Direct Thermal to Electric Energy Converter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F29601-01-C-0111
Agency Tracking Number: 011NM-0844
Amount: $99,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3394 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA, 92121
DUNS: 078730918
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 T.Bo Henderson
 Sr. Mang. Scientist
 (256) 837-9100
Business Contact
 Frank Robbins
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (858) 720-4067
Research Institution
A great and pervasive need exists for new, innovative concepts for the generation of electric power in earth orbit. All US spacecraft rely on solar cells for their primary power source. The most advanced solar cells under development are at most 40%efficient. A novel technique with higher efficiency is needed to enhance mission capabilities. That novel concept is thermionic emission from microtip arrays. It is anticipated that efficiencies as high as 60% are achievable with current densitiesgreater than 10 amps per square centimeter. This program will further develop and refine the geometry, and band/field structure of diamond microtip arrays to maximize durability, efficiency, and capacity. The goal of this program is to develop compactefficient energy conversion devices for space and ground based applications. The Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of this technology by a combination of lab measurements and analysis.In addition to providing an efficient power source forgovernment and commercial satellites, efficient direct thermoelectric conversion will support many electrical generation systems including nuclear and fossil fuel power plants. The increased efficiency will allow the more economical use of renewableenergy sources such as solar and geothermal. The broad temperature operating range of this technology will support many applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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