Alternative Energy Sources for Heating Rations

Period of Performance: 05/01/2014 - 02/28/2015

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road Array
Austin, TX 78733
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Texas Research Institute Austin (TRI/Austin) is proposing to build an energy supply system for the Tray Ration Heating System (TRHS) that will eliminate the use of JP-8 fuel as an energy source to heat the rations. There are three operational conditions when the TRHS needs to be supplied with energy. The proposed system will utilize diesel engine waste heat when the TRHS is operationally GO (in motion, on long route), photovoltaic and hydrogen when operationally STOP (established longer term base), and waste heat and hydrogen when unit is operationally STOP and GO (a number of close locations over the course of the ration day). Basic heat will be recovered from the diesel engine cooling system. Higher grade heat from the vehicle exhaust system will be recovered through the use of an organic bottoming Rankine cycle (OBRC). Electric power will be generated from the OBRC and flexible photovoltaic panels. Electricity will drive electrical resistance heaters or be used for electrolysis of water to recover hydrogen gas. Hydrogen gas will be used in combustion to heat the water in the TRHS. The combination of energy sources will provide heat to the TRHS for any of the three operational conditions.