U.S. Department of Energy Selects PARC to Develop Harsh Environment Adaptable Thermionic (HEAT) Sensor

Press Release

Palo Alto, CA – PARC, a Xerox company, today announced it has signed a $1.8 million contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and demonstrate PARC’s Harsh Environment Adaptable Thermionic (HEAT) sensor monitoring platform for long-term operation in environments with 750°C – 1600°C temperatures, pressures up to 1000 psi, and gaseous environments consisting of hydrocarbons, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, SOx, and NOx.

The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory set out to find innovative research and development of novel sensor and control systems for use in advanced power generation environments. New sensor and control technology will facilitate the attainment of the goals of high efficiency, near zero emissions, and effective carbon capture for next-generation power generation technologies.

“When looking to gain insight into high temperature, high pressure, and potentially combustible environments, such as gasifiers, it’s very difficult to find the right combination of materials and wiring that won’t perish or compromise the safety and integrity of the system,” said Robie Lewis, Federal Project Manager at the Crosscutting Research Division of National Energy Technology Laboratory, a DOE laboratory funding and managing this project. “Given its long history and experience in developing grid-less field sensors, along with its fabrication facilities, design expertise, and test capabilities, we believe PARC is well suited to carry out this important project.”

PARC is developing the HEAT sensor platform that works in harsh environments with the capability to harvest its own energy, leverage embedded high temperature electronics, and emit wireless signals, so the actual conditions of these environments can be regularly monitored in real time, something that up until now has been impossible to do.

“PARC has been innovating novel sensors, systems, and materials for use under extreme conditions, having built sensors that can operate within the harsh environments of batteries to improve the effectiveness and safety of electric vehicles and grid storage systems,” said Saroj Sahu, PARC Principal Engineer and project lead.

“PARC’s business model is perfectly aligned with the DOE’s interests to achieve success through the transition of the HEAT sensor technology to the commercial market with the widest possible adoption, especially when thinking about sensing power plants, propulsion engines, and aerospace structures,” said Scott Elrod, Vice President of PARC’s Hardware Systems Lab. “PARC will leverage this joint investment to develop a quality technical solution that will also be economically attractive.  We’ll work with leading market partners to transition this important capability into the marketplace.”

About PARC
PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the research that enables breakthroughs for our clients’ businesses.

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