(19)
(11)EP 2 910 887 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
26.08.2015 Bulletin 2015/35

(21)Application number: 15154715.5

(22)Date of filing:  11.02.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F28F 3/04  (2006.01)
F28D 9/00  (2006.01)
F02K 3/115  (2006.01)
F28F 9/02  (2006.01)
F02C 7/143  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 21.02.2014 US 201461943064 P

(71)Applicants:
  • Rolls-Royce Corporation
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46225-1103 (US)
  • Rolls-Royce North American Technologies, Inc.
    Indianapolis, IN 46241 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Loebig, James C.
    Greenwood, IN Indiana 46142 (US)
  • Dejulio, Emil R.
    Columbus, IN Indiana 47203 (US)

(74)Representative: Ström & Gulliksson AB 
P.O. Box 4188
203 13 Malmö
203 13 Malmö (SE)

  


(54)MICROCHANNEL HEAT EXCHANGERS FOR GAS TURBINE INTERCOOLING AND CONDENSING


(57) A gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) includes a first microchannel heat exchanger (MCHX) (108, 118, 300) configured to transfer heat between a first air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322) and a working fluid (330). The first MCHX (108, 118, 300) includes a plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700). Each of the air-passage layers (328, 700) includes a plurality of etched air-passage microchannels (320, 702) that are configured to allow passage of the first air stream (114, 208, 322) therethrough. The first MCHX (108, 118, 300) may include a plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500). Each working fluid layer (324, 500) includes a plurality of etched working fluid microchannels (402) that are configured to allow passage of the working fluid (330) therethrough.




Description

GOVERNMENT RIGHTS



[0001] This disclosure was made with government support under FA8650-09-D-2921 0009 awarded by the United States Air Force. The government has certain rights in the disclosure.

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY



[0002] An improved heat exchanger for use in a gas turbine engine is disclosed.

BACKGROUND



[0003] Heat exchangers may be employed in the gas turbine engine sector (e.g., the aerospace sector) for the purpose of transferring heat between a core air stream and a bypass stream. Historically, air to air type heat exchangers are employed for this purpose. These types of heat exchangers however can require complex ducting, which adds system weight, costs, and can reduce their effectiveness. Accordingly, there is room for further improvements in this area.

[0004] According to the present disclosure, there is provided a heat exchange system and a method of operating a heat exchange system, as set forth in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0005] While the claims are not limited to a specific illustration, an appreciation of the various aspects is best gained through a discussion of various examples thereof. Referring now to the drawings, exemplary illustrations are shown in detail. Although the drawings represent the illustrations, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated to better illustrate and explain an innovative aspect of an example. Further, the exemplary illustrations described herein are not intended to be exhaustive or otherwise limiting or restricted to the precise form and configuration shown in the drawings and disclosed in the following detailed description. Exemplary illustrations are described in detail by referring to the drawings as follows:

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary gas turbine;

FIG. 2 illustrates a exemplary microchannel heat exchange system according to an embodiment;

FIG. 3a illustrates an exemplary microchannel heat exchanger (MCHX) according to an embodiment;

FIG. 3b illustrates an exaggerated view of a region of the exemplary MCHX of Figure 3a according to an embodiment;

FIG. 4 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of FIG. 3a along 4-4 according to an embodiment;

FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view of FIG. 3a along 5-5 according to an embodiment;

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary MCHX sealing layer according to an embodiment;

FIG. 7a illustrates an exemplary MCHX air-passage layer according to an embodiment; and

FIG. 7b illustrates a perspective view of a portion of the exemplary MCHX air-passage layer of FIG. 7a according to an embodiment.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0006] Figure 1 illustrates an exemplary gas turbine engine 100, which includes a fan 102, a vane/strut 104, a core stream diffuser 106, an intercooler-type microchannel heat exchanger (MCHX) 108, a high pressure compressor nozzle 110, and a closed cycle turbine 112. Ambient air enters past the fan 102 and is directed past the core stream diffuser 106 as a core air stream 114 that proceeds through the intercooler-type MCHX 108 where it is cooled.

[0007] The gas turbine engine 100 also includes a bypass stream diffuser 116, a condenser-type MCHX 118, and an exit nozzle 120. Fan stream air in the form of a bypass air stream 122 proceeds past the bypass stream diffuser 116 to the condenser-type MCHX 118, and passes through the condenser-type MCHX 118 where the bypass air stream 122 is heated before exiting the exit nozzle 120. As will be discussed in detail below with respect to Figure 2, according to an embodiment, a working fluid (not shown) that passes through the intercooler-type MCHX 108 of Figure 1 also passes through the condenser-type MCHX 118. Accordingly, the core air stream 114 heats the working fluid in the intercooler-type MCHX 108 (i.e., heat is transferred from the core air stream 114 to the working fluid in the intercooler-type MCHX 108) while the bypass air stream 122 cools the working fluid in the condenser-type MCHX 118 (i.e., heat is transferred from the working fluid in the condenser-type MCHX 118 to the bypass air stream 122).

[0008] Further details regarding the intercooler-type MCHX 108 and the condenser-type MCHX 118 will be set forth below with respect to Figures 2-7.

[0009] With reference now to Figure 2, a detailed view 200 of a portion of gas turbine engine 100 of Figure 1 employing a microchannel heat exchange system is shown according to an embodiment. The portions of the gas turbine engine 100 shown in both Figures 1 and 2 include the intercooler-type MCHX 108, the closed cycle turbine 112 , the condenser-type MCHX 118, the core stream diffuser 106, and the bypass stream diffuser 116. Figure 2 also depicts an accumulator/separator 202, a liquid working fluid pump 204, and a series of working fluid piping 206.

[0010] According to an embodiment, a core air stream 208 passes through the core stream diffuser 106 and through the intercooler-type MCHX 108. As the core air stream 208 passes though the intercooler-type MCHX 108, a working fluid (not shown) therein changes phase from a liquid to a gas as heat from the core air stream 208 is transferred to the working fluid in the intercooler-type MCHX 108. Alternatively, it is contemplated that the working fluid instead changes from a liquid to a supercritical fluid. Referring back to the present embodiment, after passing through the intercooler-type MCHX 108 the working fluid then passes via the series of working fluid piping 206 as a high pressure gas or supercritical fluid to the closed cycle turbine 112 thus generating power. The working fluid is then conveyed via the series of working fluid piping 206 as a low pressure gas or gas and liquid mixture to the condenser-type MCHX 118. The condenser-type MCHX 118 causes the working fluid therein to change phase once again, this time from a gas to a liquid by transferring heat from the working fluid to a bypass air stream 210 that passes through the condenser-type MCHX 118 via the bypass stream diffuser 116.

[0011] Accordingly, heat has been transferred from the core air stream 208 to the bypass air stream 210 via the working fluid.

[0012] After the working fluid passes through the condenser-type MCHX 118, the working fluid is then conveyed via the series of working fluid piping 206 as a liquid to the accumulator/separator 202, then to the liquid pump 204, and then again to the intercooler-type MCHX 108. As will be appreciated, piping configurations different than the configuration of the series of working fluid piping 206 shown in Figure 2 may be employed to couple together two MCHXs such as intercooler-type MCHX 108 and condenser-type MCHX 118.

[0013] By employing a heat exchange or management system having the intercooler-type MCHX 108 functionally or fluidly connected to the condenser-type MCHX 118 as shown in Figure 2, heavy and complex ducting previously required with air-to-air heat exchange systems can be avoided or at least minimized.

[0014] Turning now to Figures 3a-3b, an MCHX 300 and an exaggerated view 302 of a portion thereof are shown according to an embodiment. The MCHX 300 includes an inlet 304 on a front side 306 and an outlet 308 also on the front side 306. It is noted, that according to other embodiments, the outlet may be on a back side 310 rather than the front side 306. Alternatively, the outlet 308 may remain on the front side 306, while the inlet 304 is instead positioned on the back side 310. Indeed, according to embodiments, the outlet 308 and inlet 304 may be on any side of the MCHX 300.

[0015] Referring to the present embodiment, though not required, it is contemplated that the MCHX 300 have an external intake manifold 312 and an external outtake manifold 314, where each is shown in phantom. The MCHX 300 also includes a top side 316 and a bottom side 318.

[0016] The exaggerated view 302 of Figure 3b is of region A on the top side 316 of the MCHX 300 shown in Figure 3a. As illustrated in the exaggerated view 302, the top side 316 includes a plurality of air-passage channels 320. These air-passage channels 320 extend through the MCHX 300 from the top side 316 to the bottom side 318. The air-passage channels 320 are configured to allow air 322 to pass through the MCHX 300. That is, the air-passage channels 320 are configured to allow air 322 to enter the top side 316 of the MCHX 300 and exit through the bottom side 318 of the MCHX 300. Further information regarding the plurality of air-passage channels 320 will be set forth in detail below with respect to Figures 4 and 7a-b.

[0017] The exaggerated view 302 of Figure 3b also illustrates that the MCHX 300 is comprised of a plurality of layers. The layers include a plurality of working fluid layers 324, a plurality of sealing layers 326, and a plurality of air-passage layers 328 that includes the plurality of air-passage channels 320. Each layer 324-328 extends from the top side 316 of the MCHX 300 to the bottom side 318 of the MCHX 300. It is contemplated that these layers 324-328 include nickel, titanium, and/or aluminum alloys.

[0018] According to an embodiment, a working fluid 330 enters the MCHX 300 via the inlet 304 into the external intake manifold 312, passes through the working fluid layers 324 that run parallel with the air-passage channels 320 of the air-passage layers 328, through the external outtake manifold 314, and then out the outlet 308. The working fluid 330 may be almost any fluid or mixture, including high pressure gases, single component 2-phase fluids, multi-component mixtures 2-phase fluids, single component and multi-component supercritical fluids, and single and multi-component liquids.

[0019] The MCHX 300 is generally a counter flow-type heat exchanger. That is, as air 322, such as a core stream or a bypass stream, moves through the MCHX 300 via the air-passage channels 320 in a first direction 332, heat is transferred between the air 322 and the working fluid 330 that is moving in a second direction 334 that is opposite the first direction 332. Accordingly, an efficient heat transfer occurs between the air 322 in the air-passage channels 320 and the working fluid 330 moving in an opposite direction in the working fluid layer 324.

[0020] If the MCHX 300 functions as an intercooler, the air 322 entering the top side 316 of the MCHX 300 is warmer than the working fluid 330 entering the inlet 304. As such, heat is transferred from the air 322 to the working fluid 330 as each travel in opposite directions through the MCHX 300.

[0021] The MCHX 300, if configured to act as an intercooler, is configured to allow the working fluid 330 to take on a gaseous form as it passes through the working fluid layer 324 and absorbs heat from the air 322 passing in the opposite direction through the air-passage layers 328. Accordingly, the working fluid 330 entering the inlet 304 is in a high pressure liquid form and the working fluid leaving the MCHX 300 via the outlet 308 is in a gaseous form (e.g., steam form). It is noted that whether the working fluid 330 is in a fluid or gaseous form, it is still considered a working fluid.

[0022] Alternatively, the MCHX 300 may be configured to serve as a condenser-type MCHX. According to such an embodiment, the working fluid 330 passes heat to the air 322 and the working fluid 330 condenses as it passes through the working fluid layer 324.

[0023] It is noted that the saddle shape of the MCHX 300 depicted in figure 3 may be beneficial in a variety of applications. For example, MCHX 300 may be an intercooler-type heat exchanger that may be fit between an intermediate pressure compressor and a high pressure compressor in a three spool high bypass turban engine. It is noted, however, that embodiments are not dictated by the shape of the MCHX 300 shown in Figure 3. That is, alternate embodiments may employ other shapes that also employ microchannel air-passage and working fluid layers. Further, embodiments may also be implemented in applications other than three spool applications, such as single or double spool (shaft) applications.

[0024] Referring now to Figure 4, a partial cross-sectional view 400 of the MCHX 300 of Figure 2 along 4-4 is shown according to an embodiment. That is only a portion of the cross-section along 4-4 is shown. As seen in Figure 4, the plurality of the working fluid layers 324, the plurality of the sealing layers 326, and the plurality of the air-passage layers 328, each depicted in Figure 3, are also depicted in Figure 4. Each of the working fluid layers 324 includes a plurality of working fluid channels 402 and each of the air-passage layers 328 includes the plurality of the air-passage channels 320. As air (not shown) passes through the air-passage channels 320, heat is transferred between the air and the working fluid (not shown) that is passing in the opposite direction through the working fluid channels 402. The working fluid channels 402 and air-passage channels 320 are microchannels and the sizes generally range from 0.005 inches to 0.120 inches.

[0025] It is contemplated that during manufacturing, the layers 324-328 be bonded together by diffusion bonding or brazing. Accordingly, boundaries between the layers would be generally indistinguishable.

[0026] Further, it is contemplated that during manufacturing, a plurality of working/sealing sets 404 are created via diffusion bonding or brazing. That is, each of the working fluid layers 324 is respectively diffusion bonded or brazed to each of sealing layers 326 to form the plurality of working/sealing sets 404. According to an embodiment, the sealing layers 402 are un-etched, and each effectively creates a seal over the working fluid layer 324 while leaving the working fluid channels 402 of the sets 404 open for fluid flow.

[0027] These working/sealing sets 404 have a high structural integrity since they, in some aspects, act as a pressure vessel for the high pressure working fluid that flows therethrough. Since the working fluid channels 402 are microchannels, each of the working/sealing sets 404 accommodate a high pressure of working fluid without a corresponding high stress in each of the working/sealing sets 404 due to the low value of Pr/t stress, where "P" is internal pressure, "r" is channel diameter, and "t" is channel wall thickness.

[0028] After the sets 404 are created, each is respectively diffusion bonded or brazed to each of the air-passage layers 328. In other words, each of the air-passage layers 328 is sandwiched between two of the working/sealing sets 404.

[0029] According to an embodiment where the MCHX, such as MCHX 300, is configured as an intercooler in a turbofan environment, eight of the MCHXs 300 may be employed, each having one hundred and thirty-two air-passage layers 328 with each air-passage channel 320 thereof having a dimension of 0.0225 inches by 0.0225 inches. Each of the eight MCHX 300 would also employ one hundred and thirty-three working/sealing sets 404 with the sets 404 being approximately 0.020 inches thick. In such an embodiment, each of the working/sealing sets 404 may have an approximately 0.005 inch thick un-etched sealing layer 326 and an approximately 0.015 inch thick working fluid layer 324. The etch depth of the working fluid channels 402 may be approximately 0.010 inches. It is noted that according to other embodiments, other dimensions may instead be employed that fall within the microchannel range set forth above.

[0030] With reference now to Figure 5, a cross-sectional view of the MCHX 300 of Figure 3a along 5-5 is shown according to an embodiment. The cross-sectional view shown in Figure 5 depicts a single working fluid layer 500, such as one of the working fluid layers 324 of Figures 3a-4. The single working fluid layer 500 of Figure 5 includes the plurality of working fluid channels 402, a plurality of raised pedestals 502, a plurality of substrate rises 504, a substrate perimeter 506, and an internal intake and outtake manifolds 508, 510, respectively, around the raised pedestals 502. The internal intake and outtake manifold 508, 510 are generally the same depth as the working fluid channels 402. An upper and lower portion 512, 514 (respectively shown in phantom) of the respective external outtake and intake manifolds 314, 312 of Figure 3 are also shown. With continued reference to Figure 5, it is noted that the substrate rises 504, substrate perimeter 506, and the upper and lower portions 512, 514, respectively, are generally at the same height.

[0031] Figure 5 also depicts an external outtake manifold void 516 and an external intake manifold void 518. It is noted that according to an embodiment, external intake and outtake manifolds are not required since the internal intake manifold 508 and the internal outtake manifold 510 may be all that is needed to accommodate the transfer of the working fluid.

[0032] According to the present embodiment, the single working fluid layer 500 is configured to allow a working fluid to enter from the external intake manifold void 518 into the internal intake manifold 508 around the pedestals 502 therein and pass into the plurality of working fluid channels 402. It is contemplated that the working fluid be a mixture such as a water-ammonia mixture. The working fluid passes through the working fluid channels 402 and enters the internal outtake manifold 510 where it passes around the raised pedestals 502 therein and out the external outtake manifold void 516. It is noted that, according to the embodiment depicted in Figure 5, the single working fluid layer 500 is for an evaporative or boiling type MCHX such as intercooler-type MCHX 108 depicted in Figures 1 and 2. Accordingly, the volume of the internal outtake manifold 510 of Figure 5 is larger than the volume of the internal intake manifold 508. The larger volume of the internal outtake manifold 510 accommodates the expansion of the working fluid from a liquid to a gas or supercritical fluid as it passes through the working fluid channels 402. However, in an alternate embodiment not shown where the MCHX is a condenser-type MCHX, the internal outtake manifold has a smaller volume than the internal intake manifold to accommodate the decrease in volume (e.g., condensing from a gas to a liquid) of the working fluid as it passes through the working fluid channels thereof.

[0033] With continued reference to Figure 5, the arrangement of the raised pedestals 502 shown is configured to aid the flow of the working fluid. For example, the arrangement of the raised pedestals 502 in the internal intake manifold 508 aides in the distribution of the working fluid into the working fluid channels 402. Likewise, the arrangement of the pedestals 502 in the upper working fluid region 510 aides in the transfer of the working fluid out of the working fluid channels 402 and into the external outtake manifold void 516.

[0034] The size of the working fluid channels 402 generally ranges from 0.005 inches to 0.120 inches. The single working fluid layer 500 is manufactured by a process that combines portions of printed circuit board manufacturing (e.g., masking, ultraviolet exposure, and mask development) with electrochemical machining/etching in sheet metal. With regards to the etching, isotropic or anisotropic etching may be employed.

[0035] Due to the manner of manufacturing of the single working fluid layer 500, the design of the single working fluid layer 500 is easily configurable. For example, whereas the embodiment of Figure 5 depicts straight working fluid channels 402 and round raised pedestals 502, other embodiments may employ different shapes of these features. For example, though not shown, the design artwork may be relatively easily modified to employ pedestals that are not round and/or channels that are staggered or even snake shaped. It is the use of the resist, mask, expose, develop, and electrochemical etching/machining processes employed in the printed circuit board sector that make the design art work easily configurable.

[0036] It is noted that embodiments are not dictated by the saddle shape shown in Figure 5. That is, working fluid layers may take on shapes other than a saddle shape.

[0037] Referring now to Figure 6, a sealing layer 600 is shown according to an embodiment. As discussed above with respect to Figure 4, it is contemplated that each working fluid layer (e.g., single working fluid layer 500 of Figure 5) is bonded to a sealing layer (e.g., the sealing layer 326 of Figure 4), thus creating a working sealing set such as working/sealing set 404 of Figure 4. Accordingly, the sealing layer 600 of Figure 6 is configured to have generally the same footprint as the working fluid layer (e.g., the working fluid layer 500 of Figure 5). The sealing layer 600 is bonded via diffusion bonding or brazing to the raised substrate of the working fluid layer. For example, with reference to Figures 5 and 6, the sealing layer 600 is bonded to the substrate rises 504, the substrate perimeter 506, the raised pedestals 502, and the upper and lower portions of the respective external outtake and intake manifolds 512, 514 of the single working fluid layer 500. Since neither the working fluid channels 402 nor the internal outtake and intake manifolds 510, 508, respectively, around the raised pedestals 502 are bonded to the sealing layer 600, the working fluid is allowed to move into the internal intake manifold 508 via the external intake manifold void 518, then into the working fluid channels 402, out into the internal outtake manifold 510, and then out through the external outtake manifold void 516.

[0038] It is noted that embodiments are not dictated by the saddle shape shown in Figure 6. That is, sealing layers may take on shapes other than a saddle shape.

[0039] With reference now to Figure 7a, an air-passage layer 700 is shown according to an embodiment. The air-passage layer 700 includes a plurality of air-passage channels 702, a plurality of air-passage substrate rises 704, a first substrate perimeter 706, a portion of external outtake manifold region 708 (shown in phantom), a second substrate perimeter 710, and a portion of an external intake manifold region 712 (shown in phantom). Further, Figure 7a also depicts a portion of an external intake manifold void 714 and an external outtake manifold void 716.

[0040] It is noted that the air-passage channels 702 and the air-passage substrate rises 704 extend from a top end 718 of the air-passage layer 700 to a bottom end 720 of the air-passage layer 700. Further, according to the present embodiment, the air-passage channels 702 generally converge at the bottom end 720 relative to the top end 718. As such, if the air-passage layer 700 is employed in an intercooler-type MCHX (e.g., intercooler-type MCHX 108 of Figures 1 and 2), the convergence compensates for any loss of air stream velocity through the air-passage channels 702 of Figure 7a due to cooling. Other embodiments, however, are envisioned having convergence instead on the top end 718 or no convergence at all.

[0041] The air-passage substrate rises 704, first and second perimeters 706, 710, and the portions of the external outtake and intake manifolds 708, 712 are generally at the same height. Accordingly, these areas 704-712 are diffusion bonded or brazed to respective working/sealing sets 404 of Figure 4 during manufacture.

[0042] The air-passage channels 702 of Figure 7a are microchannels and generally range in size between 0.005 inches and 0.120inches. The small features of the of the air-passage channels 702 enable a large air surface area of the air-passage layer 700 so that the product of the heat transfer coefficient times the surface area (i.e., the HA product) can be generally the same magnitude as the working fluid layer (e.g., working/sealing sets 404). Accordingly, an MCHX (e.g., intercooler-type MCHX 108 and condenser-type MCHX 118, each of Figures 1 and 2, and MCHX 300 of Figure 3) can be a fraction of the volume of a conventional heat exchanger (not shown) with generally equivalent performance (e.g., air pressure loss and thermal efficiency).

[0043] The air-passage layer 700 is manufactured by a process that combines portions of printed circuit board manufacturing (e.g., masking, ultraviolet exposure, and mask development) with electrochemical machining/etching in sheet metal. With regards to the etching, isotropic or anisotropic etching may be employed.

[0044] Due to the manner of manufacturing the air-passage layer 700, the design of thereof is configurable. For example, whereas the embodiment of Figure 7a depicts straight air-passage channels 702, other embodiment may employ different shapes of this feature. For example, though not shown, the design artwork may be relatively easily modified to create staggered or snake shaped air-passage microchannels. Further, it is noted that embodiments are not dictated by the saddle shape shown in Figure 7a. That is, air-passage layers may take shapes other than a saddle shape.

[0045] Referring now to Figures 7b and 7a, where figure 7b depicts a perspective view of a portion of air-passage layer 700 according to an embodiment. Figure 7b illustrates that it is contemplated that the air-passage channels 702 and the air-passage substrate rises 704 are on both sides of air-passage layer 700.

[0046] According to embodiments, MCHXs such as MCHX 108 and 118, both of Figures 1 and 2, and MCHX 300 of Figure 3 are comprised of a plurality of microchannel layers (e.g., working fluid layer 324 shown in Figures 4 and 5 and air-passage layer 700 shown in figure 7). Such MCHXs have a high level or porosity, where porosity is a total void volume (i.e., the sum of each manifold volume and each passage or channel volume) over the total MCHX volume. Whereas a typical heat exchanger (not shown) may have a porosity in the range from twenty to thirty percent, embodiments of the MCHX discussed in detail herein may have a porosity in the range of thirty to seventy percent.

[0047] The MCHXs (i.e., 108 and 118 both of Figures 1 and 2, and 300 of Figure 3) and the embodiments thereof discussed in detail above, whether they are of the intercooler or condenser-type MCHXs, have the advantages of having a small size and weight for a given thermal effectiveness and pressure drop. As discussed above, they have a high porosity. Accordingly, these types of MCHXs can be utilized in applications that have tight size and weight requirements. For example, the MCHXs discussed above and the embodiments thereof can be utilized in aerospace application where size and weight requirements need to be met. Further, since an intermediate fluid is utilized (e.g., working fluid 330 of Figure 3a), the need for heavy and complex ducting often needed for air-to-air type heat exchangers can be avoided.

[0048] Aspects of the disclosure will be described below by numbered clauses:
  1. 1. A gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200, comprising: a first microchannel heat exchanger (MCHX) 108, 118, 300 configured to transfer heat between a first air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 and a working fluid 330, wherein the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 comprises:

    a first plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700, wherein each air-passage layer 328, 700 of the first plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700 includes a first plurality of etched air-passage microchannels 320, 702 configured to allow passage of the first air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 therethrough; and

    a first plurality of working fluid layers 324, 500, wherein each working fluid layer 324, 500 of the first plurality of working fluid layers 324, 500 includes a first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels 402 configured to allow passage of the working fluid 330 therethrough.

  2. 2. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 1, wherein the plurality of etched air-passage microchannels 320, 702 are on a first side of each air-passage layer 328, 700 of the first plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700 and on a second side of each air-passage layer 328, 700 of the first plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700, and wherein the first side is opposite the second side.
  3. 3. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 1 or 2, wherein the first plurality of etched air-passage microchannels 320, 720 converge at a first end 718, 720 of each air-passage layer 328, 700 of the first plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700.
  4. 4. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 as in any of clauses 1 to 3, wherein an inner dimension of each etched air-passage microchannel 320, 702 of the first plurality of etched air-passage microchannels 320, 702 and each etched working fluid microchannel 402 of the first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels 402 is no less than 0.005 inches and no more than 0.120 inches.
  5. 5. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 as in any of clauses 1 to 4, further comprising a second MCHX 108, 118, 300 functionally connected with the first MCHX 108, 118, 300, wherein the second MCHX 108, 118, 300 comprises:

    a second plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700, wherein each air-passage layer 328, 700 of the second plurality of etched air-passage layers 328, 700 includes a second plurality of etched air-passage microchannels 320, 700 configured to allow the passage of a bypass air stream 122, 210, 322 therethrough; and

    a second plurality of working fluid layers 324, 500, wherein each working fluid layer 324, 500 of the second plurality of working fluid layers 324, 500 includes a second plurality of etched working fluid microchannels 402 configured to allow the passage of the working fluid 330 therethrough, and wherein the gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 is configured to transport a quantity of heat from the first air stream 114, 208, 322 to the bypass air stream 122, 210, 322.

  6. 6. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 5, wherein the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 is an intercooler MCHX 108, 300 and the second MCHX 108, 118, 300 is a condenser MCHX 118, 300.
  7. 7. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 as in any of clauses 1 to 6, the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 further comprising a first plurality of sealing layers 326, 600 bonded to the first plurality of working fluid layers (24, 500 such that a single sealing layer 326, 600 of the first plurality of sealing layers 326, 600 is bonded to a single working fluid layer 324, 500 of the first plurality of working fluid layers 324, 500 to create a first plurality of working and sealing layer sets 404.
  8. 8. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 7, wherein each air-passage layer 328, 700 of the first plurality of air-passage layers 328, 700 is diffusion bonded between two working and sealing layer sets 404 of the first plurality of working and sealing layer sets 404.
  9. 9. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 7 or 8, wherein each working and sealing layer set 404 of the first plurality of working and sealing layer sets 404 comprises:

    an etched internal intake manifold 508, wherein the etched internal intake manifold 508 is configured to distribute the working fluid 330 to the first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels 402; and

    an etched internal outtake manifold 510, wherein the etched internal outtake manifold 510 is configured to receive the working fluid 330 from the first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels 402.

  10. 10. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 9, wherein the etched intake manifold 508 and the etched outtake manifold 510 of each working and sealing layer set 404 of the first plurality of working and sealing layer sets 404 surround a plurality of supports 504 configured to support a sealing layer 326, 600 of the first plurality of sealing layers 326, 600.
  11. 11. The gas turbine engine 100 heat exchange system 200 of clause 9 or 10, wherein the internal intake manifold 508 has a dimensional volume different than the internal outtake manifold 510.
  12. 12. A microchannel heat exchanger (MCHX) system 200 configured to transport heat within a gas turbine engine 100, the MCHX system 200 comprising:

    a first MCHX 108, 118, 300 comprising:

    a first layer 328, 700 having a plurality of electrochemically etched air-passage microchannels 320, 702 configured to convey a first air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 through the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 in a first direction 332; and

    a second layer 324, 500 bonded to the first layer 328, 700, the second layer 324, 500 having a plurality of electrochemically etched intercooler working fluid microchannels 402 configured to convey a working fluid 330 through the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 in a second direction 334 opposite the first direction 332.

  13. 13. The MCHX system 200 of clause 12, further comprising a second MCHX 108, 118, 300 fluidly coupled to the first MCHX exchanger 108, 118, 300, the second MCHX 108, 118, 300 is configured to convey heat between a second air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 and the working fluid 330, and wherein the first air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 is a core air stream 114, 208, 322 and the second air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 is a bypass air stream 122, 210, 322, and wherein the MCHX system 200 is configured to convey heat between the core air stream 114, 208, 322 and the bypass air stream 122, 210, 322.
  14. 14. The MCHX system 200 of clause 12 or 13, wherein the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 has a porosity between 0.30 and 0.70, and wherein the porosity is a sum of each void volume in the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 divided by a total volume of the first MCHX 108, 118, 300.
  15. 15. The MCHX system 200 as in any of clauses 12 to 14, wherein the plurality of electrochemically etched air-passage microchannels 320, 702 converge at a first end 718, 720 of the first layer 328, 700 to converge a plurality of air streams 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 passing through the first MCHX 108, 118, 300, wherein the first air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 entering the plurality of electrochemically etched air-passage microchannels 320, 702 comprises the plurality of air streams 114, 122, 208, 210, 332 passing through the first MCHX 108, 118,300.
  16. 16. The MCHX system 200 as in any of clauses 12 to 15, wherein the second layer 324, 500 of the first MCHX 108, 118, 300 further comprises:

    an internal intake manifold 508 electrochemically etched into the first layer 328, 700, wherein the internal intake manifold 508 is configured to convey the working fluid 330 to the plurality of electrochemically etched working fluid microchannels 402; and

    an internal outtake manifold 510 electrochemically etched into the first layer 328, 700, wherein the internal outtake manifold 510 is configured to receive the working fluid 330 from the plurality of electrochemically etched working fluid microchannels 402.

  17. 17. The MCHX system 200 of clause 16, wherein an internal volume of the internal intake manifold 508 is less than an internal volume of the internal outtake manifold 510.
  18. 18. A method of conveying a quantity of heat within a gas turbine engine 100 comprising:

    passing an air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 from a gas turbine engine 100 through a plurality of etched microchannel air passages 320, 702 of a first heat exchanger 108, 118, 300; and

    passing a working fluid 330 through a plurality of etched microchannel working fluid passages 402 of the first heat exchanger 108, 118, 300 such that a quantity of heat is transferred between the working fluid 300 and the air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322.

  19. 19. The method of conveying the quantity of heat within the gas turbine engine 100 of clause 18, wherein an inner dimension of each passage 402 of the plurality of etched microchannel working fluid passages 402 and each passage 320, 702 of the plurality of etched microchannel air passages 320, 702 is no less than 0.005 inches and no more than 0.120 inches.
  20. 20. The method of conveying a quantity of heat within the gas turbine engine 100 of clause 18 or 19, further comprising:

    passing the working fluid 330 through a plurality of etched microchannel working fluid passages 402 of a second heat exchanger 108, 118, 300; and passing a second air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 through a plurality of etched microchannel air passages 320, 702 of the second heat exchanger to transfer a quantity of heat from the first air stream 114, 122, 208, 210, 322 to the second air stream 114, 122, 208, 210,322.



[0049] It will be appreciated that the aforementioned method and devices may be modified to have some components and steps removed, or may have additional components and steps added, all of which are deemed to be within the spirit of the present disclosure. Even though the present disclosure has been described in detail with reference to specific embodiments, it will be appreciated that the various modifications and changes can be made to these embodiments without departing from the scope of the present disclosure as set forth in the claims. The specification and the drawings are to be regarded as an illustrative thought instead of merely restrictive thought.


Claims

1. A gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200), comprising: a first microchannel heat exchanger (MCHX) (108, 118, 300) configured to transfer heat between a first air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322) and a working fluid (330), wherein the first MCHX (108, 118, 300) comprises:

a first plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700), wherein each air-passage layer (328, 700) of the first plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700) includes a first plurality of etched air-passage microchannels (320, 702) configured to allow passage of the first air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322) therethrough; and

a first plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500), wherein each working fluid layer (324, 500) of the first plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500) includes a first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels (402) configured to allow passage of the working fluid (330) therethrough.


 
2. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 1, wherein the plurality of etched air-passage microchannels (320, 702) are on a first side of each air-passage layer (328, 700) of the first plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700) and on a second side of each air-passage layer (328, 700) of the first plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700), and wherein the first side is opposite the second side.
 
3. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 1 or 2, wherein the first plurality of etched air-passage microchannels (320, 720) converge at a first end (718, 720) of each air-passage layer (328, 700) of the first plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700).
 
4. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) as in any of claims 1 to 3, wherein an inner dimension of each etched air-passage microchannel (320, 702) of the first plurality of etched air-passage microchannels (320, 702) and each etched working fluid microchannel (402) of the first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels (402) is no less than 0.005 inches and no more than 0.120 inches.
 
5. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) as in any of claims 1 to 4, further comprising a second MCHX (108, 118, 300) functionally connected with the first MCHX (108, 118, 300), wherein the second MCHX (108, 118, 300) comprises:

a second plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700), wherein each air-passage layer (328, 700) of the second plurality of etched air-passage layers (328, 700) includes a second plurality of etched air-passage microchannels (320, 700) configured to allow the passage of a bypass air stream (122, 210, 322) therethrough; and

a second plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500), wherein each working fluid layer (324, 500) of the second plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500) includes a second plurality of etched working fluid microchannels (402) configured to allow the passage of the working fluid (330) therethrough, and wherein the gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) is configured to transport a quantity of heat from the first air stream (114, 208, 322) to the bypass air stream (122, 210,322).


 
6. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 5, wherein the first MCHX (108, 118, 300) is an intercooler MCHX (108, 300) and the second MCHX (108, 118, 300) is a condenser MCHX (118, 300).
 
7. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) as in any of claims 1 to 6, the first MCHX (108, 118, 300) further comprising a first plurality of sealing layers (326, 600) bonded to the first plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500) such that a single sealing layer (326, 600) of the first plurality of sealing layers (326, 600) is bonded to a single working fluid layer (324, 500) of the first plurality of working fluid layers (324, 500) to create a first plurality of working and sealing layer sets (404).
 
8. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 7, wherein each air-passage layer (328, 700) of the first plurality of air-passage layers (328, 700) is diffusion bonded between two working and sealing layer sets (404) of the first plurality of working and sealing layer sets (404).
 
9. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 7 or 8, wherein each working and sealing layer set (404) of the first plurality of working and sealing layer sets (404) comprises:

an etched internal intake manifold (508), wherein the etched internal intake manifold (508) is configured to distribute the working fluid (330) to the first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels (402); and

an etched internal outtake manifold (510), wherein the etched internal outtake manifold (510) is configured to receive the working fluid (330) from the first plurality of etched working fluid microchannels (402).


 
10. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 9, wherein the etched intake manifold (508) and the etched outtake manifold (510) of each working and sealing layer set (404) of the first plurality of working and sealing layer sets (404) surround a plurality of supports (504) configured to support a sealing layer (326, 600) of the first plurality of sealing layers (326, 600).
 
11. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) of claim 9 or 10, wherein the internal intake manifold (508) has a dimensional volume different than the internal outtake manifold (510).
 
12. The gas turbine engine (100) heat exchange system (200) as in any of claims 9 to 11, wherein an internal volume of the internal intake manifold (508) is less than an internal volume of the internal outtake manifold (510).
 
13. A method of conveying a quantity of heat within a gas turbine engine (100) comprising:

passing an air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322) from a gas turbine engine (100) through a plurality of etched microchannel air passages (320, 702) of a first heat exchanger (108, 118, 300); and

passing a working fluid (330) through a plurality of etched microchannel working fluid passages (402) of the first heat exchanger (108, 118, 300) such that a quantity of heat is transferred between the working fluid (300) and the air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322).


 
14. The method of claim 13, wherein an inner dimension of each passage (402) of the plurality of etched microchannel working fluid passages (402) and each passage (320, 702) of the plurality of etched microchannel air passages (320, 702) is no less than 0.005 inches and no more than 0.120 inches.
 
15. The method of of claim 13 or 14, further comprising:

passing the working fluid (330) through a plurality of etched microchannel working fluid passages (402) of a second heat exchanger (108, 118, 300); and

passing a second air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322) through a plurality of etched microchannel air passages (320, 702) of the second heat exchanger to transfer a quantity of heat from the first air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322) to the second air stream (114, 122, 208, 210, 322).


 




Drawing