Affordable, Scalable, Ocean Energy Harvesting System

Period of Performance: 02/05/2016 - 02/06/2017

$375K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
1046 New Holland Ave Array
Lancaster, PA 17601
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

In this SBIR program, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) is developing a PCM-based ocean thermal energy harvesting system to provide reliable, renewable, on-board electrical power generation for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). This scalable system harvests energy from the natural temperature gradients that exist in the ocean. ACTs novel design efficiently extracts heat from the surrounding water at warmer depths, and rejects waste heat into the surrounding water at colder depths. The extracted thermal energy is stored in volumes of phase change material (PCM) and made available to an on-board thermal-to-electric power conversion cycle for continuous power generation regardless of depth. This novel design is flexible and adaptable in the design of the power conversion cycle, enabling scalability of the system from sub-watt for small underwater vehicles, to modular systems of up to 2 kW output. This technology could substantially increase the operational lifetime of underwater gliders and floats used for scientific measurements and surveillance capability. Larger ocean energy harvesting system can serve as underwater charging stations for autonomous vehicles, or provide power for other naval applications. This Phase II SBIR program will develop and test breadboard prototype systems for both small AUVs and larger power station applications.