An Innovative Heat Exchanger Design for Increased Thermal Efficiency

H. Kugeler
Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc., Hawaii, United States

Keywords: lightweight, compact, heat exchanger,

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc (Makai) has developed an ultra-compact, lightweight, and corrosion resistant heat exchanger, called FFHX, for improved heat transfer. Makai is currently working with the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Air Force to develop this technology for next-gen warfighters and power systems. Recent testing shows the FFHX provides 2x and 6x improvement in volumetric performance when compared to existing state-of-the-art for air and liquid cooled vapor-cycle heat exchangers, respectively. The FFHX is constructed with low material consumption, and Makai’s advanced manufacturing and testing facility enables rapid prototyping and construction of custom FFHX geometries based on specific needs. Examples include FFHX configurations for compact annular spaces and previously un-utilized spaces. These unique characteristics make the FFHX well-suited for applications with volumetric constraints, or where Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) are critical, such as offshore, subsea, and aerospace. The FFHX’s construction has been proven at Makai’s advanced manufacturing research facility in Kona, Hawaii. Prototypes have been pressure tested to 500psi and performance tested at 100kW scale. In addition to the FFHX form-fitting geometries, the construction allows for flow channels ranging from 0.1 to 4.0mm that can be customized and optimized for a wide range of performance targets.