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Title: NanoStructured bulk thermoelectric generator for efficient power harvesting for self-powered sensor network

Abstract

The goal of the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technology Research Project is to develop efficient and reliable thermoelectric (TE) generators for self-powered wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) for nuclear applications. The power harvesting technology has crosscutting significance to all United States Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy research and development programs, as it will enable self-powered WSNs in multiple nuclear reactor designs and spent fuel storage facilities using thermal energy available in a nuclear power plant or spent fuel storage facility. This project addresses an important technology gap that exists in truly realizing WSNs due to the need for cables to connect to external power supplies and develop TE power harvesting devices to deliver sufficient power to drive the WSNs. The outcomes of the project will lead to significant advancement in sensors and instrumentation technology, reducing cost, improving monitoring reliability, and therefore enhancing safety. The self-powered WSNs could support the long-term safe and economical operation of all reactor designs and fuel cycle concepts, as well as spent fuel storage and many other nuclear science and engineering applications. The research is based on recent breakthroughs in high-performance nanostructured bulk (nanobulk) half-Heusler and bismuth telluride thermoelectric materials that enable high-efficiency and high-power-density directmore » heat-to-electricity conversion over a wide temperature range. The nanobulk TE materials that the research team has already developed yield up to a 50% increase in the TE figure of merit, ZT, compared with state-of-the-art bulk counterparts. In addition to increased efficiency, the nanostructured materials are of potentially enhanced radiation tolerance due to the increased interface densities at the nanoscale grain boundaries that serves as efficient sinks to annihilate radiation-induced, freely-migrating structural defects. This report summarizes major technical results the team achieved in this three-year project, with a focus on the results obtained in the third year of the project. The report includes results on thermoelectric materials fabrication and optimization, irradiation effect on thermoelectric materials performance, thermoelectric device simulation, fabrication and testing, wireless sensor node system simulation, and the demonstration of a wireless sensor node powered by thermoelectric generators.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Boise State Univ., Boise, ID (United States)
  2. Univ. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Boise State Univ., Boise, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Nuclear Energy University Program
OSTI Identifier:
1478227
Report Number(s):
DOE/NEUP-14-6284
14-6284; TRN: US1902635
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008255
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Jaques, Brian, Zhang, Yanliang, and Agarwal, Vivek. NanoStructured bulk thermoelectric generator for efficient power harvesting for self-powered sensor network. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1478227.
Jaques, Brian, Zhang, Yanliang, & Agarwal, Vivek. NanoStructured bulk thermoelectric generator for efficient power harvesting for self-powered sensor network. United States. doi:10.2172/1478227.
Jaques, Brian, Zhang, Yanliang, and Agarwal, Vivek. Sat . "NanoStructured bulk thermoelectric generator for efficient power harvesting for self-powered sensor network". United States. doi:10.2172/1478227. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1478227.
@article{osti_1478227,
title = {NanoStructured bulk thermoelectric generator for efficient power harvesting for self-powered sensor network},
author = {Jaques, Brian and Zhang, Yanliang and Agarwal, Vivek},
abstractNote = {The goal of the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technology Research Project is to develop efficient and reliable thermoelectric (TE) generators for self-powered wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) for nuclear applications. The power harvesting technology has crosscutting significance to all United States Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy research and development programs, as it will enable self-powered WSNs in multiple nuclear reactor designs and spent fuel storage facilities using thermal energy available in a nuclear power plant or spent fuel storage facility. This project addresses an important technology gap that exists in truly realizing WSNs due to the need for cables to connect to external power supplies and develop TE power harvesting devices to deliver sufficient power to drive the WSNs. The outcomes of the project will lead to significant advancement in sensors and instrumentation technology, reducing cost, improving monitoring reliability, and therefore enhancing safety. The self-powered WSNs could support the long-term safe and economical operation of all reactor designs and fuel cycle concepts, as well as spent fuel storage and many other nuclear science and engineering applications. The research is based on recent breakthroughs in high-performance nanostructured bulk (nanobulk) half-Heusler and bismuth telluride thermoelectric materials that enable high-efficiency and high-power-density direct heat-to-electricity conversion over a wide temperature range. The nanobulk TE materials that the research team has already developed yield up to a 50% increase in the TE figure of merit, ZT, compared with state-of-the-art bulk counterparts. In addition to increased efficiency, the nanostructured materials are of potentially enhanced radiation tolerance due to the increased interface densities at the nanoscale grain boundaries that serves as efficient sinks to annihilate radiation-induced, freely-migrating structural defects. This report summarizes major technical results the team achieved in this three-year project, with a focus on the results obtained in the third year of the project. The report includes results on thermoelectric materials fabrication and optimization, irradiation effect on thermoelectric materials performance, thermoelectric device simulation, fabrication and testing, wireless sensor node system simulation, and the demonstration of a wireless sensor node powered by thermoelectric generators.},
doi = {10.2172/1478227},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}