The application of recuperators in advanced thermodynamic cycles is growing due to stronger demands of low emissions of pollutants and the necessity of improving the cycle efficiency of power plants to reduce the fuel consumption.

This paper covers applications and types of heat exchangers used in gas turbine units. The trends of research and development are brought up and the future need for research and development is discussed. Material aspects are covered to some extent.

Attempts to achieve compact heat exchangers for these applications are also discussed. With the increasing pressure ratio in the gas turbine cycle, large pressure differences between the hot and cold sides exist. This has to be accounted for.

The applicability of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) is discussed and a CFD–approach is presented for a specific recuperator. This recuperator has narrow wavy ducts with complex cross-sections and the hydraulic diameter is so small that laminar flow prevails. The thermal-hydraulic performance is of major concern.

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