SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  OSD07-ES2 (OSD)
Title:  Energy Conversion of JP-10 Fuel
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles, Weapons

Acquisition Program:  DDR&E EPTI
  Objective:  Develop methods of converting the chemical energy contained in JP-10 fuel into propulsive energy to power the unmanned undersea vehicles and undersea weapons. This energy conversion allows extended operation in low-power missions.
  Description:  The energy supply for the majority of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) has typically been through the use of batteries. However, the requirements of extended duration low-power missions and for occasional sustained higher-power operations, as described in the U.S. Navy’s UUV Master Plan1 highlights the need for increases in energy density and specific energy. The UUV Master Plan cites an energy density of about 150 Wh/lb for large vehicles at 5 kts. Additionally, the navy desires lower fuel cost and more capability to quickly “gas and go”. The focus of this SBIR solicitation is on Navy logistics fuels, specifically JP-10, as a fuel for large diameter UUVs2. The navy is interested in the development of methods of converting the chemical energy contained in JP-10 into UUV propulsive energy. Possible means of doing this include but are not limited to: solid oxide fuels cells, PEM fuel cells with reformers, and thermal heat engines. Storage of oxidizer onboard the UUV is a principal challenge to the use of logistics fuels, and has been the topic of previous SBIR solicitations. Apparently, different methods of oxidizer storage may be more appropriate for different power plants. Although novel means of dense oxidizer storage are of interest to the navy, emphasis of this SBIR is on fuel and energy conversion.

  PHASE I: Conduct analysis and develop energy conversion system concepts that use JP-10 fuel to power the UUVs and undersea weapons. The deliverable will be a preliminary design of a JP-10 energy conversion system with oxidizer that will drive the power shaft of the UUVs and undersea weapons.
  PHASE II: Design and develop an integrated JP-10 fuel energy conversion system for UUVs and undersea weapons. Experiments and testing will be conducted in the laboratory to demonstrate the capabilities of the energy conversion system including the oxidizer. The energy conversion system should be coupled to the mechanical system, and to demonstrate its capabilities to drive the power shaft of the UUVs and undersea weapons.

  PHASE III: Extend the Phase II effort to incorporate the JP-10 energy conversion system in next generation or future UUVs and undersea weapons. Collaborate with Navy laboratory and industry to transition the energy conversion technology to UUVs, undersea weapons, and other non-military applications. PRIVATE SECTOR USE OF TECHNOLOGY: The JP-10 fuel energy conversion system developed in this SBIR can be easily applied to the private sector. Examples are the propulsion systems that power ground (automobiles), sea and air vehicles.

  References:  1. The Navy Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Master Plan, Nov. 9, 2004, www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/technology/uuvmp.pdf 2. Daniel H. Kiely and James Moore, Hydrocarbon Fueled UUV Power Systems, IEEE AUV 2002 Energy Systems Workshop, San Antonio, TX, 2002.

Keywords:  JP-10 Fuel, Energy Conversion, Fuel Cell, Unmanned Undersea Vehicle, Undersea Weapons

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #2: Available online to IEEE members.
Ref #2: Available online to IEEE members.

Questions and Answers:
Q: Can you send me more specific size requirements? or more info on this project?
A: The size of undersea weapon is 21 inch dia. MK48 Torpedo. The size of unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV), and other detailed information are posted on the UUV Master Plan,
www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/technology/uuvmp.pdf
Q: 1. What will the average depth of water that this equipment will have to operate in?

2. This project at first will need air intake and exhaust tubes, will this be exceptable in the phase 1 experimentation?

3. Does Catepillar not already have an engine to burn jp-10 under water?
A: 1. The average water depth for this equipment is about 1200 ft.

2. It's acceptable to have both intake and exhaust tubes for the Phase I experimentation in the laboratory.

3. I am not well aware of Catepillar's capabilities on this.
Q: 1. What will the appr. horsepower requirment be 1.5, 2.0, 3.0?
2. Could this unit be used to recharge existing batteries underwater?
3. Could this technology be transfered to a larger and existing uuv, maybe in a totaly different design later?
A: 1. It depends on the weight and speed of the vehicle. The UUV Master Plan cites an energy density of about 150 Wh/lb for large vehicles at 5 kts. Please refer to the UUV Master Plan for size, weight, and speed information. The UUV Master Plan can be downloaded at: www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/technology/uuvmp.pdf

2. This topic aims at the development of energy conversion of JP-10 fuel to power the UUVs and undersea weapons. The primary function is to drive the power shaft of the UUVs and undersea weapons. The capability of recharging existing batteries is a plus, but not necessary.

3. This technology could be transferred to a larger and existing UUV later. It could be in a totally different design.
Q: Can you send me more specific size requirements? or more info on this project?
A: The size of undersea weapon is 21 inch dia. MK48 Torpedo. The size of unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV), and other detailed information are posted on the UUV Master Plan,
www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/technology/uuvmp.pdf
Q: 1. What will the average depth of water that this equipment will have to operate in?

2. This project at first will need air intake and exhaust tubes, will this be exceptable in the phase 1 experimentation?

3. Does Catepillar not already have an engine to burn jp-10 under water?
A: 1. The average water depth for this equipment is about 1200 ft.

2. It's acceptable to have both intake and exhaust tubes for the Phase I experimentation in the laboratory.

3. I am not well aware of Catepillar's capabilities on this.
Q: 1. What will the appr. horsepower requirment be 1.5, 2.0, 3.0?
2. Could this unit be used to recharge existing batteries underwater?
3. Could this technology be transfered to a larger and existing uuv, maybe in a totaly different design later?
A: 1. It depends on the weight and speed of the vehicle. The UUV Master Plan cites an energy density of about 150 Wh/lb for large vehicles at 5 kts. Please refer to the UUV Master Plan for size, weight, and speed information. The UUV Master Plan can be downloaded at: www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/technology/uuvmp.pdf

2. This topic aims at the development of energy conversion of JP-10 fuel to power the UUVs and undersea weapons. The primary function is to drive the power shaft of the UUVs and undersea weapons. The capability of recharging existing batteries is a plus, but not necessary.

3. This technology could be transferred to a larger and existing UUV later. It could be in a totally different design.

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