NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 H8.01-9759
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced manufacturing of intermediate temperature, direct methane oxidation membrane electrode assemblies for durable solid oxide fuel cell

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ITN Energy Systems, Inc.
8130 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127 - 4107
(303) 285-5129

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul Thoen
8130 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127 - 4107
(303) 285-5113

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Neelesh Ullal
8130 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127 - 4107
(303) 285-5140

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
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)
ITN proposes to create an innovative anode supported membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that is capable of long-term operation at low temperature by the direct oxidation of dry methane or syngas fuel without coke formation on the anode. ITN's MEA is more efficient, durable, reliable, versatile and economical than the state of the art because it is made with transformative manufacturing techniques – microwave sintering and energy optimized plasma deposition (EOPD). The proposed fuel-flexible, direct oxidation MEA is capable of power densities up to 2 W/cm2 at 600?C. ITN's EOPD of thin, conformal YSZ electrolytes creates a stress free interface between the anode and electrolyte which improves MEA durability, cycle-ability and cell performance. The MEAs produced in this research effort can be incorporated into SOFC stacks capable of producing power in the 1-3 kW range. Because the fuel is oxidized directly in the SOFC, without external fuel processing, the thermodynamic efficiencies from fuel source to DC output exceed 70%. Higher efficiencies translate to minimal cooling required as obtained by way of conduction through the stack to a radiator exposed to space and/or by anode exhaust flow.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA needs efficient and reliable methods for both portable and stationary electricity and heat generation, with the greatest possible flexibility. ITN's proposed MEA provides the solution, allowing for SOFC systems capable of generating electricity from a variety of fuels such as syngas, methane, hydrogen or hydrocarbon fuels. Potential NASA customers are the International Space Station or the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate or other long-term missions where such fuels are harvested from the Earth's atmosphere or the atmospheres or surfaces of other planets and used to generate electricity.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The fuel flexibility, high efficiency, scaleability, and durability of this MEA will lend itself to portable and stationary commercial SOFC applications with power outputs ranging from 20 W to 200 kW. An application of particular interest is the distributed energy generation market. Generators for the distributed energy market would range in size from 2 kW for a single household to 200 kW generators for small communities. This SOFC technology is uniquely suited for stationary distributed energy applications because it can operate directly on natural gas, which is primarily composed of methane, with minimal fuel processing and tolerate a wider range of operating conditions than state of the art SOFCs. This is significant for non-NASA commercial customers in the United States because natural gas is widely available to many homes or communities without investment in fuel delivery infrastructure. In addition, these generators could be used with other fuels in many remote applications where grid power is not available.

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
Processing Methods

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21