NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X10.01-8855
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Advanced Wet Expansion Turbine for Hydrogen Liquefaction

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Creare, Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark V. Zagarola
Creare Incorporated, 16 Great Hollow Road, P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800 Extension :2360

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal is responsive to NASA SBIR Topic X10.01, specifically, the need for efficient small- to medium-scale hydrogen liquefaction technologies including domestically produced wet cryogenic turboexpanders. Future NASA missions will require hydrogen liquefaction systems for earth-based, planetary, and lunar surface missions. A critical part of these systems is the cryogenic turboexpanders, which must be designed for high-speed operation and long life, and must be robust against the pressure and momentum excursions and the surface tension effects associated with two-phase flow. On this Phase I/II program, Creare will build and test a cryogenic turboexpander for use in a hydrogen liquefier. The turboexpander will be reliable, compact, lightweight, and efficient and will be able to operate in a two-phase system. We have prior experience in designing and building wet turboexpanders for terrestrial applications as well as small turbomachines for space applications. We plan to leverage this experience to build for NASA a wet turboexpander suitable for operation in both terrestrial and space environments. Our turboexpander will have the innovative option of recovering the expansion work through use of an alternator (i.e., turboalternator) instead of dissipating work using a brake wheel. This approach greatly simplifies controls, improves reliability, and reduces system mass and input power. During the Phase I project, we will optimize the design of the turboexpander for a specific application selected by NASA. On the Phase II project, we will build and test the turboexpander.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The result of this Phase I/II program will be a turboexpander for a small- to medium-scale hydrogen liquefier. The turboexpander will be lightweight, compact, efficient and reliable, and will be suitable for use in future earth-based, planetary, and lunar surface missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The commercial potential of an advanced turboalternator or turboexpander is significant and includes cooling for laboratory- and industrial-scale gas separation, liquefaction, storage, and transportation systems; high-temperature superconducting magnets in motors and magnetic resonance imaging systems; liquid hydrogen fuel cell storage for the automotive industry; and commercial orbital transfer vehicles and satellites.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12