Foil Bearing Supported Centrifugal Cathode Air Blower

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-C-2043
Agency Tracking Number: O081-EP3-1039
Amount: $749,990.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solitcitation Year: 2008
Solitcitation Topic Code: OSD08-EP3
Solitcitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
R&D Dynamics Corporation
15 Barber Pond Road, Bloomfield, CT, 06002
Duns: 798021085
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Giri Agrawal
 President/Chief Engineer
 (860) 726-1204
 agragiri@rddynamics.com
Business Contact
 Dennis Burr
Title: Business Development Mana
Phone: (860) 726-1204
Email: dennisb@rddynamics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The proposed technology will reduce the size and weight of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) power systems for unmanned air vehicle and munition (UAV) applications thus making future UAVs lighter and more fuel efficient. In addition, the proposed technology will further enable the Air Force to move toward more electric aircraft. The technological advance will have a spillover benefit to land and sea based vehicles utilizing SOFC power systems. A high technology prototype cathode air blower was designed and partially built in Phase I. The cathode air blower is able to operate at very high speeds > 100,000 rpm because the rotating assembly is supported on foil air bearings. This high speed operation allows for a very small, light weight and efficient air blower which enables more power dense SOFC power systems. All targets for the blower have been exceeded with this design. At the beginning of Phase II the prototype cathode air blower will be delivered to the fuel cell integrator for system bench testing. During Phase II the prototype blower will be further optimized for efficiency, weight, size, performance, and low cost manufacturability. The blower will be tested to military specifications. Five prototype blowers will be delivered to the Air Force during Phase II for integration into SOFC systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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