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An Advanced Extreme Environment Wireless Telemetry System for Turbine Blade Instrumentation
Keywords: Wireless, Telemetry, SiC
As advanced natural gas power generation systems evolve, the thrust for increased efficiencies and reduced emissions results in increasingly harsh conditions inside the turbine environment. These high temperatures, pressures, and corrosive atmospheres result in accelerated rates of degradation, leading to failure of turbine materials and components. Wolfspeed, A Cree Company, the University of Arkansas (UA), and Siemens, in collaboration with the DoEs National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), are developing a reliable and long-term monitoring capability in the turbine hot gas path in the form of novel ceramic-based thermocouples and integrated wide band gap instrumentation electronics that will contribute to the overall reliability of gas turbines. When equipped with better monitoring and controls, power plants can operate with increased fuel-burning efficiency, improved process dynamics and gas concentrations, and increased overall longevity of the power plant components. This will result in increased turbine availability and a reduction in outages and maintenance costs. The technology being developed in this program is based upon advanced techniques and innovations in multiple aspects of high temperature electronics, including materials, subcomponents, semiconductors, electronic packaging, and system integration. The efforts are focused on thermal spray process to develop high temperature ceramic thermocouples with 1400 C capability. The environment in which this wireless system must operate has continuous g- loads on the order of 16,000g, and temperatures exceeding 400 C. A significant effort is being made in wide bandgap integrated circuits (ICs) being developed for extreme temperature operation, as well as the supporting electronics packaging around these devices. The developed technologies of sensors and wireless telemetry will be interfaced for signal conditioning and transmission in a test spin rig. Finally, this paper will highlight the future direction of the instrumentation system evolution, with a final objective of insertion into Siemens natural gas turbine power plants.
John Fraley, Development Engineering Manager
Wolfspeed, A Cree Company
Fayetteville, AR
United States


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