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ARPA-E grant #3

April 12, 2019 

MSU awarded a third ARPA-E grant - $2.3 million for high-efficiency power generation 

Mechanical engineers Haseung Chung, Rohini Balachandran, James Klausner, Andre Benard, Patrick Kwon, and Himanshu Sahasbuhdre have teamed up to improve high-efficiency power generation.
Mechanical engineers Haseung Chung, Rohini Balachandran, James Klausner, Andre Benard, Patrick Kwon, and Himanshu Sahasbuhdre have teamed up to improve high-efficiency power generation.

Michigan State University’s growing expertise in additive manufacturing and high-efficiency power generation has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) with a new $2.3 million project. It is the third national ARPA-E grant for the Department of Mechanical Engineering in less than six months.

Andre Benard, associate professor of mechanical engineering, will serve as lead investigator on HIPPED -- Heat-Exchanger Intensification Through Powder Processing and Enhanced Design. The technology features a plate-type heat exchanger that enables lower cost, powder-based advanced manufacturing. 

“Producers of grid-scale power have become interested in developing thermoelectric power plants that use supercritical CO2 as a working fluid instead of water,” Benard said. “The breakthrough power plants will be more energy efficient, more compact, and will lower costs so electric utilities will benefit. 

MSU has been awarded three ARPA-E grants in the last six months, thanks in part of the leadership of James Klausner and Andre Benard.
MSU has been awarded three ARPA-E grants in the last six months, thanks in part of the leadership of James Klausner and Andre Benard.

“Unfortunately,” he continued, “the heat exchangers needed for high temperature, high pressure supercritical CO2 power plants are very large and expensive. The team’s goal is to develop a highly scalable and compact lower cost heat exchanger that will provide a high degree of corrosion resistance and remain strong at the highest operating temperatures. 

“Ideally, it will handle the rated power and mechanical durability of the power plant for its lifetime,” he added. 

Serving as co-investigators on the project are faculty members from the MSU Department of Mechanical Engineering – James Klausner, Patrick Kwon, Joerg Petrasch, Alex Diaz, Haseung Chung and Himanshu Sahasbuhdre, and Rohini Balachandran from the University of Michigan Department of Mechanical Engineering. 

MSU Foundation Professor James Klausner, who is chair of mechanical engineering, said MSU has been awarded three grants because of the department’s recognition in energy related issues and the recent hiring of active faculty experts. 

MSU’s external industrial collaborators are Curtiss Wright, Solar Turbine, and UHV. 

Adding their expertise to the ARPA-E project are Rohini Balachandran, Patrick Kwon, Haseung Chung, and Himanshu Sahasbuhdre
Adding their expertise to the ARPA-E project are Rohini Balachandran, Patrick Kwon, Haseung Chung, and Himanshu Sahasbuhdre

Other recent ARPA-E grants for the ME department are:

• Earlier in 2019, MSU and its partners shared almost $3 million to save energy by developing a freshwater recovery system to extract clean irrigation water from hydraulic fracturing wastewater.

• In autumn 2018, MSU and its partners received $2 million to develop innovative designs for long-duration storage on the U.S power grid. 

ARPA-E is part of the U.S. Department of Energy and supports the development of innovative technologies to transform the nation’s energy system. It advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment by encouraging the development of entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy. Since 2009, it has provided $1.8 billion in research and development. More on ARPA-E