SBIR Phase I: Thermo-Electric Conversion by Optimally Scaled Nanocomposite Materials

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Romny Scientific Incorporated
865 Marina Bay Parkway, Suite #42
Richmond, CA 94804
Principal Investigator


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes a power generation architecture based on thermoelectric effects. This technology allows significant gains in conversion efficiency and total converted power. This is achieved by integrating three aspects of a successful energy conversion product: (1) advanced materials that enable efficient energy conversion due to their nanostructure, (2) a structure that is formed at the optimal geometric scale that the application dictates, allowing it to take full advantage of the high quality materials of which it is constructed, and (3) a manufacturing process that forms these conversion devices in a cost efficient manner, allowing for broad adoption of this technology. The proposed technology will allow underutilized thermal energy available in many industries to be converted into useful electrical energy. In motor vehicles more than half the energy in gasoline is wasted as heat. This technology will boost automobile fuel efficiency by converting and reusing this otherwise wasted energy. U.S. heavy industries such as aluminum production will also be positively impacted as this technology will allow the tremendous amounts of otherwise wasted heat to be converted into useful power. By using energy more efficiently, this proposed work will have significant environmental, economic, and national security benefits.