NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X8.01-9791
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Fuel Cells for Surface Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Electrolyzer for NASA Lunar Regenerative Fuel Cells

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Timothy J Norman
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0556

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Water electrolyzer stacks are a key component of regenerative fuel cells, designed to replace batteries as a means of storing electric energy on the lunar surface. The design and demonstration of an innovative water electrolyzer cell is proposed. The cell design will be significantly smaller and lighter than previous aerospace electrolyzers designed and built by Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC. The new cell will support high-efficiency electrolysis at pressures up to 2,000 psi. Test data will be used to calibrate electrolyzer performance models. These models will, in turn, be used to guide design decisions for regenerative fuel cells relative to the electrolyzer stack and maximum operating/gas-storage pressures of the regenerative fuel cell. A preliminary analysis of an advanced cell frame new thermoplastic material will be conducted to determine its suitability for use in water electrolyzers. Successful completion of the first phase will lead to the development of a demonstration stack in a second phase.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA is charged with returning humans to the moon in a permanently occupied lunar station. This station will require electric power during both the daylight hours, and the nighttime. The lunar day/night cycle is twenty-eight (28) earth days long. This necessitates commensurately larger quantities of stored product/reactant gases for the regenerative fuel cell. A very high-pressure water electrolyzer as a component of a closed-loop regenerative fuel cell will permit smaller launch volumes, saving space aboard the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The electrolyzer will also be useful for the production of hydrogen and oxygen for space vehicle propulsion, enabling missions to Mars. Other electrolyzers may be used to produced oxygen for life support systems both during flight and on the lunar and Martian surfaces.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Closed-loop regenerative fuel cells are potential battery substitutes for applications that require high power density. Several agencies of the U.S. Government and several private businesses are engaged in development of long-endurance aircraft and airships. The high-pressure electrolyzer developed under this proposed program would be directly applicable to these vehicles. Large-scale power storage via regenerative fuel cells may have terrestrial applications in telecommunications and other industries that require uninterruptible power supplies.

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.

Energy Storage
Photovoltaic Conversion
Thermodynamic Conversion

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50