DE-FC26-06NT42945

High Temperature Capacitor Development

DE-FC26-06NT42945

Goal
The goal of this project is to design, develop and test a prototype for a new class of high-temperature high-voltage all-solid electrochemical-electrolytic capacitor for use in downhole electronics for deep drilling and logging applications. The capacitor to be developed will exhibit a low equivalent series resistance (ESR) and will be capable of operating at temperatures exceeding 400o F and pressures exceeding 20,000 psi; a goal is to extend the operating temperature to 450oF.

Performers
Giner, Inc., Newton, MA 02466
Evans Capacitor Corporation, East Providence, RI 02914

Background 
Electronic components such as integrated circuits are frequently the weakest link in a logging tool’s operational performance under HPHT conditions. Typically, most electronic systems in logging tools are built from commercially available high-temperature components built to US military specifications. However, the temperature ranges under which these components are capable of operating reliably do not reach the high temperatures encountered during deep drilling operations.

Impacts Demonstration of a new capacitor capable of operating reliably under HPHT conditions will enable more efficient and cost effective logging and measurement-while-drilling (MWD) operations to be conducted during the drilling of deep wells. This in turn will enable more rapid and reliable detection and identification of underground events such as kicks, as well as more reliable transmission of sensor data to the surface. In addition, use of capacitors that are designed to operate at HPHT conditions will minimize the possibility of capacitor failure during operation. All of these impacts will result in safer and more cost effective deep drilling operations.

This project began in September 2006, and thus far, has produced the following results:

  • Completed a Research Management Plan and Technology Status Assessment;
  • Developed the capacitor specifications;
  • Developed a high temperature electrolyte which is currently being evaluated;
  • Fabricated and tested baseline capacitors at room temperature and capacitors using the high temperature electrolyte at temperatures up to 482o F.
  • Developed a modified high temperature electrolyte that allows for improved capacitor performance at room temperature with minimal effect of performance at 482oF.

During this project, the operating temperature of an existing high voltage, all solid electrochemical-electrolytic capacitor, manufactured by Giner, Inc., will be increased by modifying the component’s structure and packaging. The new capacitor design will offer a solution for high efficiency, high reliability capacitors for new HPHT applications, as well as constituting an alternative for “drop-in” replacement of capacitors currently in use on already developed circuit boards.

The work will be carried out in two phases. In Phase I, the capacitor specifications were developed, and baseline and high temperature capacitors were fabricated and subjected to initial testing. Various high temperature electrolytes will be evaluated for continuation into Phase II. The capacitor structures will be modified, if necessary, to accommodate the high-temperature electrolyte. Complete high-temperature, high-voltage, all-solid electrochemical-electrolytic capacitors will be fabricated, characterized and tested at temperatures up to 230oF to demonstrate feasibility of the design approach. Based on the success of Phase I, the capacitor design, including packaging, will be finalized in Phase II. Prototype capacitors will be fabricated and extensively characterized. Additionally, a plan for field testing the capacitors will be developed.

Accomplishments:
During this project, the operating temperature of an existing high voltage, all solid electrochemical-electrolytic capacitor, manufactured by Giner, Inc., will be increased by modifying the component’s structure and packaging. The new capacitor design will offer a solution for high efficiency, high reliability capacitors for new HPHT applications, as well as constituting an alternative for “drop-in” replacement of capacitors currently in use on already developed circuit boards.

The work will be carried out in two phases. In Phase I, the capacitor specifications were developed, and baseline and high temperature capacitors were fabricated and subjected to initial testing. Various high temperature electrolytes will be evaluated for continuation into Phase II. The capacitor structures will be modified, if necessary, to accommodate the high-temperature electrolyte. Complete high-temperature, high-voltage, all-solid electrochemical-electrolytic capacitors will be fabricated, characterized and tested at temperatures up to 230oF to demonstrate feasibility of the design approach. Based on the success of Phase I, the capacitor design, including packaging, will be finalized in Phase II. Prototype capacitors will be fabricated and extensively characterized. Additionally, a plan for field testing the capacitors will be developed.

  • Demonstrated high-temperature, high-voltage capacitor operation at 50V, 446oF.
  • Incorporated a design change that provided high-temperature, high-voltage capacitor operation at 100V, 446oF.
  • Identified and demonstrated a high temperature electrolyte capable of operating both at 100V, ambient temperature and 100V, 446oF.
  • High-temperature, high-voltage all-solid electrochemical-electrolytic capacitors have been fabricated and tested using four different high-temperature electrolytes at temperatures up to 482oF.
  • Completed a Research Management Plan and Technology Status Assessment;
  • Developed the capacitor specifications;
  • Developed a high temperature electrolyte which is currently being evaluated;
  • Fabricated and tested baseline capacitors at room temperature and capacitors using the high temperature electrolyte at temperatures up to 482o F.
  • Developed a modified high temperature electrolyte that allows for improved capacitor performance at room temperature with minimal effect of performance at 482oF.

Current Status (July 2009)
This project has been cancelled due to the Recipients loss of Cost Share Partner. The final project report is available below under "Additional Information".

Project Start: September 19, 2006
Project End: June 30, 2009

DOE Contribution: $517,033
Performer Contribution: $237,180

Contact Information:
NETL – William Fincham (william.fincham@netl.doe.gov or 304-285-4268)
Giner, Inc. – Dr. Jack Kosek (jkosek@ginerinc.com or 781-529-0505)

Additional Information:

Final Project Report [PDF-360KB]

Technology Status Assessment [PDF-96KB]

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