NASA STTR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 T3.01-9942
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Space Power and Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Superconducting Magnetic Bearings for Space-Based Flywheel Energy Storage Systems

NAME: Balcones Technologies, LLC NAME: University of Texas - Center for Electromechanics
STREET: 10532 Grand Oak Circle STREET: P.O. Box 7726
CITY: Austin CITY: Austin
STATE/ZIP: TX  78750 - 3851 STATE/ZIP: TX  78713 - 7726
PHONE: (512) 785-6728 PHONE: (512) 471-6424

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph Beno
10532 Grand Oak Circle
Austin, TX 78750 - 3851
(512) 918-1496

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Balcones Technologies, LLC proposes to adapt technologies developed by and resident in The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (CEM) in the areas of superconducting Trapped Field Magnet (TFM) motors, magnetic bearings, terrestrial and space-based flywheel energy storage systems, and air-core generators to address STTR 2010-1 Subtopic T3.01, Technologies for Space Power and Propulsion. In particular, our team will develop a concept design for high field intensity superconducting Trapped Field Magnetic Bearings (TFMB) for a space-based flywheel system, including magnetic field activation and cryogenic cooling subsystems. The design will focus on exploiting approximately $47M of CEM technology to develop commercially viable superconducting magnetic bearings that significantly exceed the force density (developed force per unit of system mass) of today's magnetic bearings and will optimize the design for the space flywheel application rather than adapt terrestrial designs for space.

Relevant features of our anticipated solution include:
• Much lower power usage than conventional non-superconducting magnetic bearings.
• Much stiffer magnetic bearings than conventional non-superconducting magnetic bearings.
• Much stiffer magnetic bearings than current superconducting magnetic bearing technology.
• Capable of high rotational speeds.
• Operation at magnetic fields of 2.5-3 Tesla to allow demonstration within a normal 24 month Phase II STTR, but with a design approach amenable to future systems at ~ 10 Tesla .
• Air-core magnetic circuit design (e.g., does not employ iron to guide magnetic fields which limits magnetic fields to 2 Tesla or less and practically limits operational fluxes to ~ 1 Tesla).
• TFM charging system to inject the magnetic field, most likely based on a system to cool the magnet while maintaining an applied charging field, but could also be a pulse charging system of a pre-cooled TFM.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our Trapped Field Magnetic Bearing system will be applicable to any NASA space or terrestrial flywheel energy storage application or any application that can benefit from very low loss rotating bearing systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our Trapped Field Magnetic Bearings system and the related high performance flywheel technology being designed for NASA will be useful in a variety of energy storage applications, especially in energy and transportation industries, either directly or through scaling of components. Our system will likely utilize many components similar to those being developed by CEM for Trapped Field Motors (e.g., TFM pucks) and will benefit from ongoing commercialization efforts in that area to reduce costs and increase life of the system. The bearing system can be marketed to customers who have missions where ultra high speed rotors and low losses are critical. Although this will include other space applications, our TFMB technology will also be applicable for terrestrial applications where fail safe operation of energy storage systems is critical.

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.)
Actuators & Motors
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Navigation & Guidance
Processing Methods
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 15:17