Flow chart, graphic and line graph side by side: Direct-Write Printed Sensor Development for Refrigerant Leak Detection.

Direct-write printed sensor development for refrigerant leak detection.

Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, TN
DOE Total Funding: $100,000
Project Term: October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2019
Funding Type: Lab Award

Project Objective

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a low-cost refrigerant sensor through a combination of direct-write printing and pulse thermal photonic processing to address refrigerant leakage. Direct-write printing of low-cost refrigerant sensors employing high throughput and roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques will define a path toward direct and continuous monitoring of refrigerant leakage. These two approaches can overcome thermal barriers for plastic integration.

Refrigerant sensor development will take into consideration sensitivity/selectivity, response time, reliability, system integration, and cost. Sensitivity, selectivity, and power consumption will dictate synergistic integration on a multifunctional sensor platform. Low-cost is critical for widespread deployment of the sensor in areas where refrigerant leakage will concentrate.

Project Impact

Refrigerant leakage is the most frequent fault in a refrigeration system. Annual leakage in commercial refrigeration systems can vary from an average of 11% up to 30% in some cases. This project will address this issue through advanced sensors and controls. A low-cost refrigerant sensor can enable a higher concentration of environmentally friendly refrigerants.


DOE Technology Manager: Antonio Bouza
Lead Performer: Pooran Joshi, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Publications

Publication: "A novel strategy to purify conductive polymer particles." D. Spence, G. Polizos, P. Joshi, and J. Sharma, RSC Advances 9, no. 9: 4857-4861, 2019.

Invention Disclosure: NUMBER: S-138,840. “A Novel Strategy to Purify the Conductive Polymer Particles,” J. K. Sharma, P. C. Joshi, and D. R. Spence.