29 March 2012 Lightweight thermal energy recovery system based on shape memory alloys: a DOE ARPA-E initiative
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Over 60% of energy that is generated is lost as waste heat with close to 90% of this waste heat being classified as low grade being at temperatures less than 200°C. Many technologies such as thermoelectrics have been proposed as means for harvesting this lost thermal energy. Among them, that of SMA (shape memory alloy) heat engines appears to be a strong candidate for converting this low grade thermal output to useful mechanical work. Unfortunately, though proposed initially in the late 60's and the subject of significant development work in the 70's, significant technical roadblocks have existed preventing this technology from moving from a scientific curiosity to a practical reality. This paper/presentation provides an overview of the work performed on SMA heat engines under the US DOE (Department of Energy) ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy) initiative. It begins with a review of the previous art, covers the identified technical roadblocks to past advancement, presents the solution path taken to remove these roadblocks, and describes significant breakthroughs during the project. The presentation concludes with details of the functioning prototypes developed, which, being able to operate in air as well as fluids, dramatically expand the operational envelop and make significant strides towards the ultimate goal of commercial viability.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Alan L. Browne, Alan L. Browne, Andrew C. Keefe, Andrew C. Keefe, Paul W. Alexander, Paul W. Alexander, Nilesh Mankame, Nilesh Mankame, Patrick Usoro, Patrick Usoro, Nancy L. Johnson, Nancy L. Johnson, Jan Aase, Jan Aase, Peter Sarosi, Peter Sarosi, Geoffrey P. McKnight, Geoffrey P. McKnight, Guillermo Herrera, Guillermo Herrera, Christopher Churchill, Christopher Churchill, John Shaw, John Shaw, Jeff Brown, Jeff Brown, } "Lightweight thermal energy recovery system based on shape memory alloys: a DOE ARPA-E initiative", Proc. SPIE 8343, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2012, 834306 (29 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.913275; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.913275

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