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HRI creates a custom heat exchanger for a split cycle engine

HRI designed a new breed of heat exchanger to meet the needs of a uniquely challenging application: an alternative internal combustion engine with extremes in temperature as well as pressure.

differential pressure between hot and cold sides
0 bar
operational temperature
0 °F
operational cold pressure
~ 0 psia


For the customer’s alternative internal combustion engine, they needed a heat exchanger that could operate at extreme ends of the temperature and pressure scale

Our customer, a forerunner in split cycle (alternative internal combustion) engine technology, needed a unique and highly efficient heat exchanger that was durable and strong enough to operate at 1562°F. It also needed to withstand extreme pressure differentials: a cold-side pressure of 1088 psia and ambient pressure on the hot side.

While the performance requirements were high, space was limited. The heat exchanger also had to be constructed within a compact footprint — small enough to fit into a truck engine compartment.

Project Specifications

850°C / 1562°F

Compact enough to fit within a truck engine compartment

1088 psia — ambient operating pressure

Gas to Gas

The Solution

HRI’s custom micro-channel and fin design can handle the extreme range of pressures between hot and cold sides and is small enough to fit into a truck engine compartment

The customer came to HRI seeking a unique heat exchanger for an application they knew would be a challenge beyond the abilities of traditional heat exchangers. To handle the project’s extreme variations in pressure and comply with size limitations, HRI innovated, created and then tested not one, but three separate designs. It was the third, an innovative micro-channel and fin design, that not only met but exceeded requirements.

  • Unique micro-channel and fin construction meets or exceeds performance requirements.
  • ​​Core is constructed from Hast-X alloy for exceptional strength, durability, and high-temperature oxidation resistance
  • Case and tubing composed of Incoloy 65 and balance of components of 310S.
  • Once approved, HRI subjected the heat exchanger to extensive FEA, pressure, and thermal testing.

The Results

HRI’s unique heat exchanger enables success for our customer’s test engines

HRI’s custom, compact heat exchanger met or exceeded the customer’s performance requirements. It proved itself able to handle both extreme swings in temperature and the dramatic variations from atmospheric to high pressure between both sides of the truck engine compartment. It’s an innovative solution that enables the customer to successfully run its Split-Cycle test engines in the UK, and continue to pave the way for more sustainable fuel combustion.

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The Future

For our customer, HRI’s heat exchanger sets the stage for further engine development — and the potential for mass production

Based on the success of the HRI’s heat exchanger, the customer is looking towards the next iteration of its Split-Cell engines. Plans are underway for a larger heat exchanger that can be integrated into the engine block. HRI’s solution means the customer can continue innovating, making further improvements of its groundbreaking technology.

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Customizable Product