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Development of a low cost thermal storage system using a novel Phase Change…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Fulcrum Composites Inc
1407 East Grove Street Midland, MI 48640-5284
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Development of a low cost thermal storage system using a novel Phase Change Material for use with solar thermal and waste heat recovery systems
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0944716
Award Amount: $193,400.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Project will develop a thermal storage system combined with solar thermal heating and waste heat recovery allowing energy to be accumulated throughout the year to be used when needed in winter. The use of a new phase change material as the energy storage device, combined with the use of winter and summer heat generation will make feasible the storage of sufficient heat for a typical family residence in an acceptably small storage space. Storage of thermal energy is the single largest barrier to large scale implementation of solar thermal collection. Currently, no viable option exists for heat storage in a reasonable volume. The objective is to develop a solar thermal heating system with sufficient heat storage capacity to allow heat to be generated and stored throughout the year and used to provide heating in winter. During phase I a prototype system capable of generating and storing 300MJ of heat, or roughly the daily heat requirement for a domestic house in winter, will be developed. The techniques and data developed during this work will provide the necessary basis to develop a full scale system capable of providing heating throughout the winter to a typical domestic house. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project lies in making localized solar heat generation for space heating a viable option for domestic as well as commercial, institutional and industrial buildings a commercial practicality. It is estimated that approximately 40 million buildings in the US are suitable for implementation of solar thermal heating. This represents a US-based manufacturing opportunity of >$400 billion. Successful implementation on this scale could result in annual energy savings of 300billion kWh corresponding to $30 billion in energy costs.

Principal Investigator:

Christopher M. Edwards

Business Contact:

Christopher M. Edwards
Small Business Information at Submission:

1407 East Grove Street Midland, MI 48640

EIN/Tax ID: 200841019
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No