NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S3.03-8593
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Generation and Conversion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Electroactive Polymers for Free Piston Stirling Engine Power Generation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Santa Fe Science and Technology, Inc.
3216 Richards Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87507 - 2940
(505) 474-3535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Benjamin Mattes
3216 Richards Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87507 - 2940
(505) 670-0499

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 2

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This project addresses NASA.s need for advanced sub-component development for application in the free Piston Stirling engine. New materials will be prepared from the class of materials known as Electro-Active Polymers (EAP). These materials will be engineered into films, fibers and membranes. These new EAP material platforms will then be tested for their actuation, power generation, and cooler sub-components. The new materials developed for this project will have their engineering figures of merit (FOMs) determined. In the first platform, these materials will be examined for their efficacy as linear actuators to assist in the process of driving a Stirling generator. In the second platform, SFST proposes to replace the bulky, heavy linear alternator of today.s Stirling engines with an EAP polymer platform. A successful demonstration of our Phase I technical objectives would be a break through for Stirling engine technology. A simple Stirling test engine will be designed and set-up for determining FOMs determined with other physical measurements in Santa Fe. An interim and final report will be deliverables in Phase I. Optimized samples and devices will be sent to NASA GRC for testing on the Alpha Stream or TASHE at the beginning, middle and end of the Phase II project.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Meeting our technical objectives may prove valuable to NASA scientists involved with the Advanced Stirling Project and/or the Alpha-STREAM project. This proposal fits in well with the Space Power Initiatives, specifically, S3.03 Power Generation and Conversion. The commercial markets for this game changing technology are estimated to be quite large, indeed, provided of course that EAP Stirling engines can come down substantially in price, while achieving the 40% or greater efficiency target. It has been long recognized by NASA that a highly efficient free piston Stirling engine would be useful in many planned space missions. Thus, SFST is motivated and committed to help NASA explore space, while also helping to offset carbon footprints and greenhouse emissions though the development of this renewable energy power source.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Most households obtain electric power from the grid, space heating from a furnace or boiler, and hot water from a gas-fired or electric-resistance water heater. In contrast, residential combined heat and power systems (RCHP) use a prime mover to generate electric power and harness waste thermal energy produced in the power-generation process to provide heat to satisfy space heating, water heating, and, potentially, space cooling loads (e.g., via absorption cooling). The key advantages of Stirling engines include fuel flexibility, controllable emissions, and high thermodynamic efficiency. If these qualities can be proven through a significant amount of additional field test experience in the near future, then Stirling engines may make a significant impact in the distributed generation market as an economically competitive and environmentally "green" alternative to mature distributed generation technologies.

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
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 01-09-12 11:07