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.