A LOW EMISSION ALKALI METAL THERMAL TO ELECTRIC CONVERTER AUTOMOTIVE POWER SYSTEM

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$749,857.00
Award Year:
1995
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
27218
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Advanced Modular Power Sys Inc
4667 Freedom Dr, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr Thomas K Hunt
(313) 677-4260
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
THE ALKAI METAL THERMAL OF ELECTRIC CONVERTER (AMTEC) IS A STATIC ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICE THAT OPERATES AT THERMAL TO ELECTRIC CONVERSION EFFICIENCIES THAT ARE INDEPENDENT OF SIZE, HAVE REACHED 19% AND ARE EXPECTED TO REACH 25% TO 30% IN EARLY 1995. THESE SYSTEMS OPERATE SILENTLY, WITH NO MOVING PARTS AND CAN UTILIZE ANY SOURCE CAPABLE OF DELIVERING HEAT AT 700 DEGREES CENTIGRde TO 900 DEGREES CENTIGRADE, BEACAUSE THEY ARE AS EFFICIENT AS SMALL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES OVER A WIDE RANGE OF OUTPUT (WITHIN 5% OF PEAK EFFICIENCY FROM 15% TO 85% OF FULL POWER), BUT USE EXTERNAL COMBUSTION, THEY ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE THE LOWEST EMISSIONS POSSIBLE FOR A GIVEN ELECTRICAL OUTPUT. THEIR OUTPUT IS DC, AND, WITH APPROPRIATE SERIES CONNECTION OF MODULES, AMTEC CAN DELIVER VOLTAGES TO MATCH THOSE PROVIDED BY THE BATTERY SYSTEMS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES EITHER FOR CHARGING OR FOR DIRECT OPERATION OF ELECTRIC MOTOR DRIVES. WHILE AMTEC SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN UNDER DEVELOPMENT FOR YEARS, RECENT DEVELOPMENTS MADE IN PROGRAMS DIRECTED TOWARD SPACECRAFT POWER SYSTEMS HAVE LED TO MUCH SIMPLER CELL DESIGNS, FAR HIGHER RELIABILITY, GREATLY IMPROVED MODELING METHODS, AND A CLEAR PATH TO MODULES APPROPRIATE FOR THE ASSEMBLY OF MULTI-KILOWATT SYSTEMS. THIS PROJECT WILL DEMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY OF THIS APPROACH THROUGH DESIGN, ANALYSIS, AND THE FABRICATION AND TESTING OF SUBSCALE MODULES. IN PHASE I A SYSTEM DESIGN WILL BE DEVELOPED AND USED TO GUIDE A SERIES OF EXPERIMENTS WHOSE RESULTS WILL ALLOW A CLEAR TEST OF THE FEASIBILITY OF THE AMTEC APPROACH. PHASE II AND III WILL DEMONSTRATE FULL SCALE MODULE PERFORMANCE AND SHOW THAT THEY CAN BE ASSEMBLED INTO UNITS APPROPRIATE FOR USE IN A HYBRID-ELECTRIC VEHICLE. THE EXPERIMENTAL WORK IN PHASE I WILL DEVELOP THE FIRST MULTI-TUBE VAPOR-VAPOR AMTEC MODULE AND USE ITS PERFORMANCE TO REFINE THE STATE-OF-THE-ART ANALYTICAL MODELS FOR AMTEC. THE MODELS WILL THEN BE USED TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF A FULL SCALE SYSTEM AND DIRECT THE STATEMENT OF WORK FOR PHASE II. THE PHASE II PROGRAM WILL HAVE INPUT FROM THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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