You are here

Novel Methods to Mitigate Heat Exchanger Fouling

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-22-C-0060
Agency Tracking Number: N202-132-0559
Amount: $999,922.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N202-132
Solicitation Number: 20.2
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-10-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-06-20
Small Business Information
17301 W. Colfax Avenue #160
Golden, CO 80401-1111
United States
DUNS: 196231166
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sibylle Walter
 (303) 881-7992
Business Contact
 Todd Leeson
Phone: (303) 881-7992
Research Institution

Current Navy ships make use of shell-and-tube heat exchangers, which can utilize seawater as a heat sink. This is advantageous since ships can easily pull in water, filter it, utilize the cooling capacity, then dump the water overboard. Utilizing seawater as a heat sink reduces logistical burden and allows for ships to not have to store additional refrigerant onboard. Unfortunately, seawater is teeming with marine life. Up to now, filtration, high velocity flushing, and chlorination of the heat exchanger has been used to clean and maintain the heat exchanger in situ with deep cleaning when the ship is in port. However, filtration does not filter out bacteria, which colonize on walls of the heat exchanger to form a biofilm. High velocity flushing asymptotes in effectiveness and cannot remove build ups. Chlorination is effective in cold water, but as seawater temperatures rise, it is becoming less effective. The lack of biocide allows the biofilm to mature and larger marine growth to attach, reducing heat exchanger efficiency. During Phase I, Reaction Systems, Inc (RSI) developed an environmentally responsible way to clean the inside of the heat exchanger that does not introduce pollution into the returned ocean water. RSI was able to achieve a combination of disinfection of the water and sanitization of the surface, inhibiting biofilm growth. In the Phase II work, RSI will mature the technology by experimenting in a representative geometry and with real seawater. At the end of the Phase II, the TRL will have gone from 2 to 5. In the Phase II Option, RSI will test in a warm water port, further raising the TRL to 6.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government