Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Energy and Sustainability

Name Investigator Tech ID Licensing Manager Name Micensing Manager Email Description Tags
Facile Conversion of Red Phosphorous to Soluble Polyphosphide Anions by Reaction with Potassium Ethoxide Dr. Michael Shatruk 16-087 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@fsu.edu <p><span>Activation of phosphorus is an important process for the preparation of semiconductors and low-dimensional electronic materials. The industry, in general, uses white phosphorus, which is hazardous and should be stored under water due to its spontaneous flammability in air. Activation of red phosphorus, which is a more stable polymorph of the element, is usually done by high-temperature reactions with metals in sealed evacuated tubes. However, this process is expensive and difficult to scale up.</span></p> <p><span>We have discovered a methodology to activated red phosphorus using inexpensive potassium ethoxide in ethanol. The reaction can be performed with mild heating and provides access to soluble polyphosphide species, which can be used to explore further chemistry of phosphorus in solution, without the need to use white phosphorus. Moreover, we showed that this process can be easily scaled up using flow chemistry approaches.</span></p> <p><span>For more information: </span><a href="http://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i12/Chemists-discover-safe-green-method.html">Chemists Discover a Safe, Green Method to Process Red Phosphorus</a></p> <p><a href="http://news.fsu.edu/news/science-technology/2016/03/09/red-wonder-fsu-chemists-pave-way-phosphorus-revolution/" target="_blank">red-wonder FSU chemists pave the way of phosphorus revolution</a></p> <p><i>Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.</i> 2016, DOI: <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201511186" title="Facile Conversion of Red Phosphorus into Soluble Polyphosphide Anions">10.1002/anie.201511186</a></p> phosphorene,black phosphorus
Multiple Parabolic Trough Solar Collector for Heating Working Fluid Anjaneyulu Krothapalli 12-208 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Solar energy collecting devices frequently use focusing lenses or reflectors to intensify the energy of the sun. Some collecting devices directly convert the solar energy to electrical energy using a photovoltaic array. Other collecting devices use the solar energy to heat a circulating working fluid. The device we have created at Florida State University may be adapted to either type of collecting device, as well as other types.</p> <p>The invention comprises a solar collector incorporating multiple parabolic troughs and a moving array of collector pipes which moves in order to keep the collector pipes in the focus of the troughs as the sun moves across the sky. The collector does not use conventional azimuth tracking; instead, the trough reflector remains static while the collecting device is moved across the face of the trough reflector with the shifting focal zone. The present invention moves the collective device so that it remains within the shifting focus as the sun moves.</p> <p>The multiple parabolic reflector flat plate collectors use solar radiation to heat a working fluid up to 120 degrees Celsius at pressures exceeding 5 bar. Our invention reaches temperatures above other systems under the same conditions.</p>
1MHz Scalable Cascaded Z-Source Inverter Using Gallium Nitride (GaN) Device Hui (Helen) Li 11-127 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Currently, implementation of photo-voltaic (PV) systems into power grids is limited.  The reason for the limited use of PV systems in power grids is that the interface between the grid and the PV source very inefficient.  These inefficiencies are caused by module mismatch, orientation mismatch, partial shading, and maximum power point (MPPT) inefficiencies.  This technology provides a scalable cascaded Z-source inverter which can integrate distributed renewable energy sources and/or storages having a wide voltage range. The inverter uses a low voltage Gallium Nitride (GaN) device, which can be used to facilitate modular structure.  The GaN transistor is able to facilitate this structure due to ultra-high frequency, a small AC filter, and a DC electrolyte capacitor.  A comprehensive Z-source network design has been developed based on an innovative equivalent AC circuit model for the single phase photovoltaic system.  The invention is also suitable for hybrid renewable energy sources/storages application in wide system operation range.  A flexible and reliable control system is developed to improve the photovoltaic energy harvesting capability.</p> <h2><strong>Advantages</strong></h2> <ul> <li>Single energy conversion and boost function can be achieved simultaneously</li> <li>Independent maximum power point tracking for each Z-source inverter module can implement an efficient photovoltaic energy conversion</li> <li>This inverter is immune to shoot-through faults especially operating at high switching frequency and enhance the system reliability</li> <li>The scalable cascaded Z-source inverter is able to interface flexibly with different distributed renewable energy sources or storages in a wide voltage range, including: <ul> <li>wind power</li> <li>solar power</li> <li>battery</li> <li>fuel cell</li> <li>ultra-capacitor</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h2><strong>Applications</strong></h2> <ul> <li>Photo-voltaic systems</li> <li>Plug-in electric hybrid vehicle</li> <li>Motor drives</li> <li>Uninterruptible power supply</li> </ul> <p> </p>
Cyrogenic Heat Sink for Helium Gas Cooled Superconducting Power Devices Danny Crook and Sastry Pamidi 13-040 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Power cables have terminations on each end to maintain dielectric integrity. Terminations interconnect the power cable with its high electric field to air-insulated components with lower electric fields and changing ambient conditions. In the case of a superconducting power cable, the terminations act as an interface between the cable and the grid.  In addition, these terminations manage the thermal gradient from the cryogenic temperature components to the ambient temperature components. The terminations additionally need to link the cryogenic environment in the cable with the ambient temperature environment of the non-superconducting elements of the power system, such as copper cables, power transformers, circuit breakers, instrumentation transformers, and disconnect switches.</p> <p>Superconducting power devices, such as cables, fault current limiters, or transfers, need feedthroughs that connect them with other elements of the power system that stay at ambient temperature. The higher temperatures of these components cause substantial heat influx into the terminations and consequently into the superconducting cable if no countermeasure is installed.</p> <p>The new technology developed, which solves these issues, comprises a method of maintaining an operating cryogenic temperature range of a low temperature system (e.g., including a superconductor). A heat intercept is attached to the lower temperature system that is temperature critical. This part may be, for example, the termination or intersection point between a copper conductor and high temperature superconducting cable. The heat intercept is pre-shaped to conform to the shape of the temperature-critical part. The heat sink, or at least the portion attached to the low temperature system, is formed of a heat conductive material. The heat intercept includes a heat sink, an inlet channel, and an outlet channel. The inlet and outlet channels extend from the heat sink, as the heat sink abuts the temperature-critical part of the system. The heat sink, inlet channel, and outlet channel are configured such that the inlet channel is in open communication with the interior of the heat sink and the outlet channel also is in open communication with the interior of the heat sink.  A cryogenic gaseous medium is injected into the inlet channel, such that the gaseous medium enters the heat sink through the inlet channel and exits the heat sink through the outlet channel. Thus, since heat is transferred to and absorbed by the gaseous medium within the heat sink, the gaseous medium has a higher temperature when exiting the heat sink than when entering the heat sink.</p> <h2>Advantages</h2> <ul> <li>Compact design</li> <li>Vacuum tight</li> <li>Low pressure drop</li> <li>Highly efficient due to maximum heat transfer</li> <li>Simple design and manufacturing</li> <li>Optimal for a gas having low viscosity</li> </ul>
Adaptive Nonlinear Model Predictive Control Using a Neural Network and Sampling Based Optimization Emmanuel G. Collins 14-086 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>The model predictive control algorithm uses a nonlinear model, input domain sampling, and a graph search technique without dependence on gradients. The nonlinear model is obtained by using input and output data from the system to tune a neural network model. The initial neural network can be trained using open loop data. Once the predictive control is turned on, the neural network continually adapts to represent time varying changes in the system. This is the first approach to adaptive nonlinear model predictive control that simultaneously performs online adaptation and model predictive control without the calculations of gradients for the predictive control.</p> <p>This technology provides, in a single software package, a very general means of simultaneously identifying and controlling nonlinear systems without computing gradients, which leads to lower computational requirements than methods that are currently commercially available.</p> <p>The technique of sampling the input domain guarantees satisfaction of hard constraints on input commands. Multiple core processing will give the proposed method increasingly greater computational speed advantage over current alternative methods since parallel computing hardware continues to become more widespread and more capable.</p>
Fast Electromechanical Disconnect Switching Chamber with Integrated Drive Mechanism Michael (Mischa) Steurer 14-117 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>The technology developed is a fast electromechanical switch with the drive mechanism integrated into the switching chamber. The integration of the drive mechanism allows for much faster contact travel and therefore faster switching operation.</p> <p>The proposed invention uses a vacuum or pressurized gas chamber with internal piezoelectric-actuator driven contacts for an electrical switch that can provide ultra-fast voltage. It fills a need for use in hybrid breaker applications.</p> <h2>Advantages:</h2> <ul> <li>Compact</li> <li>Low loss</li> <li>Does not need high current pulses</li> <li>Can be automatically reset</li> <li>Simple and fast</li> </ul>
Single Layer Emitting Diodes Using Organometal Halide Perovskite/Ionic- Conducting Polymer Composite Zhibin Yu 15-231 Abby Queale aqueale@fsu.edu <p>Organometal halide perovskite (Pero) materials have been recently intensively explored. They are ideal in forming optoelectronic devices due to their optical and electronic properties. For example, solar cells with a thin layer of methyl ammonium lead iodide have achieved about 20% power conversion efficiency, approaching the state-of-the-art performance of polycrystalline thin film solar cells. Pero materials also exhibit high photoluminescence yield and can be tuned to cover the visible spectrum, thus they are potentially valuable in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for information displays and lighting luminaires.</p> <p>We have created single-layer LEDs using a composite thin film of Pero and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). In contrast to the multi-layer strategy, a simplified device structure is certainly advantageous in terms of processing flexibility and fabrication cost at the manufacturing stage. Our single-layer thin films are synthesized by a one-step spin coating process and have a device structure that resembles “bottom electrode (ITO)/Pero-PEO/top electrode (In/Ga or Au)”. In spite of the simple device structure, the green emission LEDs with methylammonium lead bromide (bromide-Pero) and PEO composite thin films exhibit a low turn-on voltage of ~2.8-3.1V (defined at 1 cd m<sup>-2 </sup>luminance), a maximum luminance of 4064 cd m<sup>-2</sup>  and a moderate maximum current efficiency of ~0.24-0.74 cd A<sup>-1</sup>. Such performance is on par with reported results in literature involving a more complex multi-layer device structure. Blue and red emissions LEDs have also been fabricated.</p>
Space Efficient Photobioreactor System Jose Vargas 10-090 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>The continued use of petroleum-derived fuels is now widely seen as unsustainable. Presently available biofuels can be substituted for petroleum-derived fuels without the need for extensively modifying existing internal combustion engines.</p> <p>The present invention describes a microalgae-based bio-fuels production system in a space efficient photo-bioreactor. The bioreactor grows microalgae in a tall array of transparent flooded tubes. A nutrient media is circulated through the tubes. The array is configured to maximize the amount of sunlight falling upon each tube so that growth of the microalgae is as uniform as possible. Gassing/degassing systems are attached to the array of tubes at appropriate locations. These introduce carbon dioxide and remove oxygen. Cooling systems are preferably also provided so that the circulating media can be maintained at a desired temperature. Microalgae are harvested from the photo-bioreactor. The microalgae are filtered and dried. Lipids are then extracted from the microalgae. These lipids are made into biodiesel through a trans-esterification process and can be used to make other products as well.</p> <h2>Advantages:</h2> <ul> <li>Compact microalgae cultivation in a high productive manner</li> <li>Reduces the need for land since it has the potential to provide higher biomass production density than traditional systems of microalgae biomass production</li> <li>The modular conception allows for the gradual implementation of the system for in situ biofuel production wherever it is needed</li> </ul>
A High-Efficiency Multi-junction Photovoltaic Cell for Harvesting Solar Energy Indranil Bhattacharya and Simon Foo 09-151 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Solar energy is a renewable energy source that continues to receive increased interest worldwide as it is the most abundant source of free energy available on the planet.</p> <p>At present, most of the commercially available solar cells are, at best, approximately 19% efficient in their ability to absorb energy from the sun. At the Florida State University, a novel multi-junction photovoltaic cell has been proposed by Dr. Simon Foo that will significantly increase solar energy conversion efficiency in excess of 40%, that is, more than double the efficiency of commercially-available crystalline silicon cells. The new design introduces a third layer to the solar cell that will enable the cell to absorb a wider range of the sunlight spectrum. The third layer is comprised of an Indium-Gallium-Antimonide (InGaSb) semiconductor material that improves the absorption of photons with wavelengths from near-infrared to the end of the infrared region of the solar spectrum. Importantly, of the infrared, visible light, and UV regions of the solar spectrum, it is the infrared region that contains the largest amount of harvestable energy.</p> <h2>Applications:</h2> <ul> <li>Aerospace</li> <li>Building construction</li> <li>Civil engineering</li> <li>Electronics</li> <li>Power stations</li> <li>Stand-alone and grid-connected applications</li> <li>Distributed power generation</li> </ul> <h2>Advantages:</h2> <ul> <li>More efficient than the single layer photovoltaic cells currently available on the market</li> <li>More efficient than existing multi-junction solar cells currently under development</li> <li>Capable of harvesting energy of photons with wavelengths exceeding 598nm, the largest portion of the solar spectrum</li> </ul>
A Single-Phase Single-Stage Grid-Interactive Inverter with Wide Range Reactive Power Compensation Dr. Liu and Dr. Li 11-131 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>In this invention, a novel single-phase single-stage grid-interactive inverter based on a discrete Fourier Transform Phase Locked Loop technique is developed to separate the real and reactive power between different energy sources/storages. The hybrid modulation technique and sophisticated power allocation strategy are developed for the power generation system to achieve wide range reactive power compensation and enhance energy conversion efficiency. One distributed energy source and two energy storages are interfaced to the inverter with three cascaded H -bridge cells used to investigate the performance of the proposed system. Different energy source/storages with wide voltage change range can be directly connected in the invention and the single-stage energy conversion can be implemented. The present invention can integrate distributed energy sources/storages in one cascaded inverter. Due to the absence of DC-DC converter, single-stage energy conversion can be achieved. The hybrid modulation technique and power allocation strategy corresponding to the proposed system are developed to achieve the wide range reactive power compensation, voltage boost function, and the optimized power management.</p> <p>The proposed single-phase single-stage grid-interactive inverter is particularly suitable to meeting the increasing distributed power generation needs. It can facilitate to interface different distributed renewable energy sources or storages such as wind power, solar power, battery, fuel cell, Ultra-capacitor and so on. The switching loss will be decreased due to the cascaded structure and hybrid modulation technique.</p> <h2>Advantages</h2> <ul> <li>The multilevel AC output voltage will reduce the AC filter size, improve power quality and enhance the system reliability</li> <li>The transformerless structure will lead to lower cost and lighter weight, in addition to facilitating high power application</li> </ul>
Alkali Metal-Air Flow Battery Jian-Ping (Jim) Zheng 11-077 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Alkali metal-air batteries, and in particular, lithium (Li)-air batteries have attracted much attention due to their relatively low cost and extremely high specific capacity.</p> <p>This technology describes an alkali metal-air flow battery system including an electrochemical reaction unit having a lithium conductive membrane disposed between an anode and a cathode section, and an electrolyte reservoir. The electrolyte reservoir can be fluidly coupled to a cathode electrolyte chamber to allow for circulation of an electrolyte solution from the electrolyte reservoir to the cathode electrolyte chamber. Circulation of the electrolyte solution from the electrolyte reservoir to the cathode electrolyte chamber can be accomplished at a rate sufficient to maintain the solubility of at least one discharge product of a reaction occurring in the cathode section in the electrolyte solution.</p> <h2><span class="CmCaReT" style="display: none;">�</span>Advantages</h2> <ul> <li>Low cost</li> <li>High energy density</li> <li>Good cyclability</li> <li>High efficiency</li> <li>Easy to scale-up.</li> </ul> <p>Moreover, Li-air flow batteries are particularly-suited for large-scale grid applications by virtue of being cost effective, having a large energy density, and having a large cycle life compared to other electrical energy storage systems for grid applications.</p>
Catalytic Electrode with Gradient Porosity and Catalyst Density for Fuel Cells Jian-Ping (Jim) Zheng 10-113 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>In the past decade, huge effort and resource has been devoted to developing proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) technology to realize the wide commercialization in automotive and portable application. However, challenges still remain related to the high cost especially the precious metal cost, relative low performance at low platinum loading, and poor long-term durability.</p> <p>The technology developed is a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for a fuel cell comprising a gradient catalyst structure and a method of making the same. The gradient catalyst structure can include a plurality of catalyst nanoparticles, e.g., platinum, disposed on layered buckypaper. The layered buckypaper can include at least a first layer and a second layer and the first layer can have a lower porosity compared to the second layer. The gradient catalyst structure can include single wall nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, or both in the first layer of the layered buckypaper and can include carbon nanofibers in the second layer of the layered buckypaper. The MEA can have a catalyst utilization efficiency of at least 0.35 g,a1/kW or less.</p> <p>The SWNT/CNF buckypaper based Pt catalyst has shown a good Pt utilization and a good durability under an accelerated degradation test in a mimic cathode environment in our previous patent application. However, this new invention by using the Pt/DLBP with tailored gradient structure was demonstrated even better Pt utilization and stability. Therefore, the fuel cell made with this new structure catalytic electrodes will have better power density and operation time, and low cost.</p> <h2>Advantages:</h2> <ul> <li>Will have significant impact on the structure of future fuel cell</li> <li>Will significantly reduce the cost of fuel cells, because the usage of catalytic material (platinum) can be significantly reduced</li> <li>Fuel cells are capable of providing high energy efficiency and relatively rapid start-up</li> <li>Fuel cells are capable of generating power without generating the types of environmental pollution that characterize many other sources of power</li> <li>Thus, fuel cells can be a key to meeting critical energy needs while also mitigating environmental pollution by substituting for conventional power sources</li> </ul>
Flexible Electrochemical Cell with Fiber-like Geometry and Coaxially Structured Electrodes Jesse Smithyman 14-015 Abby Queale aqueale@fsu.edu <p>The proposed technology is a flexible electrochemical cell with cylindrical, fiber-like geometry. As opposed to the sandwich-like structure of planar cells, the cell has coaxial electrodes with the separator in between such that all components are concentric cylinders.</p> <p>A flexible electrochemical cell consists of a carbon nanotube yarn as the inner electrode and supportive material. A polymer electrolyte is coated on the yarn followed by the application of an outer carbon nanotube network electrode. Chemical modification of the electrodes is possible to enhance or tailor the electrochemical properties.</p> <p>The inclusion of these carbon nanotube electrodes enables the integration of an electronic conductor and active material of each electrode in a single component. The features of the flexible electrical devices described herein beneficially enable the device to maintain high volumetric energy and power densities during device deformations. Without being limited to a single theory, a coaxial design of the flexible electrical device permits uniform primary current distribution because of the radial ion transport between electrodes.</p> <p>The initial prototypes fabricated had diameters - 500 micron and future size reductions are very feasible. Tailoring the materials used in the cell design allows for a number of different applications. Prototype super capacitor fibers and humidity sensing fibers have been developed.</p> <p>The high aspect ratio fiber geometry also provides a cell design able to undergo flexural deformation with minimal impact on the electrochemical properties, and &gt; 95% of the energy density and &gt; 99% of the power density was retained when wound around an I l cm diameter cylinder.</p>
High Efficiency Ion Exchange in Zeolites Dr. Susan Latturner 09-002 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@fsu.edu <p>Aqueous ion exchange in zeolites is currently hindered by the acidic byproducts that deteriorate the zeolite structure. This invention improves the ion exchange efficiency in zeolites by utilizing polymer solutions that do not damage the zeolite network. The result is an efficient zeolite that is ideal for ion exchange, catalysis, and gas exchange.</p> <p><a href="/media/3827/latturner2.pdf">Download PDF Version</a> </p> <h2>Applications:</h2> <ul> <li>Industries that use ion exchange, i.e., nuclear power, petroleum processing, etc</li> <li>Lithium-ion batteries</li> <li>Gas exchange</li> </ul> <h2>Advantages:</h2> <ul> <li>Increased ion exchange efficiency than zeolites with aqueous solutions</li> <li>Ion exchange efficiency further increased by the use of zeolites with lower Si/Al ratio</li> <li>Operation at intermediate temperatures, unlike molten salts</li> </ul>
Pulsed Gliding Arc Electrical Discharge Reactors Bruce Locke 06-142 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Gliding arc discharges have been investigated as a potential technology for gas phase pollution treatment and for liquid phase pollution treatment. Ultimately, the practical use of gliding arc technology to promote chemical transformations, such as the removal of organic pollutants in water or the generation of hydrogen peroxide, other reactive oxygen species, or reactive nitrogen species for treatment of potentially contaminated foods, depends on the efficiency that can be achieved.</p> <p>The present invention describes a plasma gliding arc discharge reactor that is useful for chemical transformations in liquids and gases. The reactor may include a housing having a plurality of divergent electrodes, a power supply connected to the electrodes delivering pulsed power to the reactor, and a nozzle that directs a mixture of a carrier gas and a liquid to a region between the divergent electrodes, thereby generating plasma in the region. The nozzle can include a first inlet for receiving the carrier gas, a second inlet for receiving the liquid and a mixing chamber that is configured to mix the carrier gas and the liquid prior to being directed to the region.</p>
Metal-Air Flow Batteries Using Water Based Electrolytes Jian-ping (Jim) Zheng 12-206 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>FSU researchers introduce new lithium (Li)-air flow batteries aimed to overcome major disadvantages of traditional Li-air batteries such as low current density and poor cyclability. The battery consists of three Units: the electrochemical (EC) reaction unit, the electrolyte storage unit, and the oxygen exchange unit which mimics the structure of a classical fuel cell system.</p> <p>Traditional Li-air batteries have an extremely large theoretical energy density, but suffer from several drawbacks:</p> <ol> <li>The Li20 2/Li20 discharge product deposits on the air side of the electrode reducing the pore size and limiting the access of the 0 2 in the cathode</li> <li>The cyclability and energy efficiency of Li-air batteries are poor due to the lack of effective catalysts to convert solid Li20 2/Li20 discharge products into Li ions</li> <li>The current and power densities of Li-air batteries are much lower compared to conventional batteries due to extremely low oxygen diffusion coefficient in liquid solution</li> </ol> <p>The FSU batteries overcome all of these drawbacks by circulating and refreshing the electrolyte continuously between the three units and using catalysts to increase the cathode potential during the discharge and decrease it during the charging process.</p>
Inflatable Solar Energy Collector Apparatus Ian Winger 09-128 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Solar energy collector design composed of various mirror and lens combinations have been proposed, with significant attention being paid to the concentrating power of the lens or mirror. These solutions typically involve expensive coated glass surfaces and the weight of the components requires substantial mechanical actuators to move them so that they can accurately track the sun's motion across the sky. While functional, the prior art systems are expensive and complex.</p> <p>The present invention is an inflatable solar energy collector using two elongated and pressure-stabilized air chambers with a trough-shaped reflecting surface in between. The curvature of the reflecting surface is created by adjusting the differential pressure between the two air chambers and the device can be configured to provide a focal point outside the air chambers or inside the air chambers. For the version using the external focal point an external energy receiver is appropriately positioned. For the version using the internal focal point, the receiver is mounted inside one of the air chambers. The collector is preferably adjustable in azimuth to accurately track the sun's motion across the sky and is able to operate efficiently without the need for altitude adjustment, although altitude adjustment may also be optionally provided. The invention preferably incorporates a novel energy receiver in which stagnant air is entrapped and used as an insulator.</p> <p>This light-weight solar concentrator is of interest as the infrastructure required to support and rotate it is reduced compared to more massive concentrators. Parabolic troughs need to be rotated about only one axis to track the sun throughout the year and concentration power of troughs is sufficient to reach reasonable temperatures. This invention would therefore provide a solar concentrating device made of inexpensive materials and is relatively light and simple.</p>
Novel Catalytic Air Electrodes for Rechargeable Lithium-Air Batteries Jian-ping (Jim) Zheng 11-160 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Due to the high energy density, lithium-air batteries have become very popular.  One of the most important components of a lithium-air battery system is the air diffusion electrode. The properties of an air electrode directly determine the performance of the entire battery system. The significant components of the air electrode, which are critical for its properties, include the surface area, porosity, thickness, catalysts, conductivity, and polarity for various organic electrolytes.  Among these factors, catalysts for oxygen electrochemical reduction enhance the discharge properties of the lithium-air battery and reduce over-voltage during the discharge. Thereby improving the energy and power densities.</p> <p>The technology developed is a novel lithium-air battery. The battery includes an anode comprising lithium, a cathode comprising an Ag<sub>2</sub>Mn<sub>8</sub>O<sub>16</sub> catalyst, and an<br />electrolyte comprising a lithium salt. The Ag<sub>2</sub>Mn<sub>8</sub>O<sub>16</sub> particles can range in diameter between 2 nm and 100 nm. The loading of the Ag<sub>2</sub>Mn<sub>8</sub>O<sub>16</sub> catalyst can range from 5% to 75%.</p> <p>The anode comprises lithium, which can take few forms including metal, powder, alloy, etc. The cathode may comprise single-wall carbon nanotubes, multi-wall carbon nanotubes, and/or carbon nanofibers. In addition, the cathode may include carbon black, carbon micro beads, and/or activated carbon. In some versions of the technology small and large diameter multi-wall nanotubes, an entanglement of flexible single-wall nanotubes, small diameter multi-wall nanotubes around nanofibers, and/or large diameter multi-wall nanotubes may be included in the cathode. The electrode can take many forms of a lithium salt.</p> <p> </p>
Voltage Profile Based Fault Detection Michael (Mischa) Steurer 13-147 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Fault location in a traditional power system is a challenging task. Electric power flows only in one direction: from the substation to the various loads. Therefore, when a severe short circuit fault occurs, there is a current rise with voltage sag near the faulted node or line and everything else that is downstream. If the fault protection system responds adequately it isolates the assumed faulted areas which are all the nearby and downstream customers of the actual faulted area.</p> <p>In a system containing distributed resources (DRs), most fault location technologies ignore the presence of DRs by assuming either low DRs penetration or no power injection from DRs during a fault. The few technologies that consider the presence of DRs have not considered a current limited system when a fault occurs.</p> <p>As the amount of local generation (PV, microturbines ... ) is increasing, the existing distribution systems fault location methods do not always apply because of various reasons including cost, complexity of the system due to mesh-like system topology, and bidirectional power flow. This FSU invention takes advantage of the system topology, the presence of the controllable voltage source convertors (VSCs), and the change of the voltage profile with the presence of the fault. Using the VSCs to help locate the fault will help overcome the issue of relying on the measured value of voltage when the voltage has completely collapsed in a section because of a fault in the distribution system. Instead of hindering the fault location process, the VSCs are used to help support the voltage, locate the fault, and provide fast restoration.</p>
Sharing Cyrogenic Cooling Systems Between Large and Auxiliary Devices Sastry Pamidi 13-040 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Cryo-cooled or super-cooled power applications are increasing in popularity because they are typically lower in weight and volume, and more efficient than traditional power applications. Cryocooling is well suited to superconducting technologies (e.g., high-speed accelerators, wind power and flywheel applications) that need to be kept at cryogenic temperatures in order to function.</p> <p>Currently, the cost of cryocoolers is prohibitively high for small applications, in part, because cryocoolers are primarily designed for large devices. Additionally, cryocooling systems are suboptimum in their design because they 1) are based on a “use-or-lose” model that wastes cooling power that is not fully utilized and 2) cannot be shared between critical devices.</p> <p>A potential solution to these two issues involves a new design by Dr. Sastry Pamidi that enables cryogenic sharing of “waste” cooling between a large superconducting device and smaller devices in close proximity that also benefit from cryocooling. In it basic form, the invention is an add-on heat exchanger that is attached to an existing cryocooler through which a controllable flow of helium gas is circulated to “steal” excess cooling power from the device. The helium circulation system enables the productive use of excess cooling power and also eliminates the need for resistive heaters that are typically used to maintain required operating temperatures in cryocooled devices. Importantly, this exchanger will make it easier to run auxiliary devices under cryogenic environments without the need for each device to have its own dedicated cryocooler, thus reducing costs and improving the efficiency of operation as well as creating new opportunities for using cryogenics.</p> <h2>Applications:</h2> <ul> <li>Aerospace</li> <li>Cryogenic equipment manufacturing</li> <li>Military</li> <li>Power grid</li> <li>Transportation</li> <li>Research laboratories</li> <li>Universities, national labs, and hospitals</li> </ul> <h2>Advantages:</h2> <ul> <li>Enables sharing of cryocooling between a large device and smaller devices to minimize or eliminate the cooling waste produced by “use-or-lose” cryogenic methods</li> <li>Multiple devices can be cooled by a single cryocooler, rather than each device requiring its own cooler</li> <li>Improves energy efficiency and reduced cost of operation</li> <li>Creates new opportunities for using cryogenics in smaller devices and applications</li> <li>May be designed into new cryocoolers or added on to existing cryocoolers</li> </ul>
Leakage Current Suppression Solutions for Photovoltaic Cascaded Multilevel Inverter Application Hui (Helen) Li 13-176 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>The cascaded multilevel inverter is considered to be a promising alternative for the low-cost and high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) systems. However, the current leakage issue, resulting from the stray capacitances between the PV panels and the earth, needs to be solved for the cascaded inverter to be reliably applied in PV application.</p> <p>The proposed technologies solve the leakage current issue in PV cascaded multilevel inverter by using passive filters. It can retain the simple structure of the inverter and does not complicate the associated control system.  The system is a photovoltaic cascaded inverter, including inverter modules, which have both an AC and a DC side.  In addition, the system includes a common DC-side choke coupled to the DC-side of each of the inverter modules and a common mode AC-side choke coupled to the AC-side of each of the inverter modules.</p> <p> </p>
Methods for Implementing Stochastic Anti-Windup PI Controllers Emmanuel Collins 08-019 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>In the present invention, different circuit-based implementations of stochastic anti-windup PI controllers are provided for a motor drive controller system. The designs can be implemented in a Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) device. The anti-windup PI controllers are implemented stochastically so as to enhance the computational capability of FPGA. The invention encompasses different circuit arrangements that implement distinct anti-windup algorithms for a digital PI speed controller. The anti-windup algorithms implemented by the circuit arrangements can significantly improve the control performance of variable-speed motor drives.</p> <p>Compared with the existing technologies, the stochastic PI controller provides an efficient implementation approach that uses straightforward digital logic circuits but has the advantage of significantly reducing the circuit complexity. Therefore, the present invention notably improves the performance of the stochastic PI controller and saves digital resources in a motor drive control system. The immediate and/or future applications are motor drive controllers for induction motor systems, and more particularly, proportional-integral (PI) controllers. The use of the invention will increase the market of FPGA since the capability will be largely increased and the cost will be relatively reduced.</p>
Organic Chemical Synthesis using Plasma Reactors with Liquid Organic and Liquid Water Bruce Locke 13-153 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Electrical discharge plasma contacting liquid phases has been studied for a wide range of chemical, biomedical, environmental, and Materials synthesis applications.  The present invention utilizes a gas-water-organic plasma reactor for the conversion of alkanes into functionalized products (alcohols, aldehydes, etc.) using a pulsed plasma reactor with liquid water and flowing carrier gas. Hydrogen peroxide is also generated conjunction with the functionalized products.</p> <h1>Applications</h1> <ul> <li>Agriculture</li> <li>Healthcare</li> <li>Sanitization</li> <li>Waste water degradation</li> </ul>
Self-Assembled Multilayers to Enhance Photon Upconversion and Solar Cell Efficiency Dr. Kenneth Hanson 15-035 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@fsu.edu <p>Photon upconversion (UC), combining two lower energy photons to generate a higher energy excited state, can be used to harness "sub-band gap photons" and reach maximum theoretical solar cell efficiencies of &gt;40%. Molecular photon upconversion, by way of triplet-triplet annihilation (TTA-UC), is particularly appealing because UC is achievable even under low intensity, non-coherent, solar irradiation. Current efforts to harness TTA-UC in solar energy conversion are predominantly based on using UC solution or polymer film as a filter or reflector working in conjunction with a conventional solar cell but increase the cost and complexity of the device.</p> <p>Our technology is capable of facilitating photon upconversion in films of self-assembled bilayers, presented in Tech ID 15-001. The films can be prepared by a step-wise soaking/loading procedure that is amenable to roll-to-roll printing for large scale manufacturing of devices. The self-assembled bilayer strategy is effective at facilitating photocurrent generation from the upconverted state. This technology offers a new class of self-assembled UC solar cells that show promise as a means of passing the maximum theoretical limit for single junction solar cells.</p>
Modulating Electron Transfer Dynamics at Hybrid Interfaces via Self-Assembled Multilayers Dr. Kenneth Hanson 15-001 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@fsu.edu <p>Electron transfer at organic-inorganic hybrid interfaces is a critical event in bio/organic electronics, solar energy conversion, electrocatalysis, sensing and other applications. At the interfaces in these devices, the goal is to maximize the rate of electron transfer in one direction (forward electron transfer, FET). Equally important is the inhibition of the back electron transfer (BET). We have introduced the use of a molecular bridge in self-assembled bilayer films as an effective strategy for modulating electron transfer dynamics at the semiconductor-molecule interface. The bilayer films of the general form MO-(X)-Zr-moelcule are composed of a metal oxide electrode (MO; TiO2 or SnO2 for example), a bridging molecule (X), linking ions (Zr, Zn, etc.) and a molecule. One example bilayer with TiO2, a bridging molecules 1, 2 or 3, Zr4+ ions and RuC ([Ru(bpy)2(4,4'-(COOH)2bpy)]2+) is depicted in Figure. This approach offers a simple and modular method for slowing BET between any dye molecule and the semiconductor interface. Additionally, as opposed to other methods of slowing BET, like atomic layer deposition or synthetic modification, the step-wise soaking/loading procedure is amenable to roll-to-roll printing for large scale manufacturing of devices. Controlling electron transfer rates will help to decrease photocurrent leakage and improve device performances.</p>
Systems and Methods for Improving Processor Efficiency Dr. David Whalley 13-101 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@ufl.edu <p>Dr. Whalley's team has created  a data cache systems designed to enhance energy efficiency and performance of computing systems. A data filter cache herein may be designed to store a portion of data stored in a level one (L1) data cache. The data filter cache may reside between the L1 data cache and a register file in the primary compute unit. The data filter cache may therefore be accessed before the L1 data cache when a request for data is received and processed. Upon a data filter cache hit, access to the L1 data cache may be avoided. The smaller data filter cache may therefore be accessed earlier in the pipeline than the larger L1 data cache to promote improved energy utilization and performance. The data filter cache may also be accessed speculatively based on various conditions to increase the chances of having a data filter cache hit.</p> <p>Furthermore,  tagless access buffers (TABs) can optimize energy efficiency in various computing systems. Candidate memory references in an L1 data cache may be identified and stored in the TAB. Various techniques may be implemented for identifying the candidate references and allocating the references into the TAB. Groups of memory references may also be allocate to a single TAB entry or may be allocated to an extra TAB entry (such that two lines in the TAB may be used to store L1 data cache lines), for example, when a strided access pattern spans two consecutive L1 data cache lines. Certain other embodiments are related to data filter cache and multi-issue tagless hit instruction cache (TH-IC) techniques.</p>
Intelligent Wi-Fi Packet Relay Protocol Dr. Zhenghao Zhang 13-089 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@fsu.edu <p>L2Relay is a novel packet relay protocol for Wi-Fi networks that can improve the performance and extend the range of the network. A device running L2Relay is referred to as a relayer, which overhears the packet transmissions and retransmits a packet on behalf of the Access Point (AP) or the node if no acknowledgement is overheard. L2Relay is ubiquitously compatible with all Wi-Fi devices. L2Relay is designed to be a layer 2 solution that has direct control over many layer 2 functionalities such as carrier sense. Unique problems are solved in the design of L2Relay including link measurement, rate adaptation, and relayer selection. L2Relay was implemented in the OpenFWWF platform and compared against the baseline without a relayer as well as a commercial Wi-Fi range extender. The results show that L2Relay outperforms both compared schemes.</p>
Methods of Constructing Polyolefins having Reduced Crystallinity Dr. Alamo 09-166 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>The invention describes a family of polyolefins characterized by chain-walking defects of the type that add extra backbone carbons per monomer.</p> <p>These polyolefins display a large decrease in crystallinity relative to polyolefins known in the art. Specifically, the reduction in crystallinity is much greater than for earlier polypropylenes with a matched content of stereo or 1-alkene type defects. The claimed polyolefins can be an alkene-based homopolymer, or an alkene-based copolymer and can be made by a diimine-based catalyst or by a late metal catalyst. The defects in the polyolefin backbone are generated by a chain walking mechanism in which three or more carbons per monomer are added to the polymer backbone instead of two, as in conventional polymerization or copolymerization methods of alpha olefins.</p> <h1>Applications/Advantages:</h1> <ul> <li>Plastic wrapping</li> <li>Thin films</li> <li>Co-extrusion layers or molded parts in the absence of polymer blending or copolymerization</li> <li><span class="small">The cost of materials production can be reduced</span></li> </ul>
Method for Locating Phase to Ground Faults in DC Distribution Systems Michael (Mischa) Steurer 08-040 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Electrical direct current (DC) distribution systems are operated without any of the phases grounded in order to prevent a phase-to-ground fault, the most common type of faults, to cause interruption of service. While theoretically such an ungrounded DC system can be operated with one phase grounded through a fault for an extended period of time, it is essential to find the fault location quickly in order to prevent any secondary phase to ground fault on the other phase to cause a disruptive phase-to-phase fault.</p> <p>The present invention describes a method for locating ground faults in an ungrounded or high-resistance grounded power distribution system having a power supply including high-speed switched power electronics (PE). The method includes utilizing wavelet analysis using Multi-Resolution Analysis (MRA) as a signal processing tool for recognition of characteristic features in the voltage signal. The voltage signal contains characteristic information in the high frequency range above the switching frequencies of the PE converters which allows for localization of the fault.</p> <p>In the future, the Invention can potentially simplify and speed up the phase-to-ground protection on converter dominated ungrounded DC and AC systems significantly. The Invention can be implemented as a computational component within a new version of a digital ground fault protection relay.</p>
Metal Halide Perovskite Phosphors in LEDs for Full Color Display and Solid State Lighting Biwu Ma 17-009 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are used widely in solid state lighting, electronic displays, bio-imaging, and photovoltaic applications.  A cheaper, more efficient LED device can impact multiple markets.  Some of the primary applications include television displays, mobile device displays, medical applications, solid state lighting, and energy applications.</p> <p>This LED technology comprises two components—an LED device and the process of manufacturing that device.  The LED device comprises earth-abundant materials. The manufacturing process takes place at room temperature using simple starting materials and common organic solvents in a single container. The color of the LEDs can be tuned. </p> <p>In addition, this technology focuses on using phosphors to get the desired color and intensity of light. Organic/inorganic perovskite materials are abundant, non-toxic, and inexpensive.  Thus, by using these materials to create phosphors, the cost of the LED device is reduced significantly. This is especially true as our technology approaches 100% conversion of the base LED energy to the phosphor.</p>
Alkylamine-Gold Nanoparticle Monolayers having Tunable Electrical and Optical Properties Daniel Hallinan 16-068 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>The unique physical and chemical properties of most traditional materials are largely determined by the spatial arrangement of the constituent building blocks (i.e. atoms) relative to one another.  When the scale of the building blocks extend to the range outside that of atomic elements (e.g. nanoparticles), the 'artificial solids' composed of such nanoparticles exhibit unique properties different from their bulk counterparts. In particular, monolayer two-dimensional (2D) artificial solids, serving as the structural basis for more complicated nanostructures, display distinct collective optical, electrical, and catalytic properties, thus finding vast prospective applications in high-performance solar cells, electrogenerated chemilumines, chemical sensors, transistors, integrated microcircuitry, batteries, capacitors, and thermolectrics. Akin to traditional materials, the physical and chemical properties of artificial solids are not only dependent on the elementary nanoparticle size and shape, but as importantly on the interparticle separation and the periodic arrangement of the constituents.</p> <p>FSU researchers have successfully prepared monolayer gold nanoparticle (Au NP) films using a water/organic solvent self-assembly strategy. A new approach, “drain to deposit”, is demonstrated most effective to transfer the Au NP films from a liquid/liquid interface to various solid substrates while maintaining their integrity. The interparticle spacing was tuned from 1.4 nm to 3.1 nm using different length alkylamine ligands. The ordering of the films increased with increasing ligand length. The surface plasmon resonance and the in-plane conductivity of the Au NP films both exhibit an exponential dependence on the particle spacing. These findings show great potential in scaling up the fabrication of high-performance optical and electronic devices based on metallic nanoparticle superlattices.</p> <p>In addition, these FSU researchers have developed a three phase system for depositing monolayer gold nanoparticle films. Using this three-phase system, centimeter-scale monolayer gold nanoparticle (Au NP) films have been prepared that have long-range order and hydrophobic ligands. The system contains an interface between an aqueous phase containing Au NPs and an oil phase containing one of various types of amine ligands, and a water/air interface. As the Au NPs diffuse to the water/oil interface, ligand exchange takes place which temporarily traps them at the water/oil interface. The ligand exchanged particles then spontaneously migrate to the air/water interface, where they self-assemble, forming a monolayer under certain conditions. The spontaneous formation of the NP film at the air/water interface was due to the minimization of the system Helmholtz free energy. However, the extent of surface functionalization was dictated by kinetics. This decouples interfacial ligand exchange  from interfacial self-assembly, while maintaining the simplicity of a single system. The interparticle center-to-center distance was dictated by the amine ligand length. The Au NP monolayers exhibit tunable surface plasma resonance and excellent spatial homogeneity, which is useful for surface-enhanced Raman scattering. The “air/water/oil” self-assembly method developed here not only benefits the fundamental understanding of NP ligand conformations, but is also applicable to the manufacture of plasmonic nanoparticle devices with precisely designed optical properties.</p> <h1>Applications and Advantages</h1> <ul> <li>Batteries <ul> <li>Electric car</li> <li>Laptop</li> <li>Mobile device</li> <li>Other electric vehicles and locomotion devices</li> </ul> </li> <li>Increases reliability of batteries</li> <li>Increases the performances of batteries</li> <li>Reduces the possibility of catastrophic failure of devices due to battery failure</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Additive Manufacturing of a Wireless Ceramic High Temperature and Pressure Sensor Cheryl Xu 17-004 Robby Freeborn-Scott cfreebornscott@fsu.edu <p>Maintaining situational awareness of the weapon environment is desirable for developing the next generation of robust missile and munition (M&amp;M) systems that can withstand the extreme acceleration, temperature, and pressure conditions that are presented by traditional fighter and hypersonic aircraft. In addition, tracking the temperature and pressure of high temperature turbines used in turbojets both for aircraft and energy production is highly desirable.  Conventional techniques for remotely monitoring munition assets are primarily performed by proximate environmental monitoring by fuel sensors, accelerometers, surface acoustic wave sensors, chemical resistors, and temperature sensors, which unfortunately are limited to storage and transportation purposes. In addition, conventional temperature testing for M&amp;M surveillance is performed over a limited temperature range, e.g., -55 °C to 125 °C.</p> <p>Conventional temperature sensors used in the evaluation of M&amp;M systems and turbine systems include thermocouples, thermistors, resistance thermometers, quartz thermometers, which all include a metallic coil inductor. However, these temperature sensors have certain drawbacks. For example, these temperatures sensors cannot be used in high temperature environments (e.g., 800 °C to 1400 °C) for prolonged periods of time due to oxidation of the metallic coil inductor, or can only be used under wired measurement conditions, and therefore are not suitable for in-flight monitoring. As a result, these temperature sensors can provide only limited evaluation of these high temperature and pressure systems.</p> <p>Conventional pressure sensors used in these applications includes passive pressure sensors based on resistive or capacitive sensing mechanisms. However, these pressure sensors have certain drawbacks. For example, wire interconnection is required to interrogate these sensors, and these sensors cannot operate effectively in high temperature environments. Moreover, pressure sensors that utilize a patch antenna operate within a limited temperature range, e.g., -55 °C to 125 °C, because of the metallic wire used with the patch antenna.</p> <p>The technology developed at FSU comprises a temperature and pressure sensor which includes a ceramic coil inductor having ceramic material and a relatively high volume fraction of carbon nanotubes. The combination leverages the remarkable electrical and mechanical properties (stiff and strong) of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and the thermal properties (temperature sensitivity) of ceramic materials.  </p> <p>Generally, the temperature sensors comprise a ceramic coil inductor that is formed of a ceramic composite and a thin film polymer-derived ceramic (PDC) nanocomposite having a dielectric constant that increases monotonically with temperature.  In general, the pressure sensors comprise a ceramic coil inductor formed of a ceramic composite, which has carbon nanotubes or carbon nanofibers, or a combination of carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers dispersed in a ceramic matrix, and a polymer-derived ceramic (PDC) nanocomposite. In some embodiments, the ceramic matrix comprises a polymer-derived ceramic (PDC) material.</p> <h2>Advantages</h2> <ul> <li> <p class="lead"><span class="small">The ability to provide real-time, in-flight monitoring of systems that operate in high temperature and pressure environments</span></p> </li> <li> <p class="lead"><span class="small">The ability to maintain safety and effectiveness of critical parts and materials without the need for extensive nondestructive evaluation (NDE) (for temperature sensors), thereby reducing cost and time</span></p> </li> <li> <p class="lead"><span class="small">On-demand tracking and assessing of the status of systems over extended periods, based upon changing conditions</span></p> </li> </ul> <p> </p>
Precision Polystyrene-sulfonate (PSS) Dr. Justin G. Kennemur 17-034 Dr. Matthieu Dumont mfdumont@fsu.edu <p>Recent research in the Kennemur Group has discovered a methodology for making a polystyrene-polyethylene-type copolymer analog .The reduction in phenyl branch periodicity for our system dramatically reduces the glass transition temperature (<em>T</em>­<sub>g</sub>) from 110 °C (PS) to ~17 °C (H<sub>2</sub>-P4PCP) and remains amorphous; this makes our system prone to improved softening and flexibility at ambient temperatures. Furthermore, due to the precise and diluted spacing of the phenyl branches, we envisioned that the full sulfonation (i.e. one sulfonate functionality per phenyl branch) of this polymer would create a new materials that rivals PSS due to the enhanced flexibility of the native polymer. Here it should be noted that ethylene and styrene monomers can be copolymerized to form ethylene-styrene copolymers (for example Dow INDEX ESI Interpolymers), however, the catalysts used are complex, styrene incorporation is not precise, and it is very difficult to achieve high styrene content due to the differences in reactivity between ethylene and styrene. </p>