NASA STTR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 T10.02-9782
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Energy Conservation and Sustainability
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hydrogen-Based Energy Conservation System

NAME: Sustainable Innovations, LLC NAME: The University of Connecticut
STREET: 160 Oak Street STREET: 438 Whitney Rd Ext., Unit 1133
CITY: Glastonbury CITY: Storrs
STATE/ZIP: CT  06033 - 2336 STATE/ZIP: CT  06269 - 1133
PHONE: (860) 652-9690 PHONE: (860) 486-3622

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Trent M Molter
160 Oak Street
Glastonbury, CT 06033 - 2336
(860) 652-9690

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA and many others often rely on delivery of cryogenic hydrogen to meet their facility needs. NASA's Stennis Space Center is one of the largest users of hydrogen, with the LH2 used as a fuel for cryogenic rocket engine testing. Other NASA centers including Kennedy Space Center, which utilizes hydrogen to support space shuttle launches, and many industrial locations also use significant amounts of hydrogen. Unfortunately extremely large amounts of hydrogen are lost during transfers and test operations due to boil-off resulting from heat transferred into the equipment, or by other means. Additionally, through test operations, hydrogen and helium become mixed and require separation to regain their value. This gaseous hydrogen is typically flared as a safety measure with little to no economic value or energy efficiency realized from the process.

No economical means exists to safely capture, process and store, and simultaneously extract valuable energy, the large amounts of gaseous hydrogen released during NASA test operations, or in industrial applications where cryogenic hydrogen is used. The technologies developed to capture and clean the hydrogen must be cost effective and able to perform the recycling process in an in-situ rocket engine test area environment, and must comply with all safety and quality standards for this environment. Because cryogenic hydrogen is very pure, its recycle and recovery as a compressed gas can result in a valuable commodity and can provide the basis of a power generation system that conserves facility energy.

This STTR project develops a Hydrogen-Based Energy Conservation System (HECS) that brings in gaseous hydrogen released from cryogenic storage or transfer or mixed hydrogen, helium stream from test operations, purifies the hydrogen and alternately electrochemically compresses it to commercial storage pressures (up to 6,000 psi) and reuses the hydrogen in a reaction with air to efficiently produce electricity.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Hydrogen-Based Energy Conservation System (HECS) being developed as part of this STTR can be utilized to recover hydrogen from mixed gas streams resulting from rocket test operations and can reduce facility energy demand by efficiently generating electricity with this hydrogen. This technology can also be used to generate hydrogen for propulsion from reformed hydrocarbon fluids and alternately efficiently produce electricity for space bases and vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Hydrogen-Based Energy Conservation System (HECS) being developed as part of this STTR can be utilized to effectively separate hydrogen from reformate streams both in commercial hydrogen production facilities and in vehicles as well as generate electric power from this hydrogen. In addition, this technology can be used to purify and compress hydrogen from most mixed streams, particularly for applications including heat treating of metals, foods processing, and semiconductor production. In addition this system can be used to produce compressed hydrogen to generate mechanical work for powering tools and other devices.

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
Atmospheric Propulsion
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Propulsion
In Situ Manufacturing
Launch Engine/Booster
Processing Methods
Resource Extraction
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:44