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High Temperature Sensors for Advanced Combustion Turbine Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DESC0020917
Agency Tracking Number: 0000252092
Amount: $249,990.94
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 19b
Solicitation Number: DEFOA0002146
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-28
Small Business Information
Concord, CA 94520
United States
DUNS: 149397015
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Kelvin Wong
 (925) 798-5770
Business Contact
 Mike McFarland
Phone: (925) 798-5770
Research Institution

Time and location accurate measurements of pressure, temperature, heat flux, strain, and species that can operate in extreme conditions and difficult to access locations within a combustion turbine are sought in this project. The sensors must be capable of real-time, continuous operation at temperatures from 1200- 1700°C. Sensor technologies leading to durable operation throughout typical turbine component lifetimes or major maintenance inspections of the hot gas path (on the order of 24,000-48,000 hours) are desired. At present there is no reliable direct or in-situ technique for measuring temperature (1,000-1,400 °C and beyond) or strain in the hot sections of turbine engines. The ability to measure temperature and strain at critical locations, such as on the turbine blades, will allow turbine engines to be optimize for high temperature use and increased efficiency, and at the same time provide effective real-time turbine engine health monitoring. In this project, Acree will demonstrate an advanced, direct write, high temperature Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) sensor that has been developed to operate at temperatures up to 1,433 °C (2,611 °F). The sensor is non-intrusive and can operate in extreme conditions and difficult to access locations within a gas turbine engine, including on the turbine blades. The thin film sensors are fabricated directly on the gas turbine engine component (direct write process) using a combination of advanced Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) methods and laser patterning. The RTD sensors are designed for use on Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) components and fabricated using proven high- temperature materials that have a Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) closely matching those of the CMC and the Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs). The sensors are embedded within the EBC coating on turbine component to provide real-time, continuous operation at high temperatures. Isothermal and burner rig tests under simulated combustion turbine conditions will be performed to demonstrate long-term accuracy, reliability and durability of this advanced sensor technology. Apart from the combustion turbine power systems, this innovative sensor technology can be used for aerospace, industrial and military applications with high temperature harsh environment. The benefits of this project are enormous. This innovative, non-intrusive thin-film sensor technology will allow turbine engine inspection and maintenance to be performed on accurate need-based schedules, removing the inefficiencies and guesswork from maintenance work. This is expected to lead to significant depot and maintenance cost savings, improvements in system control and efficiency, help to protect capital equipment investment, and promote safety through prevention of catastrophic equipment failure.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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