Power Harvesting for Shipboard Health Monitoring Sensors

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Suite 7400, 7606 Miramar Road, San Diego, CA, 92126
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Velimir Jovanovic
Principal Investigator
(858) 695-6660
Business Contact:
Norbert Elsner
(858) 695-6660
Research Institution:
Hi-Z Technology, Inc. (Hi-Z) proposes to design, fabricate and test a prototype of the conceptual design for a miniature power-harvesting system, consisting of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) module, control electronics board, wireless sensor andtransceiver module to be used in health monitoring of the Navy equipment. TEG modules harvest power from the temperature difference between the hot equipment surfaces and the colder ambient air and Hi-Z has demonstrated the feasibility of such powerharvesting in two previous Navy applications. The conceptual design is based on the actual thermal environment data as provided by the NSWCCD and for the equipment that satisfies the Navy RSVP criteria and on the smallest COTS transceiver identified at thetime. In order to satisfy the small design volume goal of this SBIR, Hi-Z is using its innovative multi-layer quantum well (QW) TEG technology whose performance has been verified in recent tests with breadboard thermoelectric couples. QWs are nanostucturedmultiplayer films that can be packaged in a very small volume and, since they produce large voltages, a DC/DC converter is not required. For Phase II Option Hi-Z proposes to fabricate one or more prototype TEG systems for installation and testing on theNavy equipment. By using its innovative QW technology, Hi-Z was able to develop a design concept that satisfies the Navy's need for small power harvesting generators to power shipboard health monitoring wireless sensor systems. Benefits to the Navy forusing this concept are in cost reduction associated with the elimination of batteries and tethered wires, large reduction of personnel engaged in CBM and significant reduction in down time by providing early detection of abnormal conditions in criticalequipment. There is plenty of potential for power harvesting from the Navy shipboard equipment especially with TEGs because all that is required is a temperature differential and a small surface area of the equipment for the attachment of the TEG. QW TEGsare also suitable for high temperature applications because they can withstand very high temperatures and they actually operate more efficiently at high temperature differentials. Other applications are for health monitoring of equipment in commercialships, aircraft and launch vehicles, nuclear and steam power plants, trucks, automobiles, consumer appliance industry and security and surveillance industry. The QW technology also has wider applications, such as in cooling of electronic circuit boards.The QW technology is already viable with the demonstrated 14% efficiency. Once higher potential efficiencies of over 20% are experimentally confirmed, this promising QW technology will become even more competitive in many commercial applications, such asrefrigeration where it will have the distinct advantage of having no moving parts nor fluids.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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