NOX AND AMMONIA SENSORS
Strict limits are being placed on nitrogen oxide emissions as emission laws and regulations are becoming increasingly stringent. These requirements are creating a worldwide need for better NOX sensor products for both transportation and industrial markets. To meet this demand, NTM Sensors has developed a new NOX sensing technology that leverages a unique electro-catalytic effect to rapidly and selectively measure NOX in combustion exhaust streams. This NOX sensor technology enables accurate quantification of NOX emissions at low concentrations (< 10 ppm) with response time less than 200 milliseconds – a capability that is particularly enabling for improved closed-loop emissions monitoring in diesel engine exhaust after-treatment systems. Additionally, our sensor technology offers the potential to dual sense ammonia emissions, providing the opportunity to quantify both NOX and ammonia slip from Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR) after-treatment systems in a single sensor device.
NTM Sensors has established an application-ready sensor element, configured for assembly in automotive exhaust sensor style packaging. Its simple design structure with no air reference requirement for low cost and ease of packaging makes it ideal for incorporating into vehicles and other products. To meet needs of various markets, we have also developed a prototype package. This package provides a wiring harness and an electronic controller to enable stand-alone evaluation of our sensor technology in gas bench, engine dynamometer, or industrial combustion exhaust applications.
LITHIUM-ION BATTERY MONITORING SYSTEM
Nexceris (NTM Sensors’ parent-company) is developing a new product designed to make advanced lithium ion battery systems safer and more reliable. The risk of explosion due to defective or damaged batteries has led to an increasing need for fast and reliable detectors capable of monitoring the health of these battery systems. Sensor technology exists today that can detect electrical and temperature changes in lithium-ion battery cells that are indicators of a potential safety threat. However, they do not provide enough diagnostic information to prevent catastrophic failure in some circumstances. Nexceris has developed new sensor technology, aimed at adding additional layers of information to improve monitoring the health of lithium ion battery systems. Unlike traditional battery health monitoring methods, the Nexceris technology does not require installation at the individual cell level, but can be installed to measure battery packs or system enclosures, significantly reducing cost and simplifying implementation.
BATTERY HEALTH MONITORS
Battery health monitoring is an industry of its own that focuses on a variety of measurements on the battery cells in order to ensure batteries within a system are operating at optimum levels. NTM Sensors has identified that precision gas sensors could be a more effective way to monitor battery health, as well as a great addition to current monitoring systems. Low (parts per million) level gas detection can be an early indicator of an issue within a battery prior to thermal runaway and before electrical resistance measurements would detect a problem. The development efforts of NTM Sensors have shown that precision gas monitoring can be an early indicator of possible thermal events. Furthermore, shutting down the system upon gas detection has also allowed for recovery of the battery within the system without having to replace that cell. Continued development is needed to further quantify the benefits of gas monitoring.
Hydrogen sulfide gas is a known poison to fuel cell systems and is present in natural gas, JP-8 logistics fuel and other hydrocarbon fuels that may be used in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) applications.
NTM Sensors has developed a unique sensor technology for measuring H2S concentrations at parts per billion levels directly in high temperature reducing gas streams. Leveraging an electrochemical sensing mechanism, NTM Sensors’ H2S sensor technology rapidly detects H2S in high temperature reformed fuel streams of SOFCs, enabling accurate and selective in situ quantification of H2S at temperatures as high as 800 °C in widely varying fuel streams and reforming methods. Located downstream of a desulfurizer system, the H2S sensor offers rapid detection of sulfur breakthrough. Closed-loop regeneration strategies can be developed with this sensor technology for improved system efficiency and long term durability. Key features of the H2S sensor technology include:
- H2S sensitivity at concentrations < 1 ppm H2S in reformed hydrocarbon fuel streams
- In situ detection capability at gas temperatures from room temperature to 800 °C
- Applicability over a wide range of reforming approaches, including steam, auto thermal, and CPOX reforming
- Low cross-sensitivity to background gas constituents including H2O, CO, and H2
NTM Sensors has established a pre-production prototype sensor element and robust high temperature package with electronic controller to enable stand-alone evaluation of the sensor technology in gas bench, fuel reformer, or fuel cell system test configurations.
Transformer Health Monitoring
The presence of dissolved hydrogen in electrical transformer oil is a key indicator of multiple issues within a transformer that could lead to failure. NTM Sensors has devoted development efforts to detecting hydrogen within the headspace gas of transformer oil as a measurement of transformer health. The sensor can be installed on the transformer for continuous monitoring, or used to analyze oil samples as part of a preventative maintenance plan or for diagnostic purposes. NTM Sensors’ selective hydrogen sensor technology is a good fit for transformer health monitoring applications with a focus on cost effective monitoring to service smaller transformers that would benefit from continuous monitoring. The finished devices are still being developed in order to meet the market niche for transformer health monitoring on a wide variety of transformer sizes and locations.