Heat exchangers transfer heat from one fluid to another (both liquids and gases are considered fluids). These devices are found in buildings, power plants, industrial processes, and renewable energy systems.
A University of Colorado research team has developed a new heat exchanger design and accompanying manufacturing technique for creating low-cost microchannel heat exchangers from plastics or metals. Optimization results for this device indicate that the new heat exchanger will not only be much more efficient, but will also be manufactured at a much lower cost. This novel microchannel counter-current or cross flow design can be used as a replacement for all kinds of heat exchangers including tubular, plate, spiral, plate-fin, tube-fin, heat pipe, perforated plate, and heat wheel. The near term applications would be non-gas (liquid or phase change) heat transfer because these would have the greatest cost advantage.
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