NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 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) 529-0504

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: 5

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 delivery of a 2,000 psi balanced pressure, lightweight prototype electrolyzer is proposed. The cell design will be significantly smaller and lighter, and capable of higher pressure operation than previous aerospace electrolyzers designed and built by Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC. The successful completion of Phase I yielded test data, trade studies, a thin frame design, and model enhancements that would provide the basis of stack sizing. In a Phase II program, an enhanced, 2,000 psi test stand will be created by upgrading the existing 1,200 psi stand. It will then be used to demonstrate thin frame designs, the robustness of internal components, and the innovative prototypical compression hardware at realistic conditions. Further advances in thin frame technology will be investigated, and additional analyses of a new thermoplastic material will be conducted with the prospect of using them in the deliverable if these technologies are ready.

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 might also be useful for the production of hydrogen and oxygen for space vehicle propulsion, enabling missions to Mars. Other electrolyzers may be used to produce 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 10-23-08 13:36