NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 H3.04-9315
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Logistics Reduction
PROPOSAL TITLE: Vapor Compression Refrigeration System for Cold Storage on Spacecrafts

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Air Squared Inc.
510 Burbank St.
Broomfield, CO 80020 - 1604
(513) 200-3787

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kunal Bansal
510 Burbank St.
Broomfield, CO 80020 - 1604
(303) 466-2669

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bryce Shaffer
510 Burbank St.
Broomfield, CO 80020 - 1604
(513) 238-9778

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Logistics Reduction 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 is looking for a high efficiency long term food storage system for space crafts. Previous refrigerator/freezer systems developed for this application such as ISS RFR, use thermoelectric thermal control system with overall system COP around 0.36 in freezer mode. Terrestrial cold food storage systems however, utilize a much more efficient vapor compression thermal control systems, making the systems lighter and more compact. Currently, these systems do not have provisions for the load and reliability requirements of space applications, and are also not designed for microgravity operation.

To achieve NASA's targets, Air Squared is proposing to develop a scroll driven vapor compression refrigerator/freezer system. It's a highly efficient (COP ~ 3.5), lightweight (secondary mass penalty of <0.2 kg) and reliable (oil free & fewer rotating parts) standalone system. Similar to conventional systems, this vapor compression system will include four major components: compressor, condenser, expansion device and evaporator.

There are four significant innovations in the vapor compression cycle. For expansion work recovery, a scroll expander will be used to recover power from the expansion process to improve the system performance (Innovation 1). The Air Squared compressor and expander will integrate two stages on either side of the orbiting scroll, to increase the total pressure ratio (Innovation 2), this enhances the performance, without increasing the size or weight of the scroll devices. In order to further reduce the size and weight, both the compressor and expander will be integrated into one hermetic shell with both units driven off a common shaft on either side of the motor (Innovation 3). And last, both the compressor and expander will operate oil-free (Innovation 4). This will remove the cycles operational reliance on gravity while keeping the design compact & lightweight at higher efficiencies.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed vapor compression cycle has several key innovations which can be applied to thermal systems outside of the proposed cold food storage. The following are potential applications of the innovations:

Refrigeration System - The proposed refrigeration system will enable a reliable and efficient cold food refrigerator or freezer for spacecraft application.

Waste Heat Rejection Heat Pump - The proposed refrigeration system approach can be modified to enable reliable and efficient heat rejection and therefore precise thermal control for spacecrafts operating at high ambient temperature locations.

Environment Control Heat Pump - NASA's crewed spacecrafts also require thermal controls systems for the pressurized cabins in order to provide and maintain a livable environment. While systems developed for cold food storage will most likely yield a smaller system than thermal control of crew accommodations, these systems can be easily scaled for larger heat loads in the case of heat pumping for cabins.

Regardless of whether it's for thermal management at an electronics component level, cabin atmosphere level, or food storage level, a compact, lightweight, reliable and efficient vapor compression system for heat refrigeration can be applied in a variety of ways.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed vapor compression system has the ability to dramatically influence the refrigeration market. Use of a natural refrigerant such as isopentane and high efficiency scroll machinery makes it environmentally friendly and more efficient. Additionally, use of oil free technology reduces the need of oil separation componentry in the vapor compression systems, thereby reducing cost and complexity. Reliable and efficient oil free cooling/heating systems have substantial potential for both terrestrial and aerospace applications where efficiency and operational cost are critical.

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.)
Active Systems
Food (Preservation, Packaging, Preparation)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59