NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H8.01-9874
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Electrolysis & Sabatier System for Internal Reforming Regenerative Fuel Cells

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paragon Space Development Corporation
3481 East Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 903-1000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christine S Iacomini, Ph.D.
3481 East Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 382-4824

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Brian N Harris
3481 East Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 382-4887

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Paragon Space Development Corporation® (Paragon) will advance our Solid Oxide Electrolysis / embedded Sabatier reactors (SOE/ESR) system to generate power from its oxygen (O2) and methane (CH4) products. Leveraging our SOE/ESR technology, Paragon can offer a carbon deposition resistant system capable of internally steam reforming CH4 and generating power in fuel cell mode. Minimal water is required at start up; operations are sustained by recycling water from the affluent using Paragon's spaceflight-qualified humidity control membrane technology. The system is gravity-independent and compact with no moving parts and a high single-pass utilization of feedstock. Leak-tight operations are improved by employing a new 3D glass seal approach. The system will tolerate 100s of thermal cycles in high differential pressure environments.

Our Phase I effort includes laboratory tests to determine the feasibility of employing new sealing features at high differential pressure and multiple thermal cycles. Tests will also confirm simultaneous internal CH4 reforming and fuel cell operation without carbon deposition.

The SOE/ESR Internally Reforming SOFC integrates cells that operate as either an electrolyzer / Sabatier reactor or a fuel cell. This simplifies operations, lowers hardware complexity, and increases reliability. The proposed system can perform multiple functions without modifications, making it a readily deployable technology for various missions from ISRU on the Moon and Mars to regenerating 100% of a crew's oxygen in habitats and space crafts.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SOE/ESR system can be used to regenerate 100% of a crew's oxygen with only metabolically produced H2O and CO2. The SOE/ESR system can also be used in various in situ resource utilization (ISRU) processes for O2 and CH4 propellant production, for example hydrogen reduction of lunar regolith, carbothermal reduction of lunar regolith, and Martian CO2 atmosphere and ground water electrolysis. In all applications, this SOE/ESR unit can be operated as a fuel cell to, for example, power nighttime operations when solar power is not available, and provide auxiliary power to devices in the vicinity. Smaller units can be operated as a dedicated fuel cell in rovers or habitats fueled by larger in situ O2 and CH4 production plans.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development of a SOE/ESR Internally Reforming SOFC system would allow its inclusion in several of the commercial and civil space vehicles under development. Also, it can be used in underwater research facilities, submarines, high altitude aircraft, or emergency bunkers. SOFC systems powered by easily storable hydrocarbon fuel could extend the window in which scientists perform remote field research in latitudes that don't provide sufficient sun light during winter months. The silent nature of SOFC power generation also lends itself to powering scientific equipment during wildlife observation or other sound sensitive operations.

A SOE/ESR Internally Reforming SOFC could provide relief power during high energy-use periods of the day. During low energy-use periods, the system could make its own fuel in preparation for the next high energy-use period.

Internally reforming hydrocarbon SOFCs present a means to generate electricity from natural gas or gasified coal. CO2 produced by terrestrial fuel cell installations is more easily captured than emissions from traditional hydrocarbon power generation equipment which presents carbon sequestration capabilities. The development of CH4 reforming catalysts can be used for the industrial scale generation of CO+H2 (syngas) which is a feedstock for the production of synthetic liquid fuel via the Fischer Tropsch process.

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.)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37