|MTECH receives NASA award for cryogenic inverters|
September 17, 2010 - MTECH Laboratories, LLC, located in the heart of New York’s Tech Valley, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop and evaluate cryogenic inverters for use by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The announcement was made by Michael J. Hennessy, Ph.D., president of MTECH. For the past decade, MTECH has pioneered in developing ultra efficient power converters and inverters. MTECH inverters operate at extreme low temperatures and are compatible with high temperature superconductors. An outgrowth of earlier work done for the Department of Defense, the Navy evaluated this technology for its all-electric ship program. MTECH’s inverters are ideal for use in locations with cryogenic infrastructures and provide the advantages of high power and light weight when combined with superconducting motors and generators, resulting in very high power density.
“NASA’s turboelectric propulsion concept follows the lead of trains, ships and cars by inserting electric components into the ‘drive train’ between the engines and the propulsion fans”, according to Gerald R. Brown, Senior Research Engineer, NASA – Glenn Research Center. “Turbine engines would drive large generators to provide electric power and superconducting transmission lines would carry that power to multiple motors that drive the propulsion fans. The fans can be located remotely from the engine for aircraft design flexibility, can be integrated with the airframe to reduce drag and noise and can move more air to raise propulsive efficiency and reduce fuel usage. The required electric generators, motors and other components could not be made light and efficient enough for flight in the past. But new technology, such as new superconductors and MTECH’s cryogenic power converters, promises to shrink the components to flight weight with high energy efficiency.”
Founded in 2001, MTECH Laboratories, LLC provides advanced engineering solutions and technical services in many diverse fields. MTECH is a broadly-based company drawing on experience in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies. MTECH’s expertise ranges from power electronics and magnetics to materials research and animation. MTECH is a pioneer in the field of cryogenic power electronics and is one of the few companies in the world developing high-power cryogenic inverters for integration with superconducting cables, motors, and generators.