Journal of Thermal Science

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 252–261 | Cite as

Thermal-Hydraulic-Structural Analysis and Design Optimization for Micron-Sized Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger

  • Yaqiong Hou
  • Guihua TangEmail author


The Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger (PCHE) is one of the most promising heat exchangers for Synergetic Air-breathing and Rocket Engine (SABRE). To reduce pressure drop and improve compactness, the micron-sized PCHE made up of rectangular channels of tens of microns in size, is used in SABRE. In present work, we focus on thermal-hydraulic-structural characteristics of micron-sized PCHE by conducting three-dimensional (3-D) numerical simulation. Helium and hydrogen are employed as the working fluids and the Stainless Steel 316 (SS316) as the solid substrate. The thermal-hydraulic performance of the micron-sized PCHE is discussed by using the commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software of Fluent. ANSYS-Mechanical is also employed to simulate stress field of representative PCHE channels. The mechanical stress induced by pressure loading and the thermal stress induced by temperature gradient are found to be equally important sources of stress. To improve comprehensive performances of micron-sized PCHE, two types of channel arrangements and different channel aspect ratios are studied. The double banking is of higher thermal-hydraulic performance compared to the single banking while the stress performance is identical for the two modes. Meanwhile, the effect of channel aspect ratio is investigated by comparing thermal-hydraulic characteristics and structural stress of the model. The rectangular channel with w/h=2 achieves the most balanced stress characteristic and higher thermal-hydraulic performance.


computational fluid dynamics (CFD) Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger thermal-hydraulic-structural performance channel arrangement channel aspect ratio 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under grant number 2017YFB0601803, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant number 51576156 and the 111 Project under grant number B16038.


  1. [1]
    Varvill R., Bond A., The skylon spaceplane, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 2004, 57: 22–32.ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Webber H., Feast S., Bond A., Heat exchanger design in combined cycle engines, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 2009, 62: 122–130.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Vitillo F., Cachon L., Reulet F., Millan P., Flow analysis of an innovative compact heat exchanger channel geometry, International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 2016, 58: 30–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Sinha G.K., Dharmaraj R.H., Haridas D., Srivastava A., Performance evaluation of compact channels with surface modifications for heat transfer enhancement: An interferometric study in developing flow regime, International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 2017, 64: 55–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Tsuzuki N., Kato Y., Ishiduka T., High performance printed circuit heat exchanger, Applied Thermal Engineering, 2007, 27: 1702–1707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Xin F., Ma T., Chen Y., Wang Q.W., Two-Dimensional chemical etching process simulation for Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger channels based on cellular automata model, Heat Transfer Engineering, 2017, 39: 617‒629.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Baek S., Kim J.H., Jeong S., Jung J., Development of highly effective cryogenic printed circuit heat exchanger (PCHE) with low axial conduction, Cryogenics, 2012, 52: 366–374.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Aneesh A.M., Sharma A., Srivastava A., Vyas K.N., Chaudhuri P., Thermal-hydraulic characteristics and performance of 3D straight channel based printed circuit heat exchanger, Applied Thermal Engineering, 2016, 98: 474–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Figley J., Numerical modeling and performance analysis of printed circuit heat exchanger for very high-temperature reactors, M.S. thesis, The Ohio State University, 2009.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Kim I.H., No H.C., Lee J.I., Jeon B.G., Thermal hydraulic performance analysis of the printed circuit heat exchanger using a helium test facility and CFD simulations, Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2009, 239: 2399–2408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Kim I.H., No H.C., Thermal-hydraulic physical models for a Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger covering He, He-CO2 mixture, and water fluids using experimental data and CFD, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 2013, 48: 213–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Ngo T.L., Kato Y., Nikitin K., Isuzuki N., New printed circuit heat exchanger with S-shaped fins for hot water supplier, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 2006, 30: 811–819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Kim D.E., Kim M.H., Cha J.E., Kim S.O., Numerical investigation on thermal-hydraulic performance of new printed circuit heat exchanger model, Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2008, 238: 3269–3276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Lee S.M., Kim K.Y., Optimization of zigzag flow channels of a printed circuit heat exchanger for nuclear power plant application, Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 2012, 49: 343–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Lee S.M., Kim K.Y., Comparative study on performance of a zigzag printed circuit heat exchanger with various channel shapes and configurations, Heat and Mass Transfer, 2013, 49: 1021–1028.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Lee Y., Lee J.I., Structural assessment of intermediate printed circuit heat exchanger for sodium-cooled fast reactor with supercritical CO2 cycle, Annals of Nuclear Energy, 2014, 73: 84–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Song K.N., Hong S.D., Structural integrity evaluation of a lab-scale PCHE prototype under the test conditions of HELP, Science and Technology and Nuclear Installation, 2013, 2013: 801–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    Pan T., Gong T., Yang W., Wu Y., Numerical Study on the Thermal Stress and its Formation Mechanism of a Thermoelectric, Journal of Thermal Science, 2018, 27: 249–258.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Cianfrini C., Corcione M., Habib E., Quintino A., Effects of the aspect ratio on the optimal tilting angle for maximum convection heat transfer across air-filled rectangular enclosures differentially heated at sides, Journal of Thermal Science, 2017, 26: 245–254.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    Guo J.F., Huai X.L., Coordination analysis of cross-flow heat exchanger under high variations in thermodynamic properties, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2017, 113: 935–942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOE Key Laboratory of Thermo-Fluid Science and Engineering, School of Energy and Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations