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Performance Enhancement for 4 K Pulse-Tube Cryocoolers

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Creare, Inc.
NH Hanover, NH 03755-3116
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Performance Enhancement for 4 K Pulse-Tube Cryocoolers
Agency: DOD
Contract: N00014-11-C-0476
Award Amount: $742,832.00


Future military communication systems will rely on advanced superconductor digital electronics. These electronics will require efficient cooling at low temperatures near 4 K. Pulse-tube cryocoolers are a candidate cooling technology for this application. We propose to improve the efficiency of the pulse-tube cryocooler by addressing one of its primary performance limitations, namely the performance of the regenerator at low temperatures. Our proposed regenerator uses an innovative non-rare-earth material to achieve a very high volumetric specific heat; it also has a novel configuration for high thermal and fluid performance. The regenerator"s large heat capacity, small void volume, and low flow restriction will substantially improve the thermal efficiency of low-temperature pulse-tube cryocoolers. In Phase I, we proved the feasibility of our approach by (1) optimizing the regenerator matrix material and flow configuration, (2) developing microfabrication procedures for the regenerator, (3) calculating thermal and fluid flow performance in the regenerator by CFD simulation, and (4) assessing the performance of a pulse-tube cryocooler using our regenerator. In Phase II, we will optimize the regenerator fabrication method, and then fabricate and test a full-size regenerator in prototypical environments.

Principal Investigator:

Weibo Chen
Principal Investigator
(603) 643-3800

Business Contact:

James Barry
(603) 643-3800
Small Business Information at Submission:

Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH -

EIN/Tax ID: 020259551
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
21 North Park Street
Suite 6401
Madison, WI 53715-
Contact: Cheryl E. Gest
Contact Phone: (608) 262-4880