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Development of high performance thermoelectric energy harvester for nuclear safety applications

Waste heat recycling a green solution for sustainable energy challenges

Overview

Safety is the key concern in nuclear industry especially after Fukushima accident in Japan. There are continued efforts to improve safety of nuclear power reactors. A major concern with nuclear energy is the safe storage of the spent nuclear fuel before final disposal. Development of efficient and reliable thermoelectric nanostructured bulk materials have crosscutting significance in nuclear industry as it enables self-powered sensor technology in reactors and spent fuel storage facilities to improve their safety.

Our Research

Our research at SET Center focuses to enhance energy conversion efficiency of the commercial thermoelectric materials through a combinatorial technique of nano-structuring and non-inclusion for device fabrication in nuclear industry. The interconnected network of low dimension nanostructures in the matrix will act as a conduit for electron transport while the enhanced boundary scattering of phonon through the compacted nanostructures in the composite will provide the extremely low thermal conductivity and thus the performance of thermoelectric materials will be improved in an economical and commercially scalable route for device fabrication in nuclear industry.

Technology Impact
  • Improved efficiency
  • Economical
  • Scalable for large commercial applications

Prototype: In process

Current Applications: Automobile Industry

Future Applications: Power safety sensors and communication devices for reactor safety - Spent fuel monitoring in nuclear industry

Industrial scope: Nuclear Industry, Automobile Industry, etc.

Patent: In process

Publications: Under preparation

Collaborators:
  • The Center of Research Excellence in Nanotechnology, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
  • Nuclear Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
Recent Publications:
  • Kaleem Ahmad, et al., Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Bi2Te3 by Uniform Dispersion of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes Nanotechnology 2017; 28(41) 415402.
  • Kaleem Ahmad, et al., Reduction in Thermal Conductivity of BiSbTe Lump, Applied Physics A, 2017; 123(3):173.
  • Kaleem Ahmad, et al., Effect of Uniform Dispersion of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes on the Thermoelectric Properties of BiSbTe Based Nanocomposites, Journal of Electronic Materials 2017; 46(2):1348-1357.