Heat exchangers (HEx) are critical to many energy generation and refrigeration processes and the fastest transfer of heat energy occurs via boiling heat transfer (80% of total ‘thermal’ electricity generation). Previously uneconomic (but vast) non-fossil sources of energy can be commercialised with the ‘Organic Rankine Cycle’ using low boiling point liquids, at efficiencies from 6-25%. Thermodynamics indicates falling efficiencies at lower temperature, disallowing industrial waste-heat, geothermal, ocean or small scale biomass vs capital cost. The HEx,the means of conversion, is the dominating factor. If efficiencies can be improved and costs lowered, market elasticity leads to high growth and the waste heat recovery (WHR) market is forecast to be $53bn in 2018. This broad market encompasses many heat recovery methods such as geothermal. International geothermal energy markets grew at an average annual rate of 5 percent over the last three years. In 2015 the global capacity of geothermal plants amount to 12.8GW and this capacity is expected to reach 21.44GW by 2020. These are all high temperature wells which are easier to extract useable heat. Low grade wells require much more efficient equipment due to the low temperatures involved in the transfer process. OnS’ nanoFLUX technology demonstrated an enhancement of heat transfer coefficient of 524%, a lowering of the ‘delta-T’ (boiling commencement margin) to <2°C. Measurements were independently performed by world leading thermal group at Brunel University using benchmark refrigerant R245fa in ‘static’ tests this could fundamentally improve efficiencies and enable applications / cost reductions.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 888350