June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Nuclear and Radiological
26.1334.1 - 26.1334.15
Abstract: Research, Development and Evaluation Capabilities for Betavoltaic Power Sources. Tom Adams1,2 and Shripad Revankar1 1 Purdue University Naval Surface Warfare Center School of Nuclear Engineering Crane Division 400 Central Drive 300 Highway 361 West Lafayette, IN 47907 Crane, IN 47522Betavoltaic cells are quickly emerging as an attractive alternative to batteries in military,exploration, and medical applications. Though power is low, the energy is very high due to theirlong operating lives. Betavoltaics convert kinetic energy of radiation particles into electricityinside a semiconductor p-n junction, similar to that of a solar cell (photovoltaic). Thoughdeveloped in the early 1950’s, development of betavoltaics has been sparse until recently. A fewUS companies for military applications led the resurgence. US Government agencies haveidentified betavoltaics as a disruptive technology that is needed and should be pursued, asevident in reports and solicitations. Some research is occurring in the US but the majority ofresearch in the last four years has come from Asian universities. To increase R&D capabilitiesin betavoltaic cells and other radioisotope power sources in the US, a dedicated laboratory wasestablished at Purdue University for R&D in betavoltaics. Collaboration with Governmentagencies and industry ensures a high success-rate for this facility, identifies critical areas of thetechnology, defines applications, and provides funding opportunities to support research, andfacility operation and sustainability. The laboratory currently possesses capabilities to evaluatebetavoltaics under Purdue University’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license, and toinvestigate hydrogen loading of metal hydrides. However, a strategy is needed to provide amulti-disciplinary curriculum to ensure students researching in this technology obtain thenecessary knowledge, skills and. experience. Because a betavoltaic consists of a radioactivesource and a semiconductor p-n junction, education is needed in material science, mechanicalengineering, and electrical engineering as well as in nuclear engineering along with regulations,policies, and perceptions. Coupled with experimentation, students will have the opportunity tocontribute to the advancement of the technology and prepare for successful employment.
Adams, T. E., & Revankar, S. T. (2015, June), Research, Development, and Evaluation Capabilities for Betavoltaic Power Sources Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24671
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