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Heat Harvesting by Artificial Muscles, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA emphasizes the need to implement energy harvesting in its future mission activities. By harvesting energy from the ambient surroundings, there is less dependence on a primary power supply (e.g., combustion engines, fuel cells, batteries, solar cells, etc.). Overall power consumption is thereby reduced, equipment weight goes down and logistical supply needs are simplified. Future NASA missions will need innovative energy harvesting methods that are cost effective with reduced mass, reduced volume, and that accommodate extreme operating conditions. For this STTR application, Lynntech has teamed Dr. Ray Baughman (Director of NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas) to pioneer the use of artificial muscles (also known as coiled polymer actuators) as an advanced method for heat-to-electricity energy harvesting. Our primary application is to harvest waste heat from airplane engines, but it could be adapted for use in many other applications where waste heat is generated. More »

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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