Possible Applications and Markets for the FASTT Technology
Heat transfer and thermal management is globally a multi billion-dollar market. It is highly segmented with applications in many industrial and consumer sectors.
The market for high heat flux, wide operating temperature range and cryogenic applications is large and fast growing. This growth has been fuelled by the ever increasing demands for thermal management in many sectors. The limitations of existing heat transfer technologies in addressing these needs provide an opportunity for a fundamentally novel technology.
The FASTT technology offers a relatively simple alternative heat exchange solution which enables the operating envelope of heat transfer techniques to be expanded beyond that possible with existing technologies. The high heat flux at cryogenic temperatures offered by the FASTT technology is significant relative to other technologies.
Many potential applications and markets exist for the FASTT technology. These may be considered by constructing a matrix of input to output types with the various forms of FASTT device. The FASTT mechanisms can be broadly divided into those that are sealed and those that are open/unsealed. Within this broad categorisation, the use of gases other than air may be considered. Applications may be further divided into those which are intended for cooling or heating. Generally, further subdivisions may be made depending upon whether the intention is to have low flux to high flux ratio or high flux to high flux ratio, or any combination which sits between these two extremes. Within those forms involving a ratio of flux between input and output there is the additional possibility of cascading which can push the ratio still higher. Still further, broad categorisation can be based upon the operating temperature range, and still further by consideration of the three main heat transfer mechanisms for input and output stages. i.e conductive, convective or radiative.
Consideration of the wide range of features/benefits offered by the FASTT technology and comparisons against existing approaches is assisting in identifying where the FASTT technology may have application and where it may best fit within the overall heat transfer market. It has also given an insight into where future research and development efforts may be focused.
High heat flux, wide operating temperature range applications may provide the best or most appropriate applications. This is particularly so where combining the heat transfer medium and output sink within one component offers significant advantages. Further development of the technology together with optimisation for specific applications will provide greater clarity regarding commercially viability.
Potential markets include applications in aerospace/avionics, chemical petrochemical processing, computers and data centres, air conditioning and heat pumps, cryogenics and refrigeration, communications, consumer electronics, transportation, injection moulding, renewable energy and energy conversion, military, space, medical and test equipment, power electronics as well as in research.
Specific examples of where the FASTT technology may be used include: computer processor chip cooling; solar energy harvesting and storage; air conditioning and heat pump heat exchangers; cryogenic heat exchangers; and high flux, portable device cooling equipment. Additional potential applications could include compact heat exchangers for nuclear and petrochemical end use through to applications in space and re-gasification of cryogenically cooled gases.
The FASTT technology is expected to be “disruptive” in some existing markets and and may be the technology of choice where its benefits are significant in comparison to existing approaches.