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Self-Sustainable Smart Electrical Current Sensors and Condition Monitors for Smart Safe Cities and Living

Technology Overview

This is a groundbreaking proprietary technology on “Self-sustainable Smart Electrical Current Sensors (SsSECSs)” and their “Energy-harvesting Self-powered Wireless Electrical Condition Monitors (EhSpWECMs)” for safeguarding electrical assets, enabling smart and safe cities, and promoting good-quality living environments. Electricity is the lifeblood of modern cities and people living. To ensure proper delivery of electricity to where it needs to be as well as an adequate utilization of the delivered electricity by the users, it is very crucial to have a loyal and safe guard to continuously monitor the activities of electricity transport and utilization under harsh operating environments and conditions involving high voltages, currents, powers, and/or strong electromagnetic fields. This critically challenging job can now be loyally, safely, and conveniently performed by the SsSECSs and EhSpWECMs without the needs of external power supplies, signal conditioners, and/or other active/sensitive auxiliaries to sustain their operations. The real-life and critical problems in wiring power cords and signal cables as well as in shutting down all powers during installation, commissioning, and maintenance of traditional current sensors such as Hall sensors, current transformers, etc. can be readily resolved. Specifically, SsSECSs can be simply placed on any sensing point of interest such as electrical cables, conductors, junctions, bus bars, etc. to detect electrical currents and temperatures while harvesting wasted environmental energies for use in EhSpWECMs, thereby directly improving the safety, reliability, and availability of electrical assets as well as realizing a smarter and safer city for better living.

Technology Features & Specifications

· The sensing chip of SsSECSs and energy-harvesting chip of EhSpWECMs measure only a few millimeters in thickness. · The chip directly detects magnetic energy generated by electricity in linear conversion. · The sensors can be customized to detect temperature change. · System installation is convenient without the need to shut down the power system and maintenance system. More importantly, SsSECSs are simple, totally passive, and capable of producing large and clear output voltage signals which are 2,000 times higher than traditional current sensors for real-time, self-sustainable, and nonstop monitoring of the health of electrical assets. SsSECSs can also be tailored to harvest wasted electromagnetic radiation emitted by the electrical assets being monitored and to turn them into useful electrical energy. The stored electrical energy can be used to power microcontrollers, displays, wireless transmitters, etc., further advancing SsSECSs into EhSpWECMs. The figures of merit include: 1) Passive sensing nature (requires no external power supply or signal conditioner as conventional devices do) 2) Energy harvesting capability (does not need external power for functioning and is thus self- sustainable) 3) Large output signal strength (>100 mV/Oe) 4) High detection sensitivity (2.5 kOe) 6) Wide operational frequency range (>1 MHz) 7) High temperature stability (>150 °C) 8) Tailorable properties and geometry 9) Simple structure, cost-effective, reliable, safe andease of use

Potential Applications

Primary application area: Sensor and condition monitoring markets for electrical power systems, renewable energy systems, electrified transportation systems, smart buildings,telecommunication systems, biomedical systems, environmental and energy aware products/systems, automation and precision equipment, etc. Other application areas: 1) Magnetic field sensing in manufacturing equipment and machines, electric motors, electric generators, tagging, etc.; 2) Rotational speed sensing in magnetic wheels, gears, etc.; 3) Tunable magnetoelectric transducers, resonators, filters, switches, etc. Estimated market size: >$20 billion The SsSECSs and EhSpWECMs have ever been tested in electrical traction systems on trains in both Hong Kong and Singapore to provide in-situ monitoring of traction conditions and to detect electrical faults that may bring train services to a halt. The benefits of the passive-sensing, energy-harvesting, self-powered, wireless sensor innovation go well beyond these advantages. For example, the SsSECSs and EhSpWECMs can now reach hard-to-access locations such as rails, tunnels, high-rises, underground premises, meter rooms, etc., where hardwired power cords and signal cables are either impossible or not cost effective. Another example is that the technology allows a quick detection of malfunctions of ventilation fans inside tunnels, reducing the need of tunnel services suspension.

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