Companies to harvest heat from jet engines to generate power for in-engine predictive maintenance system

Click to Enlarge

ORLANDO, Fla., 27 April 2011. Two electronics companies are joining hands to use technology that converts waste heat into electricity to power wireless sensors that measure heat and vibration to predict upcoming failures in aircraft engines. This predictive maintenance system, intended to help aircraft technicians anticipate impending engine problems and schedule maintenance only where it is needed, may see deployment on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Nextreme Thermal Solutions in Durham, N.C., is working together with Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc. in Fayetteville, Ark., to blend Nextreme's thermal energy harvesting technology with Arkansas Power's wireless sensor system that is to monitor the health of bearings in turbine engines.

Nextreme is demonstrating its technology that converts waste heat to electrical power this week at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing conference and trade show in Orlando, Fla.

The Nextreme energy harvesting system is based on the company's Thermobility wireless power generation technology, and will be part of the Arkansas Power high-temperature wireless sensors. The turbine health management system will enable jet engine maintenance experts detect, diagnose, and take action on problems in engine bearing assemblies.

Nextreme, a company founded on electronics thermal management technology, has found a way to convert waste heat -- such as that generated from computer microprocessors and turbine jet engine bearings -- into usable electrical power for a variety of applications.

Nextreme uses bismuth telluride integrated circuit material to create energy-from-heat technology that can generate about 20 to 30 milliwatts of power from heat of normally operating turbine engine bearings, which is more than enough to power the Arkansas Power embedded sensors, says Dave Koester, vice president of engineering at Nextreme.

To maintain the proper temperature differential that enables the Nextreme energy-harvesting technology to function properly, Nextreme will take advantage of oil spray cooling in the jet engine, which is in place as part of the engine's normal operation.

Arkansas Power is developing its predictive maintenance system with research funding from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, and eventually could see deployment in the F-35 and other advanced U.S. aircraft if the system tests out in a satisfactory way, officials say.

The predictive maintenance system, which relies on Arkansas Power sensors and Nextreme power electronics, provides real-time monitoring of temperature, vibration, strain, and pressure to provide crucial information on the health of bearings for aircraft turbine engines and power-generation systems, says Karl von Gunten, director of marketing at Nextreme.

Using data from these systems, engine maintenance need be performed when necessary, instead of at regularly scheduled intervals, which could save time and money. Pinpointing faults in aircraft turbine bearings before they happen can alert the pilot of a problem, and inform the maintenance crew members where the actual fault is happening.

Nextreme's Thermobility power generation technology uses heat as a power source, and eliminates the need wiring or replaceable batteries. "The turbine health sensor system will allow for a more cost effective maintenance schedule and extended lifetime of turbine systems, provide early detection and diagnosis of turbine component faults, and potentially help to prevent catastrophic failures," says Ty McNutt, director of business development at Arkansas Power.

"The addition of Nextreme's thermoelectric energy harvester will reduce the total cost of ownership by eliminating the cost of battery replacement for the sensor system, as well as aiding in the integration and retrofitting of existing turbine engines," McNutt says."

For more information contact Nextreme Thermal Solutions online at www.apei.net.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

CPU-PPC460EX-VME Processor Board

The CPU-PPC460EX-VME PowerPC processor board is designed for rugged, conduction and convection co...

28V, 32-Channel, Light-Weight SSPC

The RP-2032151XD0 Solid State Power Controller (SSPC) is a light-weight 3 pound compact module th...

PD150 Series

150Watt DC/DC converters, chasis mounting with terminal block.

MDRA series of DIN Rail AC/DC to 960W

AC/DC Din Rail mountable power supplies, universal input, optional 3 phase AC Input 340-575VAC, h...

Power Management Systems

Power Management systems feature intergrated power conversion and signficant weight and volume sa...

Electronic Warfare VPX Products

The VPX product line includes three products: Modular Quad IF Up and Down Converter, Modular Dire...

Interpoint™ MTR Series™ 50 Volt

The MTR Series™ MTR 50, 28 volt dc-dc converter offers up to 30 watts of output power from single...

Interpoint™ MFP Series™ Down-Leaded Point of Load

The new down-leaded version of its Interpoint™ MFP Series Point of Load (POL) converters are avai...

Battery Chargers and Battery Systems

We offer a complete range of proven solutions for APU start, standby and flight controls applicat...

Interpoint™ MTR Series™ 40 Volt

The MTR Series of 28 volt dc-dc converters offers up to 30 watts of output power from single, dua...

Related Companies

Beyond Electronics Corp

Beyond Electronics(BEC) provides Rugged COTS board and system level solutions in various small form factor products c...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...

Crane Aerospace & Electronics

When failure is NOT an option...rely on Crane Aerospace & Electronics. We supply high-density, high-reliability c...

Vicor Corp

Designs, manufactures and markets modular, high-density power components as well as configurable power systems, and c...

LEMO USA Inc

Provides a lightweight, compact aluminum connector. M-series connector is focused on the design that requires a MIL-3...

Intersil Corp

Intersil is leveraging a deep portfolio of intellectual property, a history of design and process innovation and a sy...

HDL Research Lab Inc

Designs and manufactures COTS and custom power supplies, converters, inverters and power distribution units for milit...

Solitron Devices Inc

Manufactures power semiconductors, Darlington transistors, power rectifiers, power MOSFETs, IGBTs, UJTs, power hybrid...

Intronics Power Inc

Offers standard and custom high reliability DC/DC power converters, AC/DC power supplies, analog functional modules, ...

PerkinElmer

Designs and manufactures high-performance power supplies used in military applications. Products include COTS dc/dc ...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE