Using Additive Manufacturing to Improve Heat Pump Performance
Challenge: Exergyn has developed technology to convert low-grade waste heat (<120°C) to power that can be utilised at both domestic and industry levels. The technology is based on a solid-state reciprocating engine that runs on hot water by using the shape memory characteristics of Nickel-Titanium alloy (nitinol). This system is robust, cost effective, efficient, and eco-friendly (zero pollution). The technology has the potential to significantly reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions across multiple industries world-wide. The challenge for wider deployment of this solution is to increase efficiency and to reduce costs further, thus making the technology attractive for investment and use.
Goal: The goal of the project is to improve the performance of the company’s heat pump technology. This will be achieved through the development of a new Additive Manufacturing (AM) process for heat exchange components and introducing a new method of alloy processing to provide shape memory properties at targeted temperatures. Increasing the efficiency of the company’s heat pump technology will lead to a wider range of applications and a higher rate of return for customers.
Impact: The project will answer the key questions regarding the implementation of metal AM and will feed into the long-term technology and product roadmap, as well as laying a foundation for bringing the company’s first AM product to market.
Duration: The project is of three year duration to develop a fundamental understanding of the optimised AM process, product function and the additional benefits that AM could provide. Additional funding has been secured and a partnership with FW Metals on materials development, is in place.
Key Enabling Technologies: Additive Manufacturing (AM or 3D printing); Process and Product Modelling; Advanced Materials; Sustainable Development; Energy Efficient Buildings; Materials Characterisation; Data Analytics.