Office of Commercialization  Novel Heat Exchanger for Staged Cryogenic Refrigerators
Novel Heat Exchanger for Staged Cryogenic Refrigerators

Novel Heat Exchanger for Staged Cryogenic Refrigerators


Unmet Need: Maximized efficiency of heat exchange

Current sources of renewable energy such as solar power, windmills, and dams do not produce constant power outputs, and must be supplemented with nonrenewable sources of energy to prevent outages. Alternatively, storing excess energy produced by renewable resources would negate this concern. Hydrogen liquefiers powered by this excess energy could be used to generate renewable, energy dense hydrogen which could be stored and used on demand. However, hydrogen liquefiers operate at very low efficiencies, due in large part to the inefficient design of traditional heat exchangers.

The Technology: Uniquely branched heat exchanger for the liquefaction of hydrogen

The inventors have developed a 3D printed, scalable heat exchanger designed to minimize entropy generation in cryogenic systems, thereby increasing efficiency. Traditional heat exchangers have single tube designs and are often not scalable or adaptable to various cryogenic systems. The new technology has been shown by numerical optimization to be almost 40% more efficient when compared to single tube heat exchangers.


  • Small scale hydrogen liquefaction
  • Carbon neutral hydrogen generation
  • Recycling of cooling gases


  • More efficient than single tube heat exchangers
  • Made to fit a wide range of cryogenic refrigerators
  • 3D printed, low cost

Patent Information:

Provisional patent application has been filed.

Patent Information: