Case Study

Novel Design – the STEP fusion reactor

Project Lead:
Joe Cowperthwaite
joe.cowperwaite@nortonstraw.com
+44 (0)117 325 0769

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Challenge

Our client, UKAEA, are developing the STEP fusion power plant, with the aim of being the first commercial fusion plant in operation.  With HiETA technologies we entered and won a competition to design the diverter heat exchanger, which forms part of the wall in the very hottest part of the fusion chamber. Three other companies were also awarded contracts, with the best design progressing to trial.

We are experts in the use of numerical modelling for flow and thermal design, and HiETA are experts in the use of Additive Manufacturing for heat exchangers. The initial concept was for a complex, recuperative design that could only be achieved using AM, optimised by our analysis. Intensive computational modelling homed in on a layout that would meet all aspects of the requirement – thermal performance, fatigue and creep life.
Our work
Outcome

The design and analysis work was completed sufficiently quickly that HiETA were able to produce a test piece within the overall three-month project duration.  Our design was adjudged the most promising of the four alternatives and is now in the test phase.

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