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Buoyancy-Driven Energy System Powered by Seafloor Methane and Other Gases

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911NF-19-C-0020
Agency Tracking Number: D18C-005-0066
Amount: $224,947.30
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): 2019-03-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-01-05
Small Business Information
16 Great Hollow Road
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Breedlove
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 643-3800
Business Contact
 Betsy Williams
Phone: (603) 640-2331
Research Institution
 Applied Physics Laboratory - University of Washington
 Lynn M. French Lynn M. French
1013 NE 40th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
United States

 (206) 543-4043
 Nonprofit College or University

Seafloor methane is an abundant resource that can be exploited to produce power. Developing a power system for this application is challenging because suitable oxidizers are not readily available on the seafloor. In response, Creare proposes to develop a Buoyancy-Driven Turboalternator Energy System to produce electric power from seafloor methane without oxidation reactions. This innovative system will direct methane and other gases from the seafloor into a vertical pipe, where the density difference between the gas and the ambient seawater will create a hydrostatic pressure difference suitable for expanding the gas through a small turboalternator into the surrounding seawater. The continuously generated electricity can be used to recharge UUVs, power persistent sensors such as hydrophones, and create seafloor communication nodes. Creare and APL-UW form a strong, complementary team well suited to succeed because we have a long history developing advanced turbomachines and thermodynamic systems for challenging ocean, aerospace, and terrestrial applications. During Phase I, we will demonstrate feasibility by maturing our component and system designs, and generating electric power in a Shallow Water Testing Facility at Creare. During Phase II, we will fabricate and integrate all system components, culminating with a full system demonstration in the Cascadia Margin Seep.

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

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