Energy harvesting has been gaining significant interest as a potential solution for energizing next generation sensor and energy storage devices. The most widely investigated material for piezoelectric and pyro-electric energy harvesting to date is PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate), owing to its good piezoelectric and pyro-electric properties. However, Lead is detrimental to human health and to the environment. Hence, alternative materials are required to be investigated for this purpose. In this paper, a lead free material Lithium Niobate (LNB) is reported as a potential material for pyro-electric energy harvesting. Although, it has lower pyro-electric properties than PZT, it has better properties than other lead free alternatives of PZT such as ZnO. In addition, LNB has a high curie point of 1142 °C, which makes it suitable for high temperature environment where other pyro-electric materials are not suitable. Therefore, a single crystal LNB has been investigated as a source of energy harvesting under alternative heating and cooling environment. A commercial 0.2 F super-capacitor was used as the energy storage device.
Electrochemical super-capacitors have become one of the most important topics in both academia and industry as novel energy storage devices because of their high power density, long life cycles, and high charge/discharge efficiency. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the development of multifunctional structural energy storage devices such as structural super-capacitors for applications in aerospace, automobiles and portable electronics. These multifunctional structural super-capacitors provide lighter structures combining energy storage and load bearing functionalities. Due to their superior materials properties, carbon fiber composites have been widely used in structural applications for aerospace and automotive industries. Besides, carbon fiber has good electrical conductivity which will provide lower equivalent series resistance; therefore, it can be an excellent candidate for structural energy storage applications. Hence, this paper is focused on performing a pilot study for using nanowire/carbon fiber hybrids as building materials for structural energy storage materials; aiming at enhancing the charge/discharge rate and energy density. This hybrid material combines the high specific surface area of carbon fiber and pseudo-capacitive effect of metal oxide nanowires which were grown hydrothermally in an aligned fashion on carbon fibers. The aligned nanowire array could provide a higher specific surface area that leads to high electrode-electrolyte contact area and fast ion diffusion rates. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and XRay Diffraction (XRD) measurements were used for the initial characterization of this nanowire/carbon fiber hybrid material system. Electrochemical testing has been performed using a potentio-galvanostat. The results show that gold sputtered nanowire hybrid carbon fiber provides 65.9% better performance than bare carbon fiber cloth as super-capacitor.
Wireless passive temperature sensors are gaining increasing attention due to the ever-growing need of precise monitoring of temperature in high temperature energy conversion systems such as gas turbines and coal-based power plants. Unfortunately, the harsh environment such as high temperature and corrosive atmosphere present in these systems limits current solutions. In order to alleviate these issues, this paper presents the design, simulation, and manufacturing process of a low cost, passive, and wireless temperature sensor that can withstand high temperature and harsh environment. The temperature sensor was designed following the principle of metamaterials by utilizing Closed Ring Resonators (CRR) embedded in a dielectric matrix. The proposed wireless, passive temperature sensor behaves like an LC circuit that has a resonance frequency that depends on temperature. A full wave electromagnetic solver Ansys Ansoft HFSS was used to perform simulations to determine the optimum dimensions and geometry of the sensor unit. The sensor unit was prepared by conventional powder-binder compression method. Commercially available metal washers were used as CRR structures and Barium Titanate (BTO) was used as the dielectric materials. Response of the fabricated sensor at room temperature was analyzed using a pair of horn antenna connected with a network analyzer.