Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Heat-Driven Pyroelectric Pump

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Pumps with moving parts are prone to failure and

are often subject to gravitational limitations.

Proposed is demonstration (Phase I) and

development (Phase II) of a novel heat-activated

pump using the pyroelectric effect. With materials

whose dielectric constant is a strong function of

temperature, this effect can be used for heat

engines. Direct pumping of liquids is also possible,

by heating them within the electric field. Water is

an ideal fluid for this application because the

dielectric constant changes rapidly with

temperature. Recuperation of sensible heat yields

an efficient pump with no moving parts, and staging

can be used to achieve a large pressure head. The

electric field is not consumed, so electric power

consumption for field generation is limited to

leakage losses. Heat in any form can drive the

pump. The lack of moving parts (motor,

transmission, etc.) will not only increase reliability

but will also reduce weight, especially for small

capacity pumps. The heat-driven pyroelectric pump

is proposed as an alternative to

"piezoelectric/magnetoresrictive driven pumps with

high reliability" suggested under subtopic 10.08.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

If proven, this innovative pump would find use in

many applications where its special features

(heat-driven, no moving parts, maintenance free)

are desirable. Specific examples include: (1)

solution pumps on sorption refrigeration systems,

where heat is available and electric pumps add

considerably to operating costs, (2) very small flows

where motors and mechanical pumps are very

inefficient and reliability is a problem, and (3)

pumps for solar heating systems, in which case the

pump would be heat driven with pumping rate

increasing as more heat was available.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Lance Kirol

Rocky Research

1598 Foothill Dr.

Boulder City , NV 89005

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Rocky Research

1598 Foothill Dr.

Boulder City , NV 89005