NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X11.01-8439
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control for Surface Systems and Spacecraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Efficient Space Hardy Thermoelectric Materials with Broad Temperature Range

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eltron Research & Development , Inc
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3241
(303) 530-0263

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard A. Bley
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3241
(303) 530-0263

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The goal of this work is developing new thermoelectric materials for use in fabricating solid state cooling devices and electrical power generators, which are 200 to 300% more efficient than current thermoelectric materials and can operate in temperatures ranging from cryogenic to 700 C. These materials will be made from new nano-composites, using fabrication techniques developed at Eltron.

The proposed thermoelectric composite's matrix has already demonstrated exceptional ability for functioning in the environment of space. Used in a cooling system, these materials will provide an effective means for controlling the temperature of surfaces subject to the rapidly changing temperatures encountered in space. They can be used to prevent development of large temperature gradients and thereby prevent the mechanical stresses that accompany them. Used for power-generation, these new materials will be very efficient both because of the properties that the nano-phase materials and its matrix bring to the thermoelectric material. Because of the difficulties presented in the harsh environment of space, thermal management and power generation is most easily provided through devices that do not have any moving parts, are very durable, do not require maintenance, and operate efficiently over a wide range of temperatures. The proposed materials meet all these requirements.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the past, NASA's interest in thermoelectric systems has stemmed both from the need for an effective means of temperature control via the Peltier effect for surfaces exposed to the rapidly changing temperatures that occur in space, and for use in generating electrical power via the Seebeck effect for space vehicles too distant from the sun for effective use of solar panels. The new materials being developed here will be capable of withstanding both high and low temperatures and so they can be used to prevent development of large temperature gradients and the mechanical stresses that accompany them on missions such as the upcoming Mars and Venus trips. This is particularly true of the Venus landing, where materials will need to withstand up to 500 C temperatures. The improvement in efficiency possible from these materials could make them competitive with solar cells as a power source for space missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Successful development of this technology could result in considerable improvement in efficiency over currently used evaporative systems used in consumer and industrial refrigeration. This technology would also be of great value to the electronics industry. Systems incorporating this new technology will run more quietly and will produce much less pollution than current refrigeration and air conditioning systems. They will not be subject to the maintenance problems common in the compressors used today. An efficient, solid state electrical power generator that uses heat as its energy source would also result from successful development of this technology. The Boeing Company is very interested in seeing this Phase I project succeed because of the great potential for reducing fuel in air vehicles. They have asked to be able to participate in this project in an advisory and reviewer capacity, as stated in their letter of support.

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.

Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Thermoelectric Conversion

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50