Interest in Electronics
Sparks Pathway to Power Efficiency
The students in New Rochelle High School’s Science Research Program explore a dazzling range of topics under the mentorship of experts from some of the top institutions of learning and exploration. Students’ projects will regularly be featured in this Newsletter.
Student: Anthony D’Amato, junior
Mentor: Sendyne Corp. CEO John Milios
Anthony D’Amato always has been interested in electronics. His interest in electronic power systems (specifically lithium-ion batteries) led him to develop a project for New Rochelle High School’s Science Research program involving these batteries and current measurement systems.
The goal of the project was to quantify factors that could cause interference in electric current measurements, especially with direct current (DC) measurements.
“DC current measurements are crucial in many applications we interact with in our daily lives, such as data centers and electric vehicles,” D’Amato explained. “DC current measurements are often inaccurate, which means many devices we rely on daily cannot operate at their full potential.”
With his project, D’Amato wanted to track factors that could result in decreased measurement accuracy so they could be corrected in future measurements, ensuring more efficient operation of DC devices.
To do this, D’Amato focused on “shunts,” a type of DC measuring device. He aimed to quantify the Seebeck Effect, which causes a voltage difference across conductors when a temperature difference is present in a shunt, a device that creates paths for electric currents to follow.
D’Amato built a module that would heat one side of the shunt while dissipating heat from the other side. The goal was to simulate operating conditions of shunts with regard to their temperatures. The experiments achieved temperature differences of 5, 10, 20 degrees Celsius across the shunt. He measured the corresponding thermoelectric voltage for each temperature differential, and then converted the value of that voltage to a Seebeck coefficient, a way of representing the Seebeck Effect.
Based on the results of 12 tests, D’Amato created a graph that can predict Seebeck coefficients at any temperature differential across the shunt.
D’Amato views his experience as being quite influential for his future.
“Having the experience of working in a lab setting in a field that I’m passionate about will have an amazing impact on my future,” he said. “I learned a lot during the experience and I see myself utilizing that knowledge throughout university and my future career.”