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Thermoelectrically Powered Sensing for Small Modular Reactors

[+] Author Affiliations
Chih Chieh Lin, Hanfei Chen, Mahder Tewolde, Gaosheng Fu, Di Liu, Tao Zhang, He Tao, Chao Nie, Weixiao Zheng, Fan Liu, Lei Zuo, David Hwang, Jon Longtin

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Paper No. HT2013-17788, pp. V004T19A008; 7 pages
  • ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 4: Heat and Mass Transfer Under Extreme Conditions; Environmental Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer; Visualization of Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education and Future Directions in Heat Transfer; Nuclear Energy
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 14–19, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5550-8
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This project aims to develop thermoelectric generator (TEG)-based devices for sensing during normal and off-normal conditions in Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). TEGs will be placed on key reactor components including pipes, pump housings, heat exchangers and reactor vessels. The heat is conducted by heat pipes to the TEGs and removed by a heat sink in natural convection. The electrical power generated by is then used to drive sensors and wireless communications. The estimated power generated by one TEG is 19 W, and sensors with related circuit only require less than 7 W. Extra power can be stored into batteries and used for actuation and similar high-current, short duration power needs. Initial enclosure designs are also presented to protect the electrical devices from fire, force, water, and radiation. Preliminary experiments have been set up for testing TEGs. An experimental test stand design has been simulated, and is now being built. Radiation dosage at different locations and its effects on electrical devices and TEGs are also investigated. A fin analysis of the cooling side of the TEG is also presented. According to the results, the annular finned-tube with an inner pipe diameter of 58 cm can provide a maximum heat dissipation of 1,700 W.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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