Project Summary

This project will seek to improve the performance of air-cooled condensers by metal foam heat exchangers with forced air systems, and the potential for dry natural draft cooling towers. This technology will offer huge savings on both material requirements and parasitic power losses by superior heat transfer performance, and thus a lower number of heat exchanger bays.

Available Reports

Metal foam heat exchanger for dry cooling - Final Report

The use of metal foams to enhance heat exchange and dry cooling for power generation application did not deliver to its performance expectations. Although foams showed a 75% improvement in heat transfer over conventional systems used for air cooling, this comes at a cost of very much increased pressure drop. It was found that even at quite low air flows, the pressure drop is several times higher. Since parasitic power consumption (to provide the cooling air flow) is a significant consideration for large air cooled heat exchangers, this trade-off is so unfavourable to metal foam systems that they become unsuitable for these applications. As a result, this project was terminated at the appropriate stage-gate.

Project Name:
Metal foam heat exchanger for dry cooling

Research Organisation:
The University of Queensland

Completed, 2014

K Hooman, A Chumpia, P Jadhav, V Rudolph


Research Program: IGCC
Demonstration: General (IGCC)
Research Focus: IGCC

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