Aqwest is developing revolutionary high-payoff technologies for improving energy efficiency in aerospace and commercial processes including refrigeration, component actuation, and automotive.
Aqwest is developing a revolutionary magnetocaloric refrigerator (MCR) for advanced refrigeration and air conditioning (AC) in buildings, industry, and transportation offering over 2-fold improvement in efficiency over traditional vapor compression cycle (VCC) technologies. The Aqwest MCR overcomes the limitations of prior attempts at MCR by exposing a magneto-caloric material to a proprietary distribution of magnetic field varying in time and space in concert with an innovative thermal path switching to produce a “bucket brigade” heat pumping effect.
The Aqwest MCR is simple and self-contained as it uses no pumps, heat exchangers, plumbing, or regenerators. The MCR is a green technology producing net-zero green house gases (GHG) emissions.
We are also working on operating the magneto-caloric effect in reverse to convert heat directly into mechanical energy with a conversion efficiency 2-times higher than existing Rankine cycle technologies.
Aqwest is leveraging latest magnetocaloric material and permanent magnet technologies to realize the century old dream of efficient direct heat conversion. Applications include utilization of low-level heat or waste heat recovery for production of electricity and propulsion. The development of magneto-caloric heat technologies at Aqwest was supported in-part by contracts from the US Missile Defense Agency and the US Department of Energy.
Aqwest is developing a high-performance electric actuator that offers unprecedented combination of force, stroke, response time, and compactness while addressing a very broad market including humanoid robots, artificial limb prosthetics, exoskeletons, and aircraft flight controls.
Humanoid robots and advanced artificial limb prosthetics require actuators with capabilities generally corresponding to human muscles. These requirements cannot be met with any existing actuators. As an interim solution, robots and artificial limb prosthetics overwhelmingly use pneumatic, hydraulic, and electromechanical actuators.
Actuators currently in use are based on 19th century technologies – they provide the required stroke, force, and time response. However, they are too heavy, bulky, power hungry, and require complex support infrastructure (pumps, tanks, plumbing, or electromagnets), which makes them impractical or even unfeasible as a long-term solution.
The actuator can be also operated in a reverse mode to recover energy from retraction stroke and recharge the electric power source. This feature can significantly extend operating time in battery-based systems. The actuator can be made radiation hard and space qualifiable.
Aqwest is developing a revolutionary fuel injector for improved combustion in automotive internal combustion engines. Our fuel injector uses innovative pressure booster driven by laser-generated shock waves to produce extraordinarily high pressures and ultra-fine fuel droplet spray. Multiple injections of controllable magnitude can be delivered in each combustion cycle. Resulting improvement in fuel atomization offers increased engine power output, increased fuel economy, and reduced emissions.
In contrast to hydraulic-mechanical, electro-mechanical, and piezo-type pressure intensifiers, the Aqwest injector is very durable and does not suffer from frequency response roll off, deleterious resonance issues, or timing jitter, thereby ensuring tight control over an injection event. In addition, the Aqwest pressure booster is compatible with all major automotive fuel delivery systems and it can be incorporated into many standard injector designs with relatively small design modifications and little or no impact on the overall injector dimensions.
Applications include high-performance automotive gasoline engines, diesel power plants for light aircraft and unmanned air vehicles (UAV), and turbine power plans for large aircraft.
1. J. Vetrovec, “High-Performance Heat Sink for Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Inverters,” Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle and Tire Technologies, Symposium 5, August 15-18, 2010, Montreal, Canada
2. J. Vetrovec,” Engine cooling system with a heat load averaging capability,” presentation at the SAE 2008 Congress, Detroit, April 2008.
3. J. Vetrovec, “Fluid-Dynamic Supercharger,” SAE Paper 2008-01-0299
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