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Thermochemical Energy Conversion Engine for Electricity Generation
Phone: (865) 483-3520
Title: Business Official
Phone: (865) 588-2327
NASA is interested in the development of highly advanced systems, subsystems and components to enable future robotic and manned missions. A key requirement for these challenging missions will be the development of high efficiency power conversion systems with increased power density. Ecotera Energy proposes an innovative gas turbine improvement, the Thermochemical Energy Conversion (TEC) engine, which has important advantages for space missions over alternatives. TEC engines use a closed?cycle gas turbine and the unique feature of an active working fluid that reversibly dissociates creating greater expansion through the turbine and recombining prior to compression during each cycle. This results in a reduction in the fraction of turbine power required to turn the compressor and an increase in the heat transfer coefficient compared to recuperators with non-dissociating working fluids. For NASA, these features mean increased energy efficiency (over 45%) and higher power density (500 w/Kg) than existing systems in the same power range, which will reduce mass allocations for electricity generation on space missions. Other advantages of TEC include: easy scaling from a few kWe to MWe; operation with any thermal energy source including methane, hydrogen, solar thermal, and reactor waste heat; enhanced heat rejection; and quiet, hermetically sealed operation.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *