Patents by Inventor Jorge V. Carvajal

Jorge V. Carvajal has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11127507
    Abstract: A sensor system for a fuel rod including a fuel pellet stack, the sensor system including a wireless interrogator disposed outside the fuel rod and a passive sensor component disposed within the fuel rod. The passive sensor component includes a receiver structured to receive an interrogation signal and output an excitation signal in response to receiving the interrogation signal, a reference transmitter structured to output a reference signal to the reference receiver in response to the excitation signal, a sensing transmitter structured to output a sensing signal to the sensing receiver in response to the excitation signal, and a core at least partially disposed within the sensing transmitter and coupled to move in conjunction with expansion or contraction of the fuel pellet stack, to move based on changes in pressure within the fuel rod, or to change temperature based on temperature changes within the fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Arndt, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Patent number: 11094423
    Abstract: A method that provides a more direct indication of peak fuel rod centerline temperature and peak fuel rod clad temperature than conventionally inferred from the power distribution by directly and continuously measuring the fuel temperatures of the fuel pellets in one or more of the hottest fuel elements in the core. The peak fuel rod clad temperature is then obtained from the maximum measured peak fuel rod centerline temperature in combination with the maximum coolant core exit temperature and the minimum coolant flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford, Jeffrey L. Arndt
  • Publication number: 20210210233
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2020
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. CARVAJAL, Jeffrey L. ARNDT, Shawn C. STAFFORD, Melissa M. HEAGY, John R. ABEL, II, Emre TATLI
  • Publication number: 20210210232
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pure and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2020
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. CARVAJAL, Jeffrey L. ARNDT, Shawn C. STAFFORD
  • Patent number: 11011280
    Abstract: A system that measures the temperature distribution of the reactor coolant flowing through the hot leg or cold leg pipes by measuring the speed of sound time delay. This concept uses radiation hardened and temperature tolerant ultrasonic signal drivers based on vacuum micro-electronic technology. The system employs ultrasonic signals propagated through water, and relies on the characteristic that the speed of sound changes as the density and temperature of the water changes. Thus, a measured difference in the speed of sound in water may be directly correlated to a temperature change of the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Michael D. Heibel, Nicola G. Arlia, Melissa M. Walter, Robert W. Flammang, Michael A. James, David M. Sumego
  • Publication number: 20210074441
    Abstract: A sensor system for a fuel rod including a fuel pellet stack, the sensor system including a wireless interrogator disposed outside the fuel rod and a passive sensor component disposed within the fuel rod. The passive sensor component includes a receiver structured to receive an interrogation signal and output an excitation signal in response to receiving the interrogation signal, a reference transmitter structured to output a reference signal to the reference receiver in response to the excitation signal, a sensing transmitter structured to output a sensing signal to the sensing receiver in response to the excitation signal, and a core at least partially disposed within the sensing transmitter and coupled to move in conjunction with expansion or contraction of the fuel pellet stack, to move based on changes in pressure within the fuel rod, or to change temperature based on temperature changes within the fuel rod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Publication date: March 11, 2021
    Applicant: Westnghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Arndt, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Publication number: 20200402680
    Abstract: A dry cask storage system for spent nuclear fuel includes a detection apparatus having a resonant electrical circuit, with resonant electrical circuit being situated within an interior region of a metallic vessel wherein the SNF is situated. The detection apparatus includes a transmitter that generates an excitation pulse that causes the resonant circuit to resonate and to generate a response pulse. The resonant circuit includes an inductor that is formed with a core whose magnetic permeability varies with temperature such that the frequency of the resonant circuit varies as a function of temperature. The response pulse is then used to determine the temperature within the interior of the vessel where the SNF is situated. Pressure detection is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Publication date: December 24, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Justin P. Schimidt, Jeffrey L. Amdt, Paul M. Sirianni, Shawn C. Stafford, Kathryn E. Metzger
  • Patent number: 10832825
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford, Melissa M. Heagy, John R. Abel, II, Emre Tatli
  • Publication number: 20200335234
    Abstract: A method and a system for performing real-time, continuous, measurements of the boron concentration in the water entering a nuclear reactor coolant system. The invention utilizes knowledge of the impact that boron contained in liquid water has on the attenuation of acoustic or ultrasonic waves. This information, coupled with radiation damage resistant and high temperature operability capable transmitter and receiver equipment, provides the means to place the measurement system sensors and signal processing electronics on the reactor coolant system charging flow piping or the hot leg or cold leg of the reactor coolant loop. This will allow the reactor operator to directly monitor both the reactor coolant system boron concentration value and detect changes in the reactor coolant system boron concentration relative to a reference value as they occur.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2020
    Publication date: October 22, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. HEIBEL, Jorge V. CARVAJAL, Nicola G. ARLIA, Melissa M. WALTER, Robert W. FLAMMANG, Michael A. JAMES, David M. SUMEGO
  • Patent number: 10811153
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Patent number: 10734125
    Abstract: A vacuum micro-electronics device that utilizes fissile material capable of using the existing neutron leakage from the fuel assemblies of a nuclear reactor to produce thermal energy to power the heater/cathode element of the vacuum micro-electronics device and a self-powered detector emitter to produce the voltage/current necessary to power the anode/plate terminal of the vacuum micro-electronics device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Michael D. Heibel, Lyman J. Petrosky, Tim M. Crede, Robert W. Flammang
  • Patent number: 10734124
    Abstract: A heat pipe assembly of a nuclear apparatus includes a number of elongated heat pipes and a detection system having one or more fiber optic cable assemblies that are elongated and are wrapped in a helical fashion along an exterior surface of one or more of the heat pipes. The detection system further includes an optical signal generator that supplies to each, fiber optic assembly an optical signal and additionally includes a sensor that detects a number of reflections of the optical signal and generates an output. The output is usable by an instrumentation and control system to determine a number of temperatures along one or more of the heat tubes by detecting a temperature at each of a plurality of locations along each fiber optic cable assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Thomas W. Tweedle, Raghu K. Avali, Yasir Arafat, Matthew R. Heisel, Jurie Van Wyk
  • Patent number: 10720253
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for modifying an existing nuclear reactor moveable in-core detector system to insert and withdraw target specimens from a reactor core during reactor operation without practically impeding the moveable in-core detector system's ability to obtain flux maps of the core throughout the reactor's operation. The apparatus provides a separate drive unit and delivery cable that is independent of the detector drive system, but uses most of the same core delivery conduits to access the core. A specimen holder is remotely detachable from the delivery cable when appropriately positioned and can be remotely reattached for withdrawal after a scheduled period of radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Luke D. Czerniak, Melissa M. Heagy, Jorge V. Carvajal, Matthew D. McArdle, Jeffrey J. Taylor, James L. Yankel
  • Patent number: 10714222
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for modifying an existing nuclear reactor moveable in-core detector system to insert and withdraw target specimens from a reactor core during reactor operation without practically impeding the moveable in-core detector system's ability to obtain flux maps of the core throughout the reactor's operation. The apparatus provides a separate drive unit and delivery cable that is independent of the detector drive system, but uses most of the same core delivery conduits to access the core. A specimen holder is remotely detachable from the delivery cable when appropriately positioned and can be remotely reattached for withdrawal after a scheduled period of radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Luke D. Czerniak, Melissa M. Heagy, Jorge V. Carvajal, Matthew D. McArdle, Jeffrey J. Taylor, James L. Yankel
  • Patent number: 10706977
    Abstract: Apparatus for amplifying low level signals within a nuclear plant's containment building, derived from the ex-core nuclear instrumentation system. The system employs vacuum micro-electronic devices in place of conventional pre-amplifier assemblies to position the pre-amplifier assemblies closer to and within the vicinity of the ex-core detector outputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael A. James, Jorge V. Carvajal, Michael D. Heibel, Nicola G. Arlia, Robert W. Flammang, David M. Sumego, Melissa M. Walter
  • Publication number: 20200185116
    Abstract: An enclosure for non-organic electronic components is provided which includes an inner cavity for housing non-organic electronic components and a neutron shielding barrier surrounding the inner cavity and the electronic components housed within the cavity. The barrier is formed from a neutron reflecting material in solid or powdered form and a neutron absorbing material in solid or powdered form. An optional structural support is provided in certain aspects of the enclosure design.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2018
    Publication date: June 11, 2020
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY, LLC
    Inventors: JEFFREY L. ARNDT, JORGE V. CARVAJAL, SHAWN C. STAFFORD, MELISSA M. HEAGY, JOHN R. ABEL, II, ROBERT W. FLAMMANG, MICHAEL R. ICKES
  • Publication number: 20200176138
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for modifying an existing nuclear reactor moveable in-core detector system to insert and withdraw target specimens from a reactor core during reactor operation without practically impeding the moveable in-core detector system's ability to obtain flux maps of the core throughout the reactor's operation. The apparatus provides a separate drive unit and delivery cable that is independent of the detector drive system, but uses most of the same core delivery conduits to access the core. A specimen holder is remotely detachable from the delivery cable when appropriately positioned and can be remotely reattached for withdrawal after a scheduled period of radiation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2020
    Publication date: June 4, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. HEIBEL, Luke D. CZERNIAK, Melissa M. HEAGY, Jorge V. CARVAJAL, Matthew D. MCARDLE, Jeffrey J. TAYLOR, James L. YANKEL
  • Publication number: 20200027598
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Publication date: January 23, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford, Melissa M. Heagy, John R. Abel II, Emre Tatli
  • Publication number: 20200027599
    Abstract: A method that provides a more direct indication of peak fuel rod centerline temperature and peak fuel rod clad temperature than conventionally inferred from the power distribution by directly and continuously measuring the fuel temperatures of the fuel pellets in one or more of the hottest fuel elements in the core. The peak fuel rod clad temperature is then obtained from the maximum measured peak fuel rod centerline temperature in combination with the maximum coolant core exit temperature and the minimum coolant flow rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Publication date: January 23, 2020
    Applicant: Westnghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford, Jeffrey L. Arndt
  • Publication number: 20190385758
    Abstract: In a panel that uses the gamma radiation emitted by fission to produce electrical power, a source of an electrical current is connected to a layer of the panel made of a metal with a relatively high atomic number (Z) that forms an electron emitter. The emitter layer is surrounded by an insulation layer which in turn is surrounded by a relatively low Z value layer for collecting electrons from the emitter. Another layer of insulation and an outer sheath surround the collector. The improved panel may be used for reactor power level and power distribution measurements, and for initiating, maintaining or returning molten salt or metal coolants in the liquid state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Publication date: December 19, 2019
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Paolo Ferroni, Jorge V. Carvajal