Research & Development
If the problem involves diesel fuel and clean efficient power in a challenging
mobile environment, we want to be involved.
Dewey provides research and development engineering, prototyping, testing, and evaluation specifically relating to compact diesel power generation. We sometimes describe it "creating systems that can be fielded quickly - the R&D is focused on integration with a lower case r and upper case D." We can provide practical expertise in dealing with 'constrained parameter systems' for military applications, such as meeting extreme requirements for fuel consumption, space claim, or altitude. Our practical focus includes engineers with years of experience in our manufacturing facility as well as experience getting complete electromechanical systems successfully fielded.
Our prototype team has had multiple careers building production systems and prototyping military hardware. We are neither fuel cell scientists nor power conversion gurus. What we are very good at is integrating best-in-class technology from our partners to produce an optimized overall system with the highest probability of successful operation. We can be critical team members on the development of technologies involving power generation, or we can bring all this experience to trouble shooting an existing system or resolving a design problem while still achieving the minimum possible sized system. Here are some examples of projects we have done.
Fuel Cell and Reformer Systems for the M1 Abrams Tank
Customer Funded: We are not fuel cell or reformer scientists. What we are providing are the controls for operating a complex dirty diesel reformer combined with managing and converting the power output of an 11kW fuel cell. Here we are providing extensive experience on how to build and miniaturize military grade controls, power conversion, power management, and overall system architecture. Partners on the other aspects of the project are ALTEX, Synergy, and the funding agency is the TARDEC. Download Control System for Fuel Reformer Case Study
11kW DC to DC Power Conversion for Fuel Cells
Customer Funded: As part of the fuel cell effort, we worked with outside partners to develop a high efficiency compact power conversion system that is capable of managing the loads on the fuel cell stack during startup, full load, and shutdown. Output is 28 volts DC.
Novel Voltage Regulation in Field Wound Alternators
Internally Funded: We developed a novel system for voltage and current regulation in field wound alternators. This was incorporated into our successfully optimized hybrid DC generators that improved energy storage for batteries and provided endpoint DC-AC power conversion.
Leading Edge Diesel Engine Based Battery Charging
Internally Funded: This was an effort to prove out and develop highly fuel efficient and rapid battery charging of lead acid, AGM, and lithium type batteries using man-portable diesel engines. By integrating engine, alternator, current, and voltage control we have been able to demonstrate excellent round trip efficiencies with battery charging while reaching theoretical limits for minimum engine operating time and fuel consumption. We have developed a deep understanding of battery charging combined with significant knowledge of generator design. This has enabled us to deliver unmatched system efficiencies when designing DC generators and integrating energy storage battery systems.
Proof-of-Concept System for Tactical Idle Reduction of M915 Long Haul
Customer Funded: Dewey designed, tested, and delivered to the Army two proof-of-concept systems capable of generating 5kW of 120V AC, 3kW of 28V DC, and 1 ton of cooling and heating at -40 degrees F to +130 degrees F. We designed the system and prototyped a diesel generator capable of both AC and DC power and partnered with AMETEK to design and deliver a rugged environment single part ECU for mounting on the back of the 915 cab.
Sound Mitigation Research on 60hz Air-Cooled Diesel Engines
Customer Funded: Part of a larger contract, this effort focused on mapping sound levels from various components of the 2kW air-cooled open frame diesel generator. We were able to demonstrate reductions in sound from 80 dBa to 72 dBa. This was accomplished by developing resonant air chambers for combustion air intake, internal sound barriers, and a soft fabric enclosure that covered less than 70% of the open area of the generator.
Compact Permanent Magnet High Frequency Alternator Design
Internally Funded: We have worked closely with outside resources to design new permanent magnet alternators which we built and integrated with high frequency power electronics. The alternator was designed to operate at speed ranges of 1800 - 3600 RPM, generating voltages in the 100 - 600 volt range and with rated output of 3500 watts.
High Frequency Power Conversion Systems for DC Output
Customer Funded: We have developed the AC - DC power electronics needed to provide mil spec grade power output from high speed permanent magnet alternators in the 1 - 2kW range. More recently we have provided ground up design and integration of prototype 10kW DC - DC power converters for fuel cell applications. The hardware provides mil spec 28 volt power and carefully managed loading for a 12kW fuel cell with a voltage range of 105 - 250.
Air-Cooled Two Stroke Spark Ignited 3 and 5 hp Ultra Light Diesel Engines
Customer and Internally Funded: We searched out and demonstrated novel diesel engine technology for the creation of lightweight synchronous electrical power generation. This effort involved a novel small diesel engine design with a focus on attempting to transition the technology to a higher TRL for synchronous AC power generation. This project failed; however, we learned a great deal and solved a large number of smaller issues around engine design and optimized performance within military operating environments. We know more than we want to admit about novel small diesel engine technology.
Dewey continues to do validation research on new commercial engines for use in existing generator systems.