TWI has recently joined a project funded by and for the European Space Agency to develop compact lightweight micro-channel heat exchangers (MCHX) for reusable launch systems. It will be working closely with Confluent Research Ltd to design an efficient, effective, and novel MCHX using simulation-driven design (SDD). In the programme, it will be exploring different channel geometries, materials, and designs to achieve: Maximise the heat transfer; Maintain the laminar flow of the fluids Keep pressure losses to a minimum; and Minimise vaporisation of coolant fluid.
By solving the above, the ultimate objective of the project can be achieved: To increase, by an order of magnitude, thermal performance to realise flight-weight microchannel heat exchangers
At the end of the SDD phase, MCHX breadboards will be manufactured at TWI, followed by rigorous performance testing on a bespoke test rig, designed and manufactured as part of this programme, to validate the concepts.
TWI is delighted to be working closely with the ESA and Confluent Research to help deliver a technical solution that will enable reusable launching system engines.