Performance Enhancement for 4 K Pulse-Tube Cryocoolers

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$742,832.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
N00014-11-C-0476
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
N10A-026-0151
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
N10A-T026
Solicitation Number:
2010.A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
072021041
Principal Investigator:
Weibo Chen
Principal Investigator
(603) 643-3800
wbc@creare.com
Business Contact:
James Barry
President
(603) 643-3800
contractsmgr@creare.com
Research Institution:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cheryl E Gest
21 North Park Street
Suite 6401
Madison, WI, 53715-
(608) 262-4880
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Future military communication systems will rely on advanced superconductor digital electronics. These electronics will require efficient cooling at low temperatures near 4 K. Pulse-tube cryocoolers are a candidate cooling technology for this application. We propose to improve the efficiency of the pulse-tube cryocooler by addressing one of its primary performance limitations, namely the performance of the regenerator at low temperatures. Our proposed regenerator uses an innovative non-rare-earth material to achieve a very high volumetric specific heat; it also has a novel configuration for high thermal and fluid performance. The regenerator"s large heat capacity, small void volume, and low flow restriction will substantially improve the thermal efficiency of low-temperature pulse-tube cryocoolers. In Phase I, we proved the feasibility of our approach by (1) optimizing the regenerator matrix material and flow configuration, (2) developing microfabrication procedures for the regenerator, (3) calculating thermal and fluid flow performance in the regenerator by CFD simulation, and (4) assessing the performance of a pulse-tube cryocooler using our regenerator. In Phase II, we will optimize the regenerator fabrication method, and then fabricate and test a full-size regenerator in prototypical environments.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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