This paper presents the development of a miniaturization technology for heat and mass exchangers used in absorption heat pumps. The exchanger consists of an array of parallel, aligned alternating shims with integral microscale features, enclosed between cover plates. These microscale features facilitate the flow of the various fluid streams and the associated heat and mass transfer. In an absorber application, effective vapor and solution contact and microscale features for the flow of both the solution and the coolant induce high heat and mass transfer rates without any active or passive surface enhancement. The geometry ensures even flow distribution with minimal overall pressure drops. A model of the coupled heat and mass transfer process for ammonia-water absorbers using this configuration under typical operating conditions demonstrates the potential for extremely small absorption components. The proposed concept is compact, modular, versatile, and in an eventual implementation, can be mass produced. Additionally the same concept can be extended to the other absorption heat pump components as well as for several other industries involved in multi-component fluid processes.

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