NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X8.01-8255
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Temperature, High Energy Density Micro Thin Film Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nano EnerTex
4131 Grennoch
Houston, TX 77025 - 2303
(713) 667-9558

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ali Zomorrodian
4131 Grennoch Lane
Houston, TX 77025 - 2303
(713) 667-9558

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A new type of solid oxide fuel cell based on thin film technology and ultra-thin electrolyte is being proposed to develop to realize major reductions in fuel cell size, weight, and operating temperature, while significantly increasing power density. The thin film fuel cell is comprised of a micro-thin electrolyte (thickness ~ 1??m) that is grown on a foil nickel substrate. The nickel substrate is then made into a porous anode by lithographic patterning and etching of the foil. The SOFC structure is completed by the deposition of a thin-film mixed ionic-electronic conducting oxide cathode on the electrolyte. Preliminary data has shoen the thin film fuel cell to have an output of ~ 100mA/cm2 at temperatures as low as 500C – more than 400C lower than for typical bulk SOFC's. A single cell has a total thickness of 15-20 micron, and the integration of interconnects to the cells to form a stack is projected to result in a cell power density of > 5W/cm3 – more than 20x greater than typical SOFC's.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The unique projected performance parameters of the thin film solid oxide fuel cell promise promise to deliver to NASA a high power density, low mass fuel cell that at the nominal 30 W stack projected for the Phase II program will form the basic module for larger power output fuel cells at the 1kW level and beyond. Such an electrical power source will supply NASA needs for compact, high power density energy sources for various lander, robotic vehicle, astronaut, habitat, and other distributed planetary surface energy needs in space. It is projected that many multiple kW of fuel cell power capacity will be required by NASA (and other space faring nations) for the lunar, Mars and beyond Mars environments, especillay those places where the atmosphere and or the body has water present from which hydrogen and oxygen can be extracted to yield fuel and oxidizer for fuel cells. These projected NASA needs point to a solid business opportunity through commercializing and selling to NASA fuel cell power.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The prospect of supplying high power density, compact fuel cells to NASA also opens up extensive private sector commercial possibilities for high power density micro energy sources including: power for portable electronic equipment, e.g., laptop computer; and for high efficiency distributed energy sources for home electrical needs especially as pertaining to operation on natural gas (methane), thus resulting in distributed energy generation for the nation's power grid. Further, fuel cell power is defined as 'clean' energy, and efficient energy. Consumers are focusing on these qualities more so with time, and this 'clean' aspect of the fuel cell will add significantly to market pull. Discussions have been initiated with a firm interested in the fuel cells for application to distributed and 'clean' power. This opportunity and other commercial opportunities will be actively pursued during the Phase II program, and are expected to yield critical industrial leveraging of a Phase III program.

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.)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43