Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC) and Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc. (APEI) (Fayetteville, AR) are developing a thermal energy harvesting solution for a wireless sensor system to monitor the health of bearings in turbine engines. The energy harvester is based on Nextreme's Thermobility wireless power generation platform and will be integrated into APEI's high-temperature wireless sensor electronics package.
The turbine health management system will allow for detection, diagnosis, and prognosis of problems occurring within an engine bearing assembly.
Some of the most mechanically stressed components within turbine engines include the bearing assemblies. Real-time monitoring of temperature, vibration, strain, and pressure can provide critical information on the health of bearings for both aircraft turbines as well as power generation systems. By analyzing data from these systems, engine maintenance will not be required until the sensor shows it is necessary, rather than at regularly scheduled intervals, thereby saving time and money.