Research that includes: 

  • Photosynthetic fuel cell
  • Surface-tension and osmotic driven micropower sources
  • Silicon-based rotary engine power system
  • Proximity power sensor for energy management

BPN440: MEMS Power: Fuel Flexible Engine Heat and Energy Characterization

John Reville

The aim of this project is to eventually increase the efficiency of a fuel-flexible rotary engine to create a superior portable power source. The engine can then be used for multiple applications in remote areas, where the quality of the available fuels may not be consistent, and also run on lower grade fuels, decreasing the monetary and energetic costs associated with the refining process.

Project end date: 08/12/09

APP97: MEMS Power: Solid State Electrochemical Sensors for Gas Analysis

Jonathan Rheaume

The goal of this research is the development of wideband solid state electrochemical sensors to measure nitrogen oxides (NOx) on the single ppm level in engine exhaust in order to meet stringent new emissions regulations. This technology consists of a planar, single cell sensor design that can be adapted to detect specific gases by changing the electrode materials and the operating temperature. An impedance method is used to interrogate the sensors and to obtain a signal that is proportional to analyte gas concentration at a specific frequency. A combination of microfabrication...

BPN439: MEMS Power: Fuel Flexible Engine Design for Optimal Combustion

Chris McCoy

The ultimate goal of the fuel flexibility project is to deliver on-demand, reliable, small- scale portable power using internal combustion engines that run on a variety of fuels. This will require advanced control of the combustion event, dramatic improvements to the engine sealing technology, and development of integrated sensors and feedback for optimal performance. To achieve this goal, a specialized engine test platform needs to be designed and built to accurately measure power output, torque, and efficiency. Upon collecting these data, a baseline for engine performance on its...

BPN420: MEMS Power: Silicon Carbide In-Cylinder Sensor Testing

Sarah Wodin-Schwartz

The long-range goal of the project is to use silicon carbide (SiC) MEMS sensors for in-cylinder measurements. Harsh environment compatible SiC sensors will be used to deliver real time combustion data to a control system, regulating engine-firing timing. A control system can then be used to produce complete fuel combustion in flexible fuel engines.

Project end date: 08/04/10

BPN404: Biomass Powered Energy Harvester

Erika Parra

This work investigates power scavenging from the decomposition of biomass via a bioelectric fuel cell. Specifically, energy harvesting from microbial metabolism is studied for conversion into electrical energy.

Project end date: 08/11/10

BPN364: MEMS Power: Flame Ionization

Ryan Xie

Our long term goal is to develop and implement a micro flame ionization sensor that can be fabricated using existing techniques. These sensors can be fitted into any combustion engines to monitor combustion events and processes. An array of miniaturized sensors may also be used to detect the flame speed and propagation direction by time-of-flight analysis. These sensors, when used in combination to advanced engine tuning techniques, may increase combustion efficiency, or be used to reduce emissions.

Project end date: 02/02/11

BPN444: HEaTS: A MEMS Piezoelectric Supercritical Carbon-Dioxide Valve

Ya-Mei Chen

The long range goal of this research is to design and fabricate a microscale valve suitable for controlling the flow of supercritical carbon-dioxide for application to advanced printing technology (supercritical carbon-dioxide valve, SCV). This valve is actuated by aluminum nitride (AlN) beam with piezoelectric effect. This valve will be integrated with nozzles and microchannels and the whole system will be built using silicon-based micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

Project end date: 08/18/11

BPN393: QES: µC-LHP Chip Cooling System - Evaporative Heat Transfer Wick and Fractal Transport Network

Christopher W. Hogue

The ultimate goal of the microColumnated Loop Heat Pipe (mLHP) is to develop a highly-integratable isothermal "ground plane" (analogous to an electronic ground plane) to more efficiently transport heat away from high-power electronic devices. Metallic and even synthetic diamond substrates, which rely solely on solid conduction for thermal transport, are gradually proving themselves inadequate as heat spreaders for current and future electronic devices. Consequently, there is tremendous interest in cooling technologies that utilize phase change for the absorption and rejection of...

BPN396: QES: microLHP Chip Cooling System - Columnated Wick and Device Design

Navdeep S. Dhillon

The ultimate project goal for the microLHP Chip Cooling System is to design and fabricate a very high conductivity substrate, which can be interfaced directly with high heat flux chips to satisfy the enhanced cooling requirements of today's electronic devices. Phase change technology is the preferred choice, given its ability to absorb large heat fluxes through latent heat. Capillary driven systems such as Loop Heat Pipes (LHP) and thermosyphons are simple passive devices with no moving parts, and have proved extremely efficient and reliable. Nevertheless, the large size and geometry...

BPN646: International Research Collaboration: BSAC and IMST at Vestfold University College

Igor Paprotny

The collaboration program between BSAC and Institute for Microsystem Technology (IMST) at Vestfold University College, Norway, is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, governed by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). The project is one of 12 four-year programs which were awarded 1.7 million NOK (500K NOK/$100K per year) over three years. The successful application was made possible by Prof. Albert Pisano from BSAC. The motivation behind this partnership program is to greatly enhance the research and educational experience...