Isotope Beta-Battery Approaches for Long-Lived Sensors: Technology Review
Final rept. Sep 2012-Sep 2013
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ADELPHI MD SENSORS AND ELECTRON DEVICES DIRECTORATE
Pagination or Media Count:
Isotope batteries offer solutions for long-lived 100 yr, low-power 100 W energy sources. The energy density of nuclear batteries uniquely serves applications for sensors or communications nodes that are required to last the lifetime of infrastructure. Efficiencies less than 10 are typical in direct-energy-conversion DEC of radiation to electric current, which is comparable to thermo-electrics TE and thermo-photo-voltaics TPV. For low-power applications, avoiding a heat-cycle Carnot limitation is useful in reducing a heat signature. A beta-source is coupled directly to a semiconductor or includes a phosphoroptical conversion in addition, before a semiconductor conversion to free-electrons, creating current in an electrical load. A review of b-voltaics is presented. Novel approaches are identified for next-generation compact electronics and sensor applications. An inexpensive, commercially-available-off the-shelve COTS design is proposed to provide an immediate example.
- Physical Chemistry
- Electrochemical Energy Storage