Electrical power generation for sustained high speed flight

Period of Performance: 06/04/2009 - 03/04/2010

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Rivis, Inc.
PO Box 13740 Array
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Research Triangle Institute
3040 Cornwallis
Research Triangle Pk, NC 27709
Institution POC

Abstract

Development of a compliant microfabricated heat exchanger to work with thermoelectric devices as a means of power generation for hypersonic vehicles is proposed. Polymer-based materials provide to provide compression on the thermoelectric module, to ensure optimal thermal contact, while allowing for compliance to allow for the change in materials expansion without exceeding the failure point of the thermoelectric materials compliance during use. However, polymers must be modified to provide high thermal stability and thermal conductance in order to meet the demanding requirements. Nanocomposite polymers provide the enhanced properties and will be evaluated in combination with thermoelectric devices as a means to utilize the waste heat from scramjet engines. To provide compression on the thermoelectric module, to ensure optimal thermal contact, while allowing for compliance to allow for the change in materials expansion without exceeding the failure point of the thermoelectric materials. BENEFIT: Successful development of a nanocomposite heat exchanger will open the way to successfully integrate thermoelectric devices with scramjet engines as a practical power converter to scavenge heat during operation. Thermoelectrics take advantage of the temperature difference between the extremely hot gas, up to >2000°C in the combustion area of the scramjet, and the fueled cooled engine structure to generate electric power in a manner that can potentially save weight, volume and complexity compared to batteries and auxiliary power units)