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Shape memory alloy heat engines and energy harvesting systems

United States Patent

December 17, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A heat engine includes a first rotatable pulley and a second rotatable pulley spaced from the first rotatable pulley. A shape memory alloy (SMA) element is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at an SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element includes first spring coil and a first fiber core within the first spring coil. A timing cable is disposed about disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at a timing pulley ratio, which is different than the SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element converts a thermal energy gradient between the hot region and the cold region into mechanical energy.
Browne; Alan L. (Grosse Pointe, MI), Johnson; Nancy L. (Northville, MI), Keefe; Andrew C. (Encino, CA), Alexander; Paul W. (Ypsilanti, MI), Sarosi; Peter Maxwell (Royal Oak, MI), Herrera; Guillermo A. (Winnetka, CA), Yates; James Ryan (Mission Viejo, CA)
GM Global Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, MI), Dynalloy, Inc. (Tustin, CA)
13/ 340,955
December 30, 2011
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with U.S. Government support under ARPA-E Contract number DE-AR0000040, awarded by the department of Energy. The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.