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Thermoelectric Water Heater and Chiller

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Rocky Research
1598 Foothill Dr PO Box 61800 Boulder City, NV -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Thermoelectric Water Heater and Chiller
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: DAAD16-03-P-005
Award Amount: $120,000.00


The Army needs a thermoelectric water cooler and heater for the future combat vehicle. The appliance must simultaneously cool drinking water, and heat water for preparing Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). The heat balance for simultaneous heating and coolingonly works exactly for one set of starting hot and cold water temperatures. Proposed is a device with a unique thermal coupling process between the module and hot and cold loads. This coupling allows greater efficiency than conventional designs employingonly conduction through metal, plus it facilitates selective heat transfer with the surroundings which is necessary to overcome heat balance limitations and bring both hot and cold loads to the desired temperature. If the hot reservoir reaches thesetpoint before the cold reservoir is cooled completely, heat is rejected to ambient to allow cooling to continue. For scenarios where the cold reservoir setpoint is reached first, heat is extracted from surrounding air and heating continues. Higheffectiveness and simplicity of the proposed thermal coupling will allow the appliance to meet the Army's weight goal of 10 pounds, and possibly the preferred weight of 5 pounds. Proposed are design, fabrication, and testing of a complete prototype.Anticipated benefits of the proposed R&D are development of the proposed water heater and cooler, plus development of an improved and more versatile means of thermally coupling thermoelectric modules to loads and sinks. This improved thermal coupling willextend the range of practical applications for thermoelectric heating and cooling. Commercial applications of the water heater and cooler include:1. Sales to the Army and other military branches for FCV2. Recreational vehicle water heating and cooling3. Portable drink cooler and heater for cars, with cigarette lighter plug4. Baby bottle warmer and drink cooler. Home and vehicle versions should be viable products.

Principal Investigator:

Lance Kirol
Senior Engineering Analys

Business Contact:

Uwe Rockenfeller
Small Business Information at Submission:

1598 Foothill Dr, PO Box 61800 Boulder City, NV 89006

EIN/Tax ID: 880217562
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No