NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S3.01-9476
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Generation and Conversion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Ring-Configuration Double-Acting Free-Piston Stirling Convertor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Converter Source, LLC
16922 South Canaan Road
Athens, OH 45701 - 9461
(740) 592-5166

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Gedeon
16922 S. Canaan Rd.
Athens, OH 45701 - 9461
(740) 592-5166

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Gedeon
16922 S. Canaan Rd.
Athens, OH 45701 - 9461
(740) 592-5166

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Power Generation and Conversion 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)
NASA SBIR-2015 Topic S3.01 seeks to evaluate and advance Stirling convertors as a potentially more efficient alternative to the radioisotope-heated thermoelectric power generators used on some U.S. space missions. Most free-piston Stirling (FPS) convertors are piston-displacer machines that use complex gas bearing/ flexure strategies to manage the wear of reciprocating and close-fitting internal components. The reliability of these mechanisms is critical to overall system performance and longevity. Converter Source, LLC has developed a double-acting free-piston Stirling arrangement that eliminates displacers and the problem of displacer seal wear while at the same time reducing the number of distinct parts required for the machine.

The key design features of the new convertor most relevant to the space power application include: integrated alternator functionality within the piston assembly, eliminating connecting structures and buffer volumes with associated pressure walls, thereby reducing system mass compared to conventional technology, compatibility with simple lightweight hydrodynamic gas bearings to eliminate piston seal wear, dynamically-balanced radial layout that surrounds the heat source at the center, and heat rejection to ambient at the outer perimeter.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Space Power Generation - The proposed innovation has the potential to support space power generation applications in the 10's – 100's We power range using radioisotope heat sources. Multiple units could be stacked to provide increased power. Aided by its internal geometric simplicity, the ring-configuration double-acting free-piston Stirling convertor has the potential to enable more reliable and long-life convertor operation via less complicated and more robust hydrodynamic bearing approaches than are presently used by the other Stirling convertors.

Space-based Cryocooling – The convertor could also be optimized to serve as a cryocooler for NASA applications that would benefit from a cooled central-bore and long-life operation. Possible examples might include: cryocooling of superconducting magnetic bearings in support of flywheel energy storage systems, flow-through fluid cooling, re-condensation of cryogenic gases for zero-boiloff fluid storage, sensor cooling, etc.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Power Generation - The FPS convertor has been proposed for solar thermal power generation applications in conjunction with thermal energy storage to provide fully-dispatchable power generation any time of day. The convertor has the potential to be a lower cost alternative to other Stirling machines and might find application as a generator using natural gas or renewable biofuels.

Cryocooling – As a cryocooler, the proposed device might be optimized to cool high-temperature superconducting magnetic bearings (SMB) in industrial spindles and motors. The associated reduced frictional losses and reduced maintenance of these SMB systems combined with the lower cost of this cryocooler have the potential to enable the first economical widespread deployment of flywheel energy storage systems for portable and stationary applications – including grid stabilization, renewable energy firming, and uninterruptible power supplies. The cryocooler will also have potential to be applied for zero-boiloff re-condensation of volatile fuels and other substances.

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37