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Methane Harvesting for Seafloor Generation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911NF19C0023
Agency Tracking Number: D18C-005-0089
Amount: $224,899.80
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: ST18C-005
Solicitation Number: 18.C
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-03-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-01-07
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 1206
Kailua, HI 96734
United States
DUNS: 066271768
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Greg Rocheleau
 Director of Engineering
 (808) 259-8871
Business Contact
 Michael Nedbal
Phone: (808) 259-8871
Research Institution
 University of Hawaii
 Scott Turn Scott Turn
Office of Research Services 2440 Campus Road, Box 368
Honolulu, HI 96822
United States

 (808) 956-8890
 Nonprofit College or University

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are critical to DoD undersea missions including the future capabilities for sea and sub-sea forces communication and connectivity. AUV mission lengths are currently limited to 24 hours due to the prohibitive battery storage and AUV energy demands. Makai Ocean Engineering, with the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), proposes to develop an AUV subsea recharging technologies that collects gaseous methane from seafloor seeps and converts it into usable energy. The methane conversion system proposed for this effort will capture and reform methane to produce electricity at a fuel cell and will recharge AUVs from a single seafloor station. The methane will be reformed to H2 using previously demonstrated H2O2 reforming processes, and the H2 converted to electricity at PEM or AFC fuel cells. The project team will leverage HNEI’s extensive past research in seafloor methane and fuel cell systems, and Makai’s experience developing subsea technologies for DoD applications including seafloor AUV/UUV docking stations. The technical objective for the Phase I effort is to prove the system’s feasibility, optimize for SWaP (Size Weight and Power), system lifetime, and to develop preliminary prototype designs for seafloor energy production suitable for a Phase II at-sea demonstration.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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