Ultra-Compact Heat Exchangers for SMR
Profile last edited on: 1/14/2023

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
Alexander Mednick
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Physical Sciences Inc (AKA:PSI Technology~PLCC2 LLC)

20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
   (978) 689-0003
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   03
County:   Essex

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Statement of the problem or situation that is being addressed in your application. For heat engine power plants used to generate electricity, heat transfer and heat rejection are one of the primary capital expenditures as well as some of the largest, heaviest, and least volumetrically versatile components of the entire plant. It is necessary to reconsider heat exchanger requirements for the Small Modular Reactor and other weight and volume limited applications. The heat exchanger must fit into confined space, must have fewer, smaller components, and must have reduced Operations and Maintenance costs. • General statement of how this problem is being addressed. In the past, the cost and complexity of heat exchangers have been inversely proportional due to the difficulties inherent in manufacturing finely-detailed welded or brazed structures. To address this problem, additive manufacturing is being used to produce a heat exchanger that uses a fractal branching design without any increase in cost compared to a traditional design with equal performance. The branching design provides extremely large surface area per volume, maximizing the heat transfer area that can be included in a confined space. • What is to be done in Phase I? s In the proposed program, designs will be generated and prototypes produced for small modular reactor heat exchanger components. The overall program objective is to design and build a conformal heat exchanger for installation in spaces of opportunity within a small modular reactor. The heat exchanger will demonstrate specific power and power density substantially better than the state of the art. The overall Phase I objective is to design, build, and test a fully functional sub-scale systematically representative heat exchanger with a non-regular cross-sectional shape. • Commercial Applications and Other Benefits. The applications for the additively-manufactured heat exchanger technology include regenerative heat exchangers, condensers, component cooling, and letdown heat exchangers. The design is not a one-sizefits- all scheme, but instead the general design architecture is readily tailored to purpose. This modularity is due to the parametric design, which allows capacity rate matching between streams, geometric flexibility, and different flow mediums (for example steam, liquid metal, CO2, or molten salt and water). This unique design optimization combined with responsive manufacturing means that the heat exchanger technology could be a replacement for many of the different types of heat exchangers found in power plants and many vehicles to reduce cost and volume allocations.

Phase II

Phase II year
Phase II Amount