DOD SBIR 24.1 BAA

Active
No
Status
Closed
Release Date
November 29th, 2023
Open Date
January 3rd, 2024
Due Date(s)
February 21st, 2024
Close Date
February 21st, 2024
Topic No.
N241-060

Topic

Ultra-High Reliable and Efficient Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) Modular Generator System

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic of "Ultra-High Reliable and Efficient Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) Modular Generator System" as part of their SBIR 24.1 BAA program. The Navy branch is specifically interested in developing and demonstrating a megawatt-scale, ultra-high reliable and efficient modular generator concept for USVs. The goal is to achieve a 4,000 hour no touch maintenance periodicity for continuous operation in a naval environment. Current power generation systems for USVs do not meet the future long-duration mission needs, which will be measured in months. The reliability of the Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) systems, including power generation, is crucial for USV operations. The current power generation systems, primarily diesels, are not designed for high reliability and maintainability without human intervention. The DOD is looking for innovative solutions to configure and optimize smaller kilowatt-scale power units to achieve a modular generator total power output of 1 MW or greater. The fuel used should be NATO F76, and the building block power unit scale and type can be 10's-100's kW high-density diesels, Stirling generators, fuel cells, or gas turbine generators. The maintenance interval should be 2000 hours, and the mean time between failures (MTBF) should be 4000 hours. The modular generator should operate in marine environment conditions such as salt air ingestion, ships motion in high sea states, shock, vibration, etc. The volumetric and gravimetric density of the modular generator should be equal to or greater than equivalent power level marine diesel generator sets. The project will be conducted in three phases. Phase I involves developing a conceptual design of the modular generator with a defined building block power unit. Phase II focuses on developing the modular generator package and demonstrating innovations identified in the description, including testing in high-risk marine environment conditions. Phase III involves building a minimum 500 kW modular generator package installed in a 10' ISO container for at-sea demonstration. Land-based testing will also be performed to prove operational capability and demonstrate innovations. The dual-use applications of this technology include commercial marine and land-based generators. For more information and to submit proposals, interested parties can visit the DOD SBIR 24.1 BAA program page on the Defense SBIR/STTR website. The solicitation is currently closed, and the open date for proposals is January 3, 2024. The closing date for proposals is February 21, 2024.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Renewable Energy Generation and Storage; Sustainment

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a megawatt (MW) scale, ultra-high reliable and efficient Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) modular generator concept configured with smaller KiloWatt (kW) scale building block power units in a high-density package to achieve a 4,000 hour no touch maintenance periodicity for continuous operation in a naval environment.

 

DESCRIPTION: Unmanned surface platforms are expected to become an indispensable part of Naval operations, yet current power system technology does not satisfy future long-duration USV mission needs. Current power generation system technology for USVs supports missions on the order of days to weeks, but many future missions will be measured in months.

 

One of the most critical enabling capabilities for USVs is reliability of the Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) systems. A significant part of HM&E systems is power generation, which is presently leveraged from manned platforms. These power generation systems, primarily diesels, are not specifically designed for high reliability and maintainability without human intervention.

 

Modular generators are functionally equivalent to single engine based shipboard diesel or gas turbine generators. The modular configuration enables a common flexible design approach to meet USV cross platform needs, both large and small, to be scalable to total power needs; enables graceful degradation of the system rather than a complete system shutdown in the event of a component failure; and can also be configured as needed to adapt to available platform space.

 

Innovation is sought to configure and optimize smaller kW scale power units to achieve the following:

• Modular Generator Total Power Output: 1 MW or greater

• Fuel: NATO F76

• Building Block Power Unit Scale and Type: 10’s-100’s kW High Density Diesels, Stirling Generators, Fuel Cells, Gas Turbine Generators. Note that innovation will be sought on how to configure installation of multiple power units to allow for easy access for maintenance, quick removal and replacement as well as optimize operating life via controls.

• Maintenance Interval: 2000 hrs

• MTBF: 4000 hrs

• Modular Generator Electrical Output: 800-1000VDC

• Operate in a marine environment conditions such as salt air ingestion, ships motion in high sea states, shock, vibration, etc.

• Modular generator volumetric and gravimetric density will be equal to or greater than equivalent power level marine diesel generator sets. Note that innovation will be sought on how to configure installation of multiple power units to maximize density as much as possible.

• Modular single point connections for power, fuel, cooling, exhaust, and controls. Note that innovation will be sought on how to best optimize design to combine multiple power unit connections to a single ship interface.

 

PHASE I: Develop a Modular Generator conceptual design accounting for innovations and requirements stated in the Description with a defined building block power unit.

 

PHASE II: Develop a Modular Generator package. Demonstrate innovations identified in the Description. Further demonstrate high risk marine environment conditions as required.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Build a minimum 500kW Modular Generator package installed in a 10’ ISO container for subsequent at sea demonstration. Perform land based testing to prove operational capability and demonstrate innovations identified in the Description. Dual use application includes commercial marine and land-based generators.

 

REFERENCES:

Congressional Research Service. “Navy Large Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress Updated August 25, 2023.” https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R45757.pdf
“Naval Research and Development Framework.” https://media.defense.gov/2020/May/18/2002302044/-1/-1/1/NRE-ADDENDUM-TO-THE-R-AND-D-FRAMEWORK_070617.PDF

 

KEYWORDS: Modular Generator; High Density Diesel; Stirling; Fuel Cell; Gas Turbine Generator; USV