Counterflow Regolith Heat Exchanger

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CE75P
Agency Tracking Number: 084277
Amount: $99,980.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: X3.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215-5516
DUNS: 120561456
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douwe Bruinsma
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 468-6718
 dbruinsma@pioneerastro.com
Business Contact
 Robert Zubrin
Title: Business Official
Phone: (303) 980-0890
Email: zubrin@aol.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The counterflow regolith heat exchanger (CoRHE) is a device that transfers heat from hot regolith to cold regolith. The CoRHE is essentially a tube-in-tube heat exchanger with internal and external augers attached to the inner, rotating tube to move the regolith. Hot regolith in the outer tube is moved in one direction by a right-handed auger and the cool regolith in the inner tube is moved in the opposite by a left-handed auger attached to the inside of the rotating tube. In this counterflow arrangement a large fraction of the heat from the expended regolith is transferred to the new regolith. The spent regolith leaves the heat exchanger close to the temperature of the cold new regolith and the new regolith is pre-heated close to the initial temperature of the spent regolith. Using the CoRHE can reduce the heating requirement of a lunar ISRU system by 80%, reducing the total power consumption by a factor of two.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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