Nanotechnology-Based Condition Monitoring Sensors for Generation IV Electrical Insulation Systems

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Polymer Aging Concepts Inc.
372 River Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
Institution POC

Abstract

Generation IV nuclear power plants will require new condition monitoring methods in order to provide lower installation and operating costs, and continued improvements in operating efficiency. This project will develop a nanotechnology-based sensor that directly detects degradation of electrical insulation in wire, cable, motors, generators, and transformers, and warns operators before serious degradation occurs. Compared to previous methods, the new sensor will reduce costs, because it will be able to be read by operators without expensive equipment or specialized training. These tiny, in situ sensors will be made of the same polymeric components as the insulation itself, enabling their response to be matched exactly with the insulation being monitored. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to the application to nuclear power plants, the sensors should find use in monitoring the degradation of virtually any polymeric component, including seals and gaskets, tires, belts, plastic pipes and hoses, fuel cell membranes, wind turbines, and aerospace structures. Because the sensors are passive and respond to degradation effects without power, they also could be incorporated into Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices that not only would identity an item, but also would automatically adjust the item¿s shelf-life.