This manufacturing architecture uses microchannel flow inserts to eliminate the need for small photochemically-machined features, thereby enabling the use of stamping and, in turn, improving the material utilization and reducing the cost of compact, microchannel heat exchangers made from refractory alloys needed for high-temperature operation. These flow inserts are also capable of being used to direct the flow of fluid within channels while increasing the amount of convection and heat transfer surface area. Further, the architecture reduces by half the number of channels to be hermetically sealed by inserting the half-array in a housing, which significantly reduces the amount of joining which will reduce the exposure to manufacturing defects; a significant cost driver. By disassembling the housing, the flow inserts can be serviced or modified which would be important for applications requiring catalysts or perhaps for unclogging.
Features & Benefits
- Significantly reduced micro-channel manufacturing cost
- Reduced micro-channel assembly defect rate
- Rendering serviceable micro-channel inserts
- Heat exchangers
- Solar Cells
- Hydrogen Storage
- Chemical Reactors
Background of Invention
MicroChannel Process technology is useful in a variety of applications including heat exchangers, solar cells, hydrogen storage, and chemical reactors. The surface-area-to-volume ratios of microchannels are as large as possible to promote fast and efficient heat transfer. Microchannels are typically fabricated from expensive metal alloys to accommodate high temperature/high pressure fluid flow and/or corrosive fluids. Microchannel arrays are typically fabricated using material removal techniques such as photochemical machining, which results in inefficient material usage.
Patent pending and available for exclusive licensing.