internal view of an aeroplane


Heat exchangers have a fundamental role in aviation engineering. Continued efforts are made to achieve even greater compactness, less weight and higher performances. Current designs of multiphase heat exchanger headers – where the liquid enters and leaves the tubes – are based on empirical approaches. What is more, the heat exchanger's operation relies on the use of refrigerant fluids with high global warming potential.
The EU-funded PANTTHER project aims to optimise the performance of multiphase heat exchangers with low GWP fluids, using a 3D CFD porous media model that takes phase change phenomena and fin structures into account. Topological optimisation and adjoint methods will be assessed, while two experimental facilities with innovative measurement techniques will allow an optimum validation.

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 886698. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Clean Sky 2 JU members other than the Union.


The CleanSky 2 PANTTHER project has been finalized

The final meeting of the CleanSky2 H2020 Project named PANTTHER (exPerimental And Numerical mulTiscale mulTiphasic Heat ExchangeR) took place at the von Karman Institute and online on October 5th.
The EU-funded PANTTHER project, coordinated by the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) aimed to understand the flow maldistribution in multiphase heat exchangers as well as characterize the effect of using low GWP refrigerants. The project partnered with TEMISTH, with LIEBHERR Aerospace a topic leader. The project started in September 2020 for a duration of 36 months and an estimated budget of € 1 196 128,75. During this project, two experimental installations were built. The first is a simplified version of an evaporator header, with air/water in flow similarity where a complete study of the effect of many parameters (such as inlet pipe position, presence of protrusions, header orientation) on the flow distribution in the header was performed using Design of Experiments. To allow this extensive study, an innovative two-phase flow metering technique using a venturi solely was developed. The second is an vapor cycle system that was first used to build a database of R1234ze evaporation in a 10 mm horizontal pipe, and then perform a similar study on the effect of parameters as done with the air/water setup. Qualitatively similar results were obtained. On the numerical side, a diphasic, 3D, hydraulic and thermal laminar topological optimization solver was developed. In parallel, simulations of the full heat exchanger were performed where the core is modelled with a diphasic 3D porous media approach with phase change, while the header is modelled with a MMP approach. Three journal papers, almost 10 conference papers, and a video of the refrigerant setup was generated.

Discover the Pantther project in 5 minutes

Discover the Pantther project in 10 minutes

Facts and Figures

Type of Action
CS2-RIA - Research and Innovation action
36 months
1 Septembre 2020 - 31 Août 2023
Estimated Budget
€ 1 196 128,75
Pantther Coordinator
TEMISTH SAS (France) and Liebherr (Germany)
von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics
Temisth SAS