POWER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SEDIMENT MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS IN HIGH POWER AND CONTINUOUS POWER APPLICATIONS
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The objective of this dissertation was to develop power management systems (PMS) for sediment microbial fuel cells (SFMCs) for high power and continuous applications. The first part of this dissertation covers a new method for testing the performance of SMFCs. This device called the microbial fuel cell tester was developed to automatically test power generation of PMS.The second part focuses on a PMS capable of delivering high power in burst mode. This means that for a small amount of time a large amount of power up to 2.5 Watts can be delivered from a SMFC only generating mW level power.The third part is aimed at developing a multi-potentiostat laboratory tool that measures the performance at fixed cell potentials of microbial fuel cells so that I can optimize them for use with the PMS. This tool is capable of controlling the anode potential or cathode potential and measuring current of six separate SMFCs simultaneously. By operating multiple potentiostats, I was able to run experiments that find ideal operating conditions for the sediment microbial fuel cells, and also I can optimize the power management system for these conditions.The fourth part of the dissertation is targeting a PMS that was able to operate a sensor continuously which was powered by an SMFC. In pervious applications involving SMFCs, the PMS operated in batch mode. In this PMS, the firmware on the submersible ultrasonic receiver (SUR) was modified for use with my PMS. This integration of PMS and SUR allowed for the continuous operation of the SUR without using a battery.Finally, the last part of the dissertation recommends a scale-up power management system to overcome the linearity scale up issue of SMFCs as future work. Concluding remarks are also added to summarize the goal and focus of this dissertation.