey. Researchers at the Prairie Research Institute are engaged in research in agriculture and forestry, biodiversity and ecosystem health, atmospheric resources, climate and associated natural hazards, cultural resources and history of human settlements, disease and public health, emerging pests, fisheries and wildlife, energy and industrial technology, mineral resources, pollution prevention and mitigation, and water resources. The Illinois Natural History Survey collections include crustaceans, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals, algae, fungi, and vascular plants, with the insect collection is among the largest in North America. The Illinois State Geological Survey houses the legislatively mandated Illinois Geological Samples Library, a repository for drill-hole samples in Illinois, as well as paleontological collections. ISAS serves as a repository for a large collection of Illinois archaeological artifacts. One of the major collections is from the Cahokia Mounds.