The selected marine application has been replaced by an aero application due to revised commercial considerations at Rolls-Royce.
The project printing approach has been adjusted away from inkjet to screen printing due to technical production issues and potential ultimate product costs associated with the former. Consequently work is now underway to reformulation the inks for screen printing use.
Device design is well advanced for both aero and auto applications, however, cost analysis on the latter indicates that a reduction in costs is needed and therefore a device redesign will be required.
Assembly of the electronics hardware and the validation of both aero and auto harvester sub circuits has been completed along with a successful software controlled radio transmission link bench test.
Work on ink reformulation, to meet screen printing requirements, is well advanced and initial n- and p-type materials have been created for printing trials which have been carried out successfully. However, following initial sintering trials thermoelectric performance issues have been identified.
SEM/EDX analysis of TE material samples is planned to establish whether further investigation of sintering conditions, thermoelectric powder composition or ink formulation is required. Device redesign in relation to cost reduction for the automotive application has been completed. Electronics development work is currently concentrated on software development for both aero and auto applications.
Sintering work to eliminate identified thermoelectric material performance issues has been concluded on the n-type with some success. However, the ideal target performance has not been achieved and further activity on thermoelectric ink formulation is underway. Advances on the n-type are now being applied to the p-type material. The aerospace system design has been modelled for system sensitivity and optimum design, and the design fixed.
The automotive application design is similar. The required metallisation pattern has also been established and metallised substrates are currently being manufactured. The electronics hardware has been defined but subject to possible final changes at the end of the project. Electronics development work has continued to focus on software development for both aerospace and automotive applications.
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