NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 Z1.03-9659
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface Power Generation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Linear Acoustic Nuclear Conversion Engine (LANCE)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nirvana Energy Systems, Inc.
3130 Alpine Road, Suite 288 Box 6
Portola Valley, CA 94028 - 7541
(216) 898-9990

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Geoffrey Bruder
8150 Dow Cir, Suite 100
Strongsville, OH 44136 - 1764
(216) 898-9990

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Lambertus Hesselink
3130 Alpine Road, Suite 288 PMB 6
Portola Valley, CA 94028 - 7541
(415) 269-7102

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Surface Power Generation 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)

Nirvana Energy Systems (NES) has pioneered and is commercializing an innovative ThermoAcoustic Power Stick (TAPS), partially based on technology developed by Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) and NASA. NES has demonstrated and is building a 1 kW TAPS for use in remote power applications where reliability for 15+ years is of paramount importance. Moreover, NES is developing the Thermoacoustic Radioisotope Generator (TRG), a 300 W Radioisotope Power System (RPS), under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program for NASA based on TAPS technology. The novel TAPS technology has no hot moving parts and incorporates well proven, reliable linear motors and alternators in an engine based on the Stirling cycle. NES has designed, optimized, built and tested all sub-systems for reliability, ease of manufacturing and cost reduction over currently available Stirling engines. The TRG is a 300 W tunable power thermoacoustic device which is insensitive to radioisotope heat degradation, capable of 20+ years continuous operation, is inexpensive to manufacture using well established methods, and yields greater than 25% thermal to electrical efficiency all while being designed for a convertor specific power greater than 30 W/kg and anticipated system specific power near 10 W/kg. The 1 kW remote power device served as the foundation for the Linear Acoustic Nuclear Conversion Engine (LANCE), which will satisfy all of the Z1.03 solicitation requirements, as a robust and redundant 2.5 kW tunable power supply, representing the ultimate in remote power devices and the next step in reliable dynamic power conversion for space.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary goal of LANCE is to develop a thermal-to-electrical power conversion system that produces 2.5 kW of net electrical output, has >25% efficiency, and durability for a lifetime of greater than 10 years. Due to the significant manufacturing and assemble cost reductions afforded by the TAPS architecture over traditional free piston Stirling systems the TAPS solution could be used as a direct replacement over traditional thermoelectric or other Stirling based systems in future space missions. Future NASA missions would benefit greatly from the cost-reductions afforded by the TAPS system as well as its modularity and relative ease of assembly. Furthermore, the TAPS technology enables architectures that are difficult, or impossible with other systems. Specifically, TAPS can easily be utilized for a combined power and cooling duplex, and some preliminary designs have been created. Such systems would enable a sustained presence in extreme planetary environments such as the surface of Venus.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Nirvana Energy Systems is currently working to commercialize the NASA technology through an exclusive patent license granted for the Alpha-STREAM technology that the TAPS technology is partially based on. The NES TAPS technology could be easily adapted to home use where high efficiencies are possible and the unit would function as a micro-Combined Heating and Power system. In an installation such as this the TAPS unit could be natural gas fed, where to achieve overall high system efficiencies the unit would utilize excess heat to provide heated water for potable needs or for hydroponic heating. Excess electrical energy production would be sent to the grid. Similar to applications for home power generation, other applications include commercial businesses, military uses (vehicles and domesticated areas), and the transportation industry. In particular, these industries desire higher electrical outputs and efficiencies but with long-term reliability and cost of ownership being of critical importance as well. The TAPS architecture would be able to provide all of these as it is a "set and forget" power generation system capable of tunable output powers at high efficiencies. Moreover, the reverse cycle of the TAPS system could be used for cooling in many cases, including as a refrigerant free domestic cooling system.

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.)

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24