ROCKLEDGE, FL – April 16th, 2012 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a 25-year research and manufacturing company, has been awarded a contract from the Department of Defense/Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer program to develop ultra high surface area architecture for storing thermal energy.
New onboard avionic systems, such as directed energy weapons, generate high levels of heat. To accommodate the heat exchange demands of these systems, the Air Force needs to make improvements in the current thermal storage media.
With its quarter century experience in the field of thermal energy storage (TES), Mainstream has the specific expertise to develop the required TES technology. This new reversible TES system being developed by Mainstream engineers will be capable of withstanding high heat flux and have a very large specific energy capacity.
The proposed method uses ultra-high surface area scaffolding nanomaterials, which are capable of withstanding conditions of extreme pressure and temperature. Mainstream has developed a method to modify the nano-structured surface to enhance its thermal conductivity. Leveraging the nanomaterial as scaffolding for the TES mechanism, the company is able to produce media with high thermal conductivity and high energy-dense, ultra-high surface area storage capacity.
In Phase II, Mainstream will maximize this storage capacity over the designated working temperatures. Then the company will design a prototype TES heat exchanger that uses multiple storage media. Finally, Mainstream will design, fabricate and demonstrate the remaining components of the TES.
The result of this effort will be the fabrication of a TES with high thermal conductivity and high surface area. This TES will then be used in advanced avionics to manage the heat exchange demands. While many employers in Brevard County are discussing reductions in force, Mainstream has seen its staff increase by 14% in the last year alone. This new Air Force contract will allow Mainstream to create additional engineering and production positions.
“Given the state of the economy and the recent job losses at Kennedy Space Center, we are excited about the possibility of being able to employ displaced aerospace workers from the local community,” said Dr. Robert Scaringe, President of Mainstream. “This new Air Force contract award is one small step in a series of ongoing job-creating programs that we are developing at both Mainstream and our automotive spin-off company.
“These programs create local jobs, improve the nation’s energy efficiency and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, all while reducing emissions and preserving the environment,” continued Scaringe.
Mainstream Engineering has a history of leading-edge research and development that has resulted in advanced, lean-manufacturing, cost-competitive products, which are all proudly made in the USA.
About Mainstream Engineering Corporation
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a solutions-oriented research, development and manufacturing business founded in 1986. Our primary mission is to transition advanced thermal control, energy storage and energy conversion technology into high-quality, cost-effective, environmentally safe, green, commercial products. Products include lightweight diesel/JP8-fueled engines (including generators and hybrid vehicle drive trains), advanced thermal control units, advanced biomass conversion technologies, refrigerators/freezers for shipping containers and the QwikProduct™ line of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) products. Areas of advanced research include thermal control, energy conversion, engine and emissions research, turbomachinery, chemical technology and materials science.