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Proceedings Paper

The role of sensors and controls in transforming the energy landscape
Author(s): Aileen Richardson; Dale Keairns; Briggs M. White
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Paper Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy funds a large portfolio of fossil energy R&D projects aimed at transformational improvements in the cost and environmental performance of coal-based power generation while maintaining high reliability standards. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) manages DOE’s Crosscutting Research Program, which leverages on-going trends in disruptive technology to achieve breakthroughs in sensors and controls. Examples include: advanced manufacturing of embedded sensors with energy harvesting capability; wireless signal transmission and blockchain infrastructure; and the application of data analytics and machine learning to processing distributed sensor signals to create actionable control interfaces. The fossil energy application space requires the development of sensors capable of monitoring key operational parameters (temperature, pressure, and gas compositions) while operating in harsh environments; analytical sensors capable of on-line, real-time evaluation and measurement to support condition-based monitoring. Controls development centers around self-organizing information networks, algorithms for component lifetime assessment and plant-level economics, and distributed intelligence for process control and decision making. All of this must be accomplished while hardening fossil energy assets.

An overview of DOE’s Fossil Energy R&D Program with an emphasis on Sensors and Controls will be presented including discussion of technologies and applications being pursued and their status.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2018
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10639, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications X, 106390Y (8 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2303722
Show Author Affiliations
Aileen Richardson, Deloitte Consulting LLP (United States)
Dale Keairns, Deloitte Consulting LLP (United States)
Briggs M. White, National Energy Technology Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10639:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications X
Thomas George; Achyut K. Dutta; M. Saif Islam, Editor(s)

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