|MIT Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Asegun Henry
Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
My name is Tobi Majekodunmi, and I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). At UMBC, I am in the 31st cohort of Meyerhoff Scholars, a USM LSAMP Research Fellow, and a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). After the completion of my undergraduate degree, I plan to earn a PhD in mechanical engineering. I intend to research energy storage solutions for renewables to reduce the global dependence on fossil fuels and ensure a sustainable world for future generations. Furthermore, I aspire to integrate these solutions into society through academic entrepreneurship, at the crossroads between academia and industry. In my free time, I enjoy reading, enjoying the outdoors, biking, and skateboarding.
Development of a Heat Flux sensor for High Heat Flux Environments
Tobi Majekodunmi1, Alina LaPotin2, Asegun Henry3
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
2, 3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
One of the primary barriers to the widespread use of renewable energy is the lack of means to store excess energy for later use (e.g., solar panels do not generate energy at night). The Atomistic Simulation and Energy Research Group at MIT is developing an energy storage system that leverages the principles of heat transfer to store vast amounts of energy—Thermal Energy Grid Storage (TEGS). In TEGS, electrical energy is converted into thermal energy, which is conserved using insulation, and subsequently converted into electrical energy by thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells. To measure the efficiency of the TPV cells, you must know the amount of heat absorbed by the cells. The heat absorbed can be measured using a heat flux sensor (HFS), however, commercially available HFSs possess a high thermal resistance, which causes an increase in the TPV cell’s temperature that leads to a decrease in its efficiency. This project’s goal was to develop a HFS with a low thermal resistance. Using the Seebeck effect (the voltage a material develops based on the temperature difference between two points), we explored the use of direct bond copper, silicon, and a thermopile configuration of nickel, copper, and aluminum oxide as potential HFSs.