In 2013, DEXT embarked on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Sheffield Hallam University led by Dr Gareth Evans named ‘Expedite the design process and maximise product performance relating to a novel heat plate exchanger’.
Gareth was employed by the university as a consultant to DEXT using the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme. View the Sheffield Hallam University case study here.
The project aimed to investigate the feasibility of the duct heat recovery concept (code named ‘Apollo’) and find pathways to bring the project forward. The problem was found to be computationally complex and was only just possible with the hardware of the time.
Gareth performed a number of feasibility studies to identify a physical design pathway for the core technology, mainly on the Ansys platform. The iterative design process enabled only the optimum designs to be considered for future prototyping and manufacture. The outcome of the research fed into the ‘Apollo’ heat recovery prototype that was commissioned and installed into a Nando’s trial site the following year.
This project had two main outcomes:
- It built the foundations of the process that led to the IUK project and full R&D program led by Gareth.
- It informed the design of the ‘Apollo’ CO2 heat pump heat recovery project.
- ANSYS Mechanical Deformation models were developed to simulate the fin-panel manufacturing inflation process. This provided approximate geometries for input into ANSYS CFD software – more refinement was needed moving forward, however the advantages to this process were that multiple designs could be trialled and compared, without the need to manufacture multiple prototypes.
- ANSYS FLUENT Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models were based on the output ‘mesh’ geometries from the main deformation models. This enabled fluid flow and heat transfer analysis to be performed on the different designs and an optimum design path forward to be established.
- The above achievements of the KTP project highlighted a potential full scale research and business growth opportunity with Gareth. In order for this to be correctly planned and implemented, a full assessment of the existing company, internal practices, and supply chain would need to be carried out and a growth pathway/Business/R&D plan developed.