CCS and Power Systems

Crosscutting Research - Plant Optimization Technologies

Micro-Structured Sapphire Fiber Sensors for Simultaneous Measurements of High Temperature and Dynamic Gas Pressure in Harsh Environments

Performer: University of Cincinnati

Project No: FE0001127

Program Background and Project Benefits

Securing a sustainable energy economy by developing affordable and clean energy from coal and other fossil fuels is central to the mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). To further this mission, NETL funds research and development of novel sensors that can function under the extreme operating conditions often found in advanced power systems.

The use of optical fibers has made a significant impact on sensing technology for use in harsh environments. Optical fibers are ideal for applications that require hightemperature and -pressure measurements because they are more sensitive to the parameters being measured. An optical fiber sensing system is composed of a light source, an optical waveguide (the optical fiber), a sensing element or transducer, and a detector. The transducer modulates some parameter of the light traveling inside the optical fiber (e.g., intensity, wavelength, polarization, or phase) and the system measures the changes in the optical signal received at the detector.

Under the Advanced Research program at NETL, a multidisciplinary research team led by Missouri University of Science and Technology, with members from the University of Cincinnati, is working to meet the challenge of designing, fabricating, integrating, and applying sensing technologies for use in harsh environments.

The sapphire sensors developed in this project will help produce affordable, clean energy from coal and other fossil fuels and contribute to a sustainable energy economy. Advanced process controls facilitated by robust optical fiber sensors will contribute to high efficiency, high reliability, and high environmental performance of existing and future advanced power and fuel systems. Specifically, these sensors will permit gasification plants to produce power from various fuels cleanly and efficiently, supporting the DOE’s goals to increase the availability of power from domestic fuels and decrease the negative environmental effects of coal-fired power production.

Project Details