NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Voltage Supplies and Charge Amplifiers for Solar Science Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:Unique Power Dense, Configurable, Robust, High-Voltage Power Supplies

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
501 Forrestal Road Forrestal campus
Princeton, NJ 08540-6645
(609) 258-5994

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark   Holveck
501 Forrestal Rd, Suite 211
Princet]on, NJ  08540-6645
(609) 258-9678

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Princeton Power will develop and deliver three small, lightweight 50 W high-voltage power supplies that have a configurable output voltage range from 500 to 50 kVDC. The baseline 1 kV design will have 85% efficiency, operate from a 20-30 VDC supply, occupy 108 mL (460W/liter), and weigh 200 g. The design will use an innovative resonant DC-DC boost converter with simple controls and a robust passive switching technique.

Our patented AC-link power electronics technology configured in a soft-switching DC-DC design enables the use of a small internal transformer and 100 kHz switching frequency, to make a power-dense, reliable, efficient system. The configurable transformer ratio and modular output section permit a wide range of output voltages.

The project risk is minimal due to our reference prototypes, which have demonstrated high-voltage DC-DC conversion, high-frequency switching, and thermal management in power-dense, sealed packages.

During Phase I we will deliver a prototype unit, including a detailed design analysis and production cost estimate. In Phase II we will optimize the design to become space-qualified for shock, vibration, interface, EMI, form factor, and other relevant specifications. For our Phase III manufacturing efforts, GHO Ventures is interested in providing funding and Transistor Devices (TDI) has expressed interest in providing manufacturing facilities and expertise.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We are currently planning to use a similar version of the AC-link technology for a 250 W DC-DC power supply for Navy sonobuoy acoustic sparkers. The entire sparker package includes low voltage batteries that must supply a high voltage (50 kV) pulsed-power capacitor to deliver the energy needed for generating an acoustic source for underwater mapping of hulls and other underwater shape detection. To make the sparker feasible, the entire power supply must fit into a small package, have a high efficiency, and be robust. Our AC-link technology will provide the voltage conversion needed in a package that is 50% smaller than the existing Navy prototype.

Other portable pulsed-power, capacitor-based charging and discharging devices would benefit from the same increase in power density and rugged, reliable design and packaging. Automatic electronic defibrillators, arc spectrometers, Xenon arc headlamps, and x-ray generators are example applications where we are planning to apply the technology commercially.

We are also commercializing AC-link in renewable energy applications, including solar and wind power. We are developing a 40 ? 250 W integrated power supply for solar panels that will have very similar software and a similar package design, operate at a lower voltage, and enable modular designs, easier installations, and reduced maintenance by eliminating the single point of failure that currently exists at the power converter.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
DC-DC power converters are essential for regulating power in spacecraft where the primary power supply is a photovoltaic generator and energy storage is a regulated battery bank. Photovoltaic cells should be allowed to run at optimal voltage levels, which will vary depending on temperature, solar irradiance, and other factors, while the battery bank and most loads must be supplied with a regulated DC power source. A smaller and lighter weight package helps optimize the design and load of the craft.

These DC-DC converters have a configurable voltage range, and can be scaled for different power levels, making them applicable to most NASA photovoltaic and battery power conditioning applications on a variety of vessels. The international space station, for example, uses 28 VDC in the Russian segment, 120 VDC on the American segment, 34 V batteries, and other voltages for specific instrumentation, requiring, according to one astronaut, "inverters everywhere". These new power converters can raise the efficiency of the power conversion for all space science applications, provide a modular and readily configurable design, and requires less space than existing converters.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Power Management and Distribution
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19