28 May 2013 Scintillator based beta batteries
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Abstract
Some long-term, remote applications do not have access to conventional harvestable energy in the form of solar radiation (or other ambient light), wind, environmental vibration, or wave motion. Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (RMD) is carrying out research to address the most challenging applications that need power for many months or years and which have undependable or no access to environmental energy. Radioisotopes are an attractive candidate for this energy source, as they can offer a very high energy density combined with a long lifetime. Both large scale nuclear power plants and radiothermal generators are based on converting nuclear energy to heat, but do not scale well to small sizes. Furthermore, thermo-mechanical power plants depend on moving parts, and RTG’s suffer from low efficiency. To address the need for compact nuclear power devices, RMD is developing a novel beta battery, in which the beta emissions from a radioisotope are converted to visible light in a scintillator and then the visible light is converted to electrical power in a photodiode. By incorporating 90Sr into the scintillator SrI2 and coupling the material to a wavelength-matched solar cell, we will create a scalable, compact power source capable of supplying milliwatts to several watts of power over a period of up to 30 years. We will present the latest results of radiation damage studies and materials processing development efforts, and discuss how these factors interact to set the operating life and energy density of the device.
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Noa M. Rensing, Noa M. Rensing, Timothy C. Tiernan, Timothy C. Tiernan, Urmila Shirwadkar, Urmila Shirwadkar, Patrick O'Dougherty, Patrick O'Dougherty, Sara Freed, Sara Freed, Rastgo Hawrami, Rastgo Hawrami, Michael R. Squillante, Michael R. Squillante, } "Scintillator based beta batteries", Proc. SPIE 8728, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications IV, 87280V (28 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017000; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2017000
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