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Thermal Conversion Device for Hydrothermal Vents

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Barber-Nichols, Inc.
6325 West 55th Arvada, CO 80002-2707
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Thermal Conversion Device for Hydrothermal Vents
Agency: DOD
Contract: N00014-11-M-0246
Award Amount: $79,962.00


The objective of this proposal is to develop technology which will enable electricity to be produced and stored by utilizing geothermal energy emanating from the fissures in the bottom of the ocean. Geothermal energy is abundant. It is estimated that 67,000 km of ridges exist in the ocean that contain geothermal activity (Baker and German, 2004). Many of these resources are at depths from 1500m to 2500m. At these depths, the saturation temperature of water exceeds 300C with adjacent cold water at 5C. Given the unique nature of the location and the reasonable temperature difference, a high efficiency power conversion system would ordinarily be an easy exercise. However, the depth and nature of the resource compound the engineering problem. It is envisioned that the cost of installation will necessitate an extremely reliable system that will not be able to be serviced or even retrieved. Other factors including heat exchanger fouling to mineral condensation and biological organisms should not be ignored. The specification requires not only electric power production, but storage. At 100 kWe output, the electric storage requirements may dominate the system size depending on the storage technology utilized.

Principal Investigator:

Jason Preuss
Project Engineer
(303) 421-8111

Business Contact:

Robert Linden
Vice President
(303) 421-8111
Small Business Information at Submission:

Barber-Nichols Inc.
6325 West 55th Avenue Arvada, CO -

EIN/Tax ID: 840568519
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No