Morgantown, W. Va.
Mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty members Edward Sabolsky and Kostantinos Sierros and Daryl Reynolds with the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering have received nearly $400,000 from the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory's University Coal Research Program to develop a wireless, high-temperature sensor system for monitoring the energy system components between 500 and 1,700 degrees Celsius to aid in process control.
The system will be composed of conductive ceramic materials. The benefit of the material, according to Sabolsky, who leads the project team, is its ability to withstanding the harsh environments of fossil energy-based technologies.
The technology could be used to monitor the processing conditions and health of the refractory in applications such as coal gasifiers, gas turbines, steel and glass melters, coal boilers and solid-oxide fuel cell stacks. Researchers will investigate advanced manufacturing methods for sensor element fabrication.
"We plan to develop a peel-and-stick transfer process, which has not been done previously in this manner, to easily attach the entire sensor circuit to various energy-system components, such as solid-oxide fuel cells, chemical reactors and furnaces," Sabolsky said.
Sabolsky has spent a large portion of his career researching advanced ceramic processing and materials for energy-related applications. He leads the Multi-functional and Energy Ceramics Group at WVU as well as the Statler College's interdisciplinary graduate programs in materials science and engineering.
Sierros' current research is focused on the design, development and characterization of optoelectronic devices for sustainable applications. Applications include energy harvesting, biodegradable electronics and contact-based sensors.
A member of WVU's Wireless Communications Research Laboratory, Reynolds has done extensive work in the area of wireless communications. He conducts research in the areas of communication and information theory and statistical signal processing.
Research collaborators include Nexceris, LLC and GE Global Research.
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