NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: H3.02-9320 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012679 )
Low Thermal Loss Cryogenic Pump

It is of great importance in most cryogenic pumping systems to minimize heat addition to the cryogen by the pump. The two main areas of heat addition are from inefficiency of the pump and conduction from the motor and ambient surroundings into the cryogen. Optimally, low heat leak cryogenic pumps are designed with a long shaft (and outer housing)between the motor and wet end to minimize heat from the motor and ambient surroundings from entering the cryogen. The shaft and outer housing are usually thin-walled tubing made of stainless steel. This limits the conductive heat to a function of the cross sectional area of the shaft and housing and the thermal conductivity of the stainless steel. The long shaft may also limit the speed at which the pump may operate, however. The speed limitation usually increases pump inefficiency thus adding more heat to the cryogen. This proposal presents an innovative solution to this problem. A composite material with lower thermal conductivity and higher stiffness will be used for the shaft. This will lower heat from conductance and allow the pump to operate at a higher, more efficient speed.

The technology developed in this SBIR will be extremely useful in Helium and Hydrogen pumping applications. In these very cold applications, it can be worth thousands of dollars in operating costs to limit heat addition anywhere in the cryogenic system. BNI has sold many Helium and Hydrogen pumps for applications from magnet cooling in superconductors to circulation of Hydrogen in a propellant densification system. Nearly all of these systems could have benefited from this technology.

There is also commercial potential for this innovative pump design anywhere that cryogenic fluids (liquids and vapors) need to be transferred. All of the numerous cryogenic pumps, blowers, and compressors that Barber-Nichols supplies each year could use this technology. This would result in lower capital costs when developing the system due to the ability to use smaller cryostats. It would also lower energy consumption during operation.

Barber-Nichols is in a unique position to commercialize this innovative technology as we have an international reputation for supplying highly reliable cryogenic circulators in low heat leak applications. With this reputation and current marketing strategy in this field, we are in position to market this innovative technology directly to users who can benefit most from it.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Bill Batton
Barber-Nichols Inc.
6325 W. 55th Ave
Arvada , CO   80002 - 2777

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Barber-Nichols Inc.
6325 W. 55th Ave
Arvada , CO   80002 - 2777

Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44