Turbo-Rankine Power System for Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents
Hydrothermal vents emit large amounts of hot water, which has the potential to produce electric power. This type of power source could enable remote sea sensors, recharge autonomous underwater vehicles, and facilitate a variety of deep sea activities. Developing a power system for this application is challenging because the environment is extremely corrosive, mineral precipitation and biological activity can obstruct critical surfaces, and the system must operate reliably for long time periods without maintenance. In response, we propose to develop a turbo-Rankine power system that is optimized for hydrothermal vents. Our system will consist of discrete components that are packaged to fit optimally within a simple containment structure and around adjacent features and subsystems. In addition, continuous fluid flow within the system will communicate directly with the heat source and heat rejection environment, without intermediate flow loops or large thermal structures. Creare is well suited to succeed because we have a long history of developing advanced turbomachines, heat exchangers, and thermodynamic systems for challenging aerospace and terrestrial applications. During Phase I, we will optimize design trades, complete a preliminary design, and test a subscale version of the heat exchanger that will interact with the hydrothermal vent. We will then fabricate and test a brassboard system during Phase II.
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P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH -
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