Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: HES-SO Valais-Wallis, Sion; EPFL Valais-Wallis, Sion; The Ark Foundation, Sion.
Project no: GRS-018/19
Amount of funding: CHF 150'000
Duration: 03.2019 - 06.2020
Area of activity:
First Ventures, seit 2018
Laboratoire des poudres - Room B108, Rue du Rawil 47
1950 Sion (Schweiz)
- bar.edouard@gmail. com
The mission of the Enertive project is to reduce industrial energy cost, in particular by addressing waste heat and maintenance costs. In industry, poor monitoring and maintenance, defect and ageing equipment lead to 17% of heat loss. Reducing these losses is crucial, on the one hand in order to reduce the energy bills of industrialists, and on the other hand in order to limit CO2 emissions and the environmental impact of industries. Currently, too few industrial processes are optimized because there is no solution capable of easily pinpoint where improvements could be undertaken to reduce heat loss or trigger maintenance. Approximately 10% improvement can be achieved through the implementation of simple, low-cost solutions
The aim of this project is to develop a prototype heat flux sensor capable of being deployed in extreme environment (100-900°C). This heat flux sensor allows to directly quantify heat loss at locations of interest and thus reduce the energy bill through the implementation of simple solutions such as process monitoring, defect detection and conditional maintenance.
With the news funds a heat flux sensor prototype will be developed and tested. The business development strategy will be strengthened and an implementation partner found in order to test our prototype on field. Furthermore, follow-up financing demand will be submitted and a request for a patent application will be made.
What is special about the project?
The developed heat flux sensor will be developed using thermoelectric materials, which are materials capable of transforming a temperature gradient across their thickness into a voltage difference.
To operate it as a continuous monitoring device, a sensor and its electronics need to be supplied with (low) power (milliwatts), usually via cable wires, which industrial customers likely prefer to avoid, especially in safety-critical zones. The elegance of our idea is to use the materials properties to self-supply power to the sensor, which then transmits its measurement data wireless eliminating the cabling.
Our solution proposes advantages derived only thanks to thermoelectric materials: wireless, self-powered, non-intrusive, easily deployed, rugged, reliable and high-temperature compatible. The sensor, which we aim to prototype, is easy to integrate and more accurate, enabling it to monitor, or potentially control, industrial processes in real time. Its low cost and rugged resistance to rough industrial environments offers effective monitoring with the aim of reducing the high energy costs or maintenance/replacement cost of our clients or improving their process or component. As a special feature, our innovative additive manufacturing method may allow for geometrical flexibility of sensors that might better suit customer X or Y, depending on need or application.
This project is based on the result of Edouard Baer’s diploma work where thermoelectric materials powder have been shaped into samples by dry pressing, hot vacuum pressing and 3D printing using a novel additive manufacturing process. The capacity of these samples to transform heat into electricity have been measured. Moreover, a market analysis is in progress to validate our business model and adapt our first prototype to the need of industrialists.
Moreover, after the first stage of our project supported by the Gebert Rüf Siftung, we have developed a first heat flux sensor demonstrator for low temperatures (<150°C), this demonstrator contains our electronics allowing us to transmit data wirelessly to another acquisition system. We have also developed a test bench to measure the properties of the thermoelectric materials we manufacture.
This test bench allows us to start the design and dimensioning of our prototype heat flux sensor for high temperatures.
During stage n°2 we successfully built a thermoelectric generator with 3D printed materials, this generator will be the heart of our prototype sensor, being able to build it in house allows us to have control over the specificities of our future sensor and to meet the specific needs of manufacturers. This phase also allowed us to design and dimension the first prototype of a heat flow sensor that we would like to build during the next phase.
During stage n°3 we were able to build and test our prototype heat flux sensor for high temperatures (900°C). This step allows us to gain knowledge in high temperatures resistant materials. We are moving towards the realization of a high temperature prototype self-powered with embedded electronics
During stage n°4a with face the COVID-19 situation that slow us on technical plan of the project. We still manage to find a serious implementation partner with whom we write a future project to continue the development of our sensor. Moreover, we have implemented one of our prototype heat flux sensor (300°C) in a technical equipment in the HES-SO Valais in order to have our first “Use-case”.
Baer, E. (2018). Mise en forme de matériaux thermoélectriques à base Mg2Si à partir de poudres [Travail de Bachelor]. Sion: HES-SO Valais, Haute école d’Ingénierie
None to date
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 01.07.2020