NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 S3.04-9198
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Energy Density, High Power Density, High Cycle Life Flywheel Energy Storage Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Balcones Technologies, LLC
10532 Grand Oak Circle
Austin, TX 78750 - 3851
(512) 924-2241

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard J Hayes
richard@balconestech.com
42 Lone Oak Trail
Austin, TX 78745 - 2610
(512) 627-4203

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph H Beno
j.beno@balconestech.com
10532 Grand Oak Circle
Austin, TX 78750 - 3851
(512) 924-2241

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Balcones Technologies (BT), LLC proposes to leverage technologies developed by and resident in BT, The University of Texas Center for Electromechanics (CEM) and Applied Nanotech Incorporated (ANI) in the areas of carbon nanotube composites (CNT) and terrestrial and space-based flywheel energy storage systems to address SBIR 2012 subtopic S3.04 Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage. To provide a near term commercial focus in addition to NASA space applications, BT is augmenting this team with Astral Infinity (AI) to provide one target application that requires flywheel energy storage systems with characteristics that exceed current flywheel systems and exceed lithium battery capabilities – a solar powered high altitude long endurance unmanned air vehicle. This proposal, focuses on making a major near-term advancement in flywheel energy density, with high potential for further longer term advancements, by exploiting ANI carbon nanotube expertise and CEM/BT flywheel technology. After having plateaued for two decades, there is a good probability of attaining near-term improvement of 30%-50% for flywheel rotor specific energy by reinforcing the carbon fiber composite matrix material with CNT. Subsequently, there is a potential improvement in the medium to longer term of an order of magnitude or more by also replacing the current carbon fibers with fibers composed of CNTs. Our program focuses on the near-term objective and is a first and appropriate step in the longer term objective.

In particular, for this Phase I project our team will:
1.Develop a concept design for a flywheel rotor that relies on CNT reinforced composite flywheels for a 30%-50% increase in flywheel stored energy per kg to substantially exceed the specific energy performance of chemical batteries (e.g., lithium batteries) for most space-based and terrestrial applications of a few kW-hrs or more, and
2.Complete an initial round of CNT materials testing to support the design.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our team's carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced carbon fiber composite system enables substantially improved flyhweel specific energy (kW-hr/kg) in the near term and long term that enables many NASA energy storage and power management applications – especially when coupled with very reliable high speed low-loss bearing systems (e.g., Balcones Technologies high temperature superconducting magnetic bearings). The prime space applications are those where long term (greater than five years) operation, extremely low losses, and high reliability are at a premium. The energy density and cycle life of 100,000 cycles of the flywheel rotor for this system greatly exceeds that of available battery technology, leading to a lower cost over the life of the device. Applications that could benefit from this technology range from satellites, to long term space labs like the ISS, to lunar colonies, or explorations. Terrestrial applications include community energy storage systems, power and energy management, and backup for launch facilities or data centers. The technology can also be applied to high altitude long endurance air vehicles which could support NASA's Airborne Science, Atmospheric Composition and Radiation Sciences, Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry, and Applied Sciences programs as well as the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our team's carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced carbon fiber composite system enables substantially improved flywheel specific energy (kW-hr/kg) in the near term and long term that enables many commercial energy storage and power management applications especially where long life (greater than five years) operation and load leveling, extremely low losses, high stability and high reliability capabilities are at a premium. There are numerous existing commercial applications where battery developers are struggling to meet the requirements, including the large installations required for windmill farms, large solar installations, and support of micro grids. The proposed CNT reinforced composite technology is critical in enabling flywheels to address those markets. However, our primary near term focus is the use of flywheel energy storage to enable a solar powered high altitude long endurance (HALE) air vehicle to stay aloft for an indefinite period of time for a wide range of commercial, space, and military applications. Astral Infiniti's research indicates that a high energy density flywheel is an enabling technology due to its improved performance over available battery technology and the ability to directly convert rotating flywheel motion to propeller motion. HALE can be used to replace cell phone towers in urban and rural areas and provides a lower cost alternative to satellites that are used to broadcast radio, television, and internet communications.

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.)
Attitude Determination & Control
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Nanomaterials
Navigation & Guidance
Polymers
Processing Methods
Storage


Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21