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Proceedings Paper

Hybrid energy storage system for wireless sensor node powered by aircraft specific thermoelectric energy harvesting
Author(s): K. Thangaraj; A. Elefsiniotis; S. Aslam; Th. Becker; U. Schmid; J. Lees; C. A. Featherston; R. Pullin
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes an approach for efficiently storing the energy harvested from a thermoelectric module for powering autonomous wireless sensor nodes for aeronautical health monitoring applications. A representative temperature difference was created across a thermo electric generator (TEG) by attaching a thermal mass and a cavity containing a phase change material to one side, and a heat source (to represent the aircraft fuselage) to the other. Batteries and supercapacitors are popular choices of storage device, but neither represents the ideal solution; supercapacitors have a lower energy density than batteries and batteries have lower power density than supercapacitors. When using only a battery for storage, the runtime of a typical sensor node is typically reduced by internal impedance, high resistance and other internal losses. Supercapacitors may overcome some of these problems, but generally do not provide sufficient long-term energy to allow advanced health monitoring applications to operate over extended periods. A hybrid energy storage unit can provide both energy and power density to the wireless sensor node simultaneously. Techniques such as acoustic-ultrasonic, acoustic-emission, strain, crack wire sensor and window wireless shading require storage approaches that can provide immediate energy on demand, usually in short, high intensity bursts, and that can be sustained over long periods of time. This application requirement is considered as a significant constraint when working with battery-only and supercapacitor-only solutions and they should be able to store up-to 40-50J of energy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8763, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI, 876307 (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017691
Show Author Affiliations
K. Thangaraj, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
A. Elefsiniotis, EADS Deutschland GmbH (Germany)
S. Aslam, EADS Deutschland GmbH (Germany)
Th. Becker, EADS Deutschland GmbH (Germany)
U. Schmid, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
J. Lees, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
C. A. Featherston, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
R. Pullin, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8763:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI
Ulrich Schmid; José Luis Sánchez de Rojas Aldavero; Monika Leester-Schaedel, Editor(s)

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