Technologies for Producing Electricity Without Moving Parts

Request Number REQ7310984
Due Date May 5, 2017
Author Kevin Andrews
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Technologies for Producing Electricity Without Moving Parts
RFP Description

NineSigma’s Global Client has an urgent need for an extremely reliable device that can harvest low to moderate electrical power from the ambient environment, under harsh environmental conditions.


NineSigma’s client needs a low to moderate capacity energy converter, to harvest energy available in an isolated ambient environment, and convert it to electrical energy, to power sensors and/or small mechanical devices. The isolated ambient environment is at high temperature (150°C), high pressure (up to 15,000 psi) and includes a variable rate fluid flow. The usage of electrical power is sporadic, and electrical storage will be part of the overall system. While it is acceptable to propose a harvester design that is coupled to an electric storage device such as a rechargeable battery, NineSigma’s client is primarily focused upon the harvester rather than electric storage technologies at this time. To meet the mission life and stringent reliability requirements for their application, only electric generating technologies without mechanical bearing surfaces will be considered. 


Energy available may include:

  • Flow-induced thermal gradients of a few degrees (~ 1°C) between fluid path and surrounding earth mass (illustrated in Figure 1)
  • Pressure gradient from outer diameter to inner diameter ranges from 1 psi to 300 psi
  • Flow from outer diameter to inner flow path diameter (1000 - 40,000 gal/day)
  • Flow through fluid path may be subjected to internal diameter or pattern changes to introduce turbulent flow or vibrational frequencies. Fluid path total flow ranges from 40,000 - 300,000 gal/day.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology should:

  • Generate at least 10 mW electrical output
    • Offer continuous power output for at least 10 years
    • Preferably be scalable for higher outputs
  • Reliably generate electrical power for 10 years without maintenance under the following harsh conditions:
    • Environmental Temperature of 150°C
    • Maximum Environmental pressure of 15,000 psi
    • Pressure gradient across the device 1 – 300psi
    • Exposure to flow of waters and hydrocarbons, with some minimal particulates/abrasives/sand and corrosive agents
    • Fluid flow rate from OD to ID will be variable within the range of 1000 - 40,000 gal/day
    • Total fluid flow rate through the flow path will be variable within the range of 40,000 to 300,000 gal/day
  • Reside within cross-section as illustrated in Figure 1:
    • Device shall not intrude on the inner diameter D1 to maintain unobstructed fluid flow
    • Device may reside in an annular space (shaded in illustration)
    • Above dimensions are inclusive of whatever housings are required in relation to ambient pressure noted above
    • Device length (perpendicular to cross section) may be ~5 ft (longer may be acceptable)


Figure 1.  Cross-section below illustrates space available for device. It may be possible to divert flow or create turbulence in the flow, or have localized bulges in the overall diameter of the inner region, as long as mechanisms do not intrude into D1 and do not exceed D2.



























Establish technology’s feasibility to at least the following extent:

  • Analytical demonstration to generate the required electrical output in relation to the ambient energy sources identified above, in a multi-year application, with a design concept recognizing the geometric constraints illustrated in Figure 1
  • A bench demonstration of the proposed method


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-invasively coupling with fluid flow
  • Thermoelectric / thermocouples
  • Pressure gradient harvesting technologies
  • Piezoelectric / magnetostrictive / solid state vibration harvesters
  • Infrared electromagnetic devices (e.g., solar panel technology tuned to IR radiation)
  • Plasmonic IR cells
  • Magnetic flux technologies
  • Nano- or micro- technologies
  • Bio-inspired technologies 


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Turbines or other devices that require bearing surfaces or that intrude within the through-bore
  • Batteries or other electric storage devices
  • Devices inclusive of radioactive material


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

To submit a Statement of Interest please follow the link below.  The Statement of Interest form includes a few checkboxes, a text box for a short description of your technology and a section for uploading up to 5 documents (Total of all documents must be 10 MB or less). Only non-confidential information may be submitted.


Your response should address:

  • An explanation of the fundamental concepts on which your technology is based
    • Do not include confidential information about how your technology is designed or manufactured
    • You are encouraged to explain why your technology is better than other technologies or approaches
  • Data demonstrating the electrical output of your device
    • For example, it is important to show that electrical output can be achieved using small gradients available
  • An estimate of the technology’s life expectancy
    • Include all assumptions




For assistance with registering or submitting your Statement of Interest on NineSights, please contact the Solution Provider Help Desk


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