Besides continuing making progress in the project, FAST-SMART consortium has a continuous roadmapping activity during the project life to monitor the state of the art of the scientific and technological developments and applications in the fields relevant to the project, which is to ensure, by the end of the project, our progress is still beyond the state of the art in both smart materials, structures and systems for energy harvesting applications.
Typically, the following state-of-the-art results are expected to be produced until the end of the project: (i). high-quality, high performance and low-cost nano, lead-free piezoelectric materials and nano-structured thermoelectric materials, together with upscaled hydrothermal synthesis process with controlled stoichiometry and high-energy ball mining process with high processing efficiency; (ii). Fast sintering and forming processes and machine system for binder-free electrical-field activated sintering and micro/nano-forming for nano-structured smart materials; (iii). High-ion-current-density magnetron sputtering for increasing ZT value of thermoelectric (TE) elements and for obtaining optimum diffusion stability, novel Ni and Cu based nanocomposite coatings with graphene/graphene oxide for increasing thermal & electrical conductivity and for reducing interface resistance in TE module assembly, and PVD CrSi/CrSi(O) coatings on the TE elements for high temperature oxidation protection; (iv). CVD coating of Magnesium silicide (MgSi) on Carbon nanotube (CNT) thermoelectric nanofibers for flexible thermoelectric materials; (v). New generation, nonlinear structure piezoelectric energy harvesters with robust architecture drastically enlarging power density and bandwidth, Hybrid solar panels combining photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric electricity generation with smart thermal management, and a new energy harvesting system for hybrid powered vehicles increasing both the electric motor power density and inverter power density. These will be demonstrated with their capability of supporting IoT implementations.
Technologically, the consortium will demonstrate new material technologies and new energy harvesting technology towards more reliable and low-cost applications. Technological barriers identified for RE-free energy harvesting materials and product manufacturing and implementation as well as reducing manufacturing cost will be overcome by the proposed developments, which will represent a significant technological advance in this field.
Scientifically, the consortium will develop further understandings of: (i). fundamentals concerning materials synthesis for lead-free Piezoelectric (PE) materials and Hf-free half-heusler alloy Thermoelectric (TE) materials; (ii). mechanisms of FAST sintering of PE/TE nano-materials and structures; (iii). effects of nano-structured superlattice films, graphene or graphene oxide coating and PVD CrSi/CrSi(O) coatings on TE module performance and processing efficiency; and (iv). mechanical-electrical and thermo-electrical dynamics properties of energy harvesting devices. These will lead to enhancement to the existing theory in the relevant fields.
Socially and economically, the FAST-SAMRT’s developments have great innovation potential, exampled by its high-quality and low-cost materials, high-efficiency micro-manufacturing processes and novel and robust energy harvesting products. The market perspectives concerning relevant materials, manufacturing services and products, are also high, which could lead to significant economic gains for its participants and future collaborators. Due to the development of more robust, flexible, efficient and low-cost energy harvesting technology and products directly applicable to IoT/DSM related uses, being supported by a series of enabling technologies and manufacturing facilities, it is expected that the FAST-SMART’s effort will help to speed up applications of networked wireless sensors nodes in Europe in almost all the sectors and domestic uses for a wide range of purposes, ranging from transport system monitoring, natural disaster warning, through factory/building management, to domestic energy provision and personal travelling, etc. At the same time, the deployment of the new materials, highly efficient processing technologies and energy harvesting devices would also lead to significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reduction of hazardous wastes in relation to the sustainable energy supplies.