Indirect conversion radioisotopic battery for buried asset condition monitoring

Walton, Robert (2014). Indirect conversion radioisotopic battery for buried asset condition monitoring. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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An indirect conversion radioisotopic battery (ICRB) and capacitor power source was designed, simulated, manufactured and tested in this research. All ICRBs manufactured during this research used tritium (\(^3\)H) as the radioisotope in the form of gaseous tritium light sources (GTLSs).
The operation of an ICRB was theoretically modelled from the generation of radiation particles right up to the storage of electrical energy in the capacitor. Comparison of simulation results with laboratory testing found close agreement particularly in the area of GTLS light emission, though the photovoltaic cell model was found to require further improvement.
The ICRB was designed to provide power to a wireless sensor network (WSN) sensor node which would be buried underground and would report on the condition of a buried asset (e.g. water pipe). The most powerful ICRB generated 1.6\(\mu\)W, 60% more than the 1.0\(\mu\)W necessary to power a WSN sensor node. This ICRB would provide useful power to the WSN sensor node for 4.24 years. The greatest achieved efficiency of ICRB and capacitor system was 0.6% which compares favourably with ICRBs produced by other researchers. An ICRB was buried on a working water pipe for a duration exceeding two months and continues to function as predicted.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Funders: Other
Other Funders: UKWIR
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery


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