Space-based Cryocooling - The cryocooler can be used to produce cooling in the temperature range of 50 - 100 K. Lower operating temperatures are possible via staging. Potential applications include direct cooling of space sensors, vapor re-liquefaction for zero boil-off fluid storage or cooling superconducting magnetic bearings in support of flywheel energy storage systems. Space-based Refrigeration and Compression - The core cryocooler and linear motor technology could be applied to build higher-temperature Stirling coolers for in-space scientific experimentation or biological material preservation. The same enabling technology could be used to build linear compressors for refrigerant-based cooling or other working gas compression or fluid pumping. Space Power Generation - The proposed innovation has the potential to support space power generation applications in the 75-500 W electrical power range using thermal input from one or more radioisotope heat sources, with waste heat radiated to space.
Cryocooling - The cryocooler could be used to cool high-temperature superconducting magnetic bearings in industrial spindles and motors. The ability to cool a central load and reject heat at the periphery is ideal for zero boil-off re-condensation of liquid nitrogen, volatile fuels and other substances. Refrigeration and Gas Compression - The core hydrodynamic bearing technology could be applied to linear free-piston compressors for domestic refrigeration. The Department of Energy Office recently issued a new report which prioritized accelerating the commercialization of high-efficiency appliance technologies. This Roadmap ranked the development of advanced compressor technologies for refrigerators and freezers as having the highest overall importance and potential impact.