Alternative Energy Sources for Heating Rations
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-001
Topic Title: Alternative Energy Sources for Heating Rations
Proposal No.: N141-001-1012
Firm: Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road
Austin, Texas 78733
Contact: Harry Perkinson
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Web Site:
Abstract: Texas Research Institute Austin (TRI/Austin) is proposing to build an energy supply system for the Tray Ration Heating System (TRHS) that will eliminate the use of JP-8 fuel as an energy source to heat the rations. There are three operational conditions when the TRHS needs to be supplied with energy. The proposed system will utilize diesel engine waste heat when the TRHS is operationally GO (in motion, on long route), photovoltaic and hydrogen when operationally STOP (established longer term base), and waste heat and hydrogen when unit is operationally STOP and GO (a number of close locations over the course of the ration day). Basic heat will be recovered from the diesel engine cooling system. Higher grade heat from the vehicle exhaust system will be recovered through the use of an organic bottoming Rankine cycle (OBRC). Electric power will be generated from the OBRC and flexible photovoltaic panels. Electricity will drive electrical resistance heaters or be used for electrolysis of water to recover hydrogen gas. Hydrogen gas will be used in combustion to heat the water in the TRHS. The combination of energy sources will provide heat to the TRHS for any of the three operational conditions.
Benefits: The development of alternative energy sources for the TRHS will reduce the JP-8 logistic support trips needed to provide a hot meal for the troops. The reduction in logistic support trips will reduce the number of times USMC personnel are endangered, with a corresponding reduction in the rate of injury or death. The technologies that are being developed and applied will be beneficial in other applications. These other applications include general commercial fleet operations where reduction of fuel consumption will lead to improved company profits, applications where recovery of waste heat provides energy for other mission systems at no additional cost in fuel resources, and a general reduction in the carbon load associated with transportation.