Project data
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
David C. Denkenberger
Michael J. Brandemuehl
John Zhai
Location Michigan, USA
Status Designed
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Expanded microchannel heat exchanger: design, fabrication and preliminary experimental test

This paper first reviews non-traditional heat exchanger geometry, laser welding, practical issues with microchannel heat exchangers, and high effectiveness heat exchangers. Existing microchannel heat exchangers have low material costs, but high manufacturing costs. This paper presents a new expanded microchannel heat exchanger design and accompanying continuous manufacturing technique for potential low-cost production. Polymer heat exchangers have the potential for high effectiveness. The paper discusses one possible joining method - a new type of laser welding named "forward conduction welding," used to fabricate the prototype. The expanded heat exchanger has the potential to have counter-flow, cross-flow, or parallel-flow configurations, be used for all types of fluids, and be made of polymers, metals, or polymer-ceramic precursors. The cost and ineffectiveness reduction may be an order of magnitude or more, saving a large fraction of primary energy. The measured effectiveness of the prototype with 28 micron thick black low density polyethylene walls and counterflow, water-to-water heat transfer in 2 mm channels was 72%, but multiple low-cost stages could realize the potential of higher effectiveness.


  • David C. Denkenberger, Michael J. Brandemuehl, Joshua M. Pearce, and John Zhai, "Expanded microchannel heat exchanger: design, fabrication and preliminary experimental test", Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers – Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 226, 532-544 (2012). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0957650912442781 Full text open access

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Page data
Part of MOST completed projects and publications
Type Project
Keywords energy conservation, heat exchangers, microchannel heat exchanger, energy efficiency
SDG Sustainable Development Goals SDG09 Industry innovation and infrastructure
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
Published 2012
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Affiliations MOST, MTU
Impact Number of views to this page and its redirects. Updated once a month. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 951
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