Notable Technology Development Award Given to Inventors of Flexible Magnetic Flux Probe
Written by: Emily Quinn
Samantha Zhang, Technology Transfer Coordinator and Jim Dehaan, Electrical Engineer at Reclamation received the Notable Technology Development Award at FLC MC’s Regional Meeting and Award Event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.Reclamation recently received a Notable Technology Development Award recognizing new technologies designed to serve the common good. The award was given by the Federal Laboratory Consortium Mid-Continent (FLC MC) for the Flexible Magnetic Flux Probe. The inventors of the Flux Probe are Jim Dehaan, Malin Jacobs and Bert Milano. Jim Dehaan accepted the award at the FLC MC’s Regional Meeting and Award Event in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 14, 2016.
Electricity is generated by exposing coils of wire to a fluctuating magnetic field (or flux). The amount of electricity generated depends on, among other things, the strength of the magnetic field created by the electromagnets. The electromagnets themselves consist of many loops of electricity-carrying insulated wire wound around an iron core to create magnetic poles. With age, the insulation deteriorates; short circuits develop in the windings, and the magnetic field strength declines which reduces electricity generation. Eventually, this could lead to an extended shutdown of the generator in order to rewire the rotor.
Dehaan, Jacobs, and Milano are part of Reclamation’s Hydropower Technical Services Group which developed and patented (#6466009) a flexible magnetic flux probe that detects deteriorating insulation in large-scale spinning electrical generators preventing failure as well as expensive repairs and replacements. The inexpensive, small, flat, light, and flexible probe accurately measures the magnetic flux, and can be mounted in the air gap without rotor removal or shutdown. The probe design is very thin, allowing easy installation into the air gap. If the probe comes loose during generator operation, the flexible substrate will not damage the generator. Reclamation has a non-exclusive license agreement with Iris Power LP, and has already sold over 200 of these probes.
Federal technology transfer legislation authorizes federal agencies, the private sector, and other non-federal entities to work together in developing innovations that can be broadly used. The Technology Transfer Program is a part of the Research and Development Office at Reclamation. It helps ensure that Reclamation’s research reaches the users in the most effective way possible, via information dissemination or intellectual property protection. Most of Reclamation’s technologies are transferred through public dissemination, while others require partnering with the private sector to develop, mass produce, and commercialize the technology into market-ready products. If an industry partner is needed to transfer the technology into a market-ready product, Reclamation uses the authorities available under federal technology transfer legislation to protect ideas and technologies, as needed, and form research and licensing partnerships with U.S. manufacturing industries. Reclamation’s Technology Transfer Program implements these authorities on behalf of Reclamation.
If you see any of the Flexible Magnetic Flux Probe’s inventors walking in the hallways, be sure to congratulate them on their excellent work while developing this important technology.
Flexible Magnetic Flux Probe is being installed into large electrical generators
Flexible Magnetic Flux Probe’s size is comparable to a penny so it can be easily installed into large electrical generators
Published on November 07, 2016