VCHP Heat Exchanger for Passive Thermal Management of a Fuel Cell Reforming Process

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N65538-05-M-0139
Agency Tracking Number: N051-041-1156
Amount: $99,840.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: N05-041
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
1046 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster, PA, 17601
DUNS: 126288336
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Sarraf
 Senior Engineer
 (717) 295-6059
Business Contact
 Jon Zuo
Title: President
Phone: (717) 295-6058
Research Institution
The subject of this proposal is a heat exchanger based on variable conductance heat pipes (VCHP) that will provide a passive, valve-less means of regulating process gas temperatures in reformers for fuel cells. A key component of the Navy fuel cell system is the reformer, which converts diesel fuel into methane for consumption by the fuel cell. Reaction temperatures are critical to proper function of the reformer. Reaction temperatures are currently regulated by valves in the process gas streams. These valves require power, consumes space, increases pressure drop, and is hindering tight integration and packaging of the reformer. In addition, these valves are prone to failure at elevated temperatures. The VCHP-based system has the potential to provide nearly constant reformer temperatures despite wide changes in gas flow rate while needing no additional components or control systems and without limiting packaging options for the reformer.

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

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