SOURCE: Advanced Energy Conversion

April 04, 2007 17:10 ET

Advanced Energy Conversion Wins NASA Tech Briefs Design Award

Integrated Motor/Pump Wins Grand Prize

MALTA, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 4, 2007 -- Advanced Energy Conversion, LLC (AEC) announced today that its integrated motor/pump has been selected from over 1000 entries to win the Grand Prize in the Emhart-NASA Tech Briefs "Design the Future" contest. The prize, a 2007 Toyota Prius hybrid, will be awarded at a ceremony in New York City on April 23.

In conventional electrically driven pumps, the pump and motor are each contained within their own housing and connected through a shaft. The AEC integrated pump provides for the dual use of parts by integrating the rotor of the electric motor with the impeller of the pump in a common housing. In addition, substantially improved fluid handling performance is achieved from the controllable flow capability of the pump design. The tight coupling between the motor and the pump facilitates substantial changes in how fluid handling systems are implemented.

The patented AEC integrated motor/pump design includes the following elements:

--  A power dense electric motor that is efficient and capable of
    controlled operation over a wide speed range
--  Substantially improved thermal performance of the motor due to direct
    cooling of the windings
--  Reduced physical size by combining the motor and the pump in a single
    housing
--  Reduced motor size.  By putting the windings in close contact with the
    fluid, the heat in the windings is efficiently removed reducing the size of
    the motor.
--  Reduced part count
--  Improved reliability
--  Reduced manufacturing cost
    
This innovative design uses 30-40% fewer parts and is more compact, more efficient, and less expensive than traditional designs.

Additional benefits can also be realized in specific applications. For example, in vehicle cooling systems:

--  Radiator size can be reduced through better thermal performance from
    the controlled flow pump
--  Parasitic energy losses are reduced by the elimination of the coolant
    system drive belts
--  Smaller bearings can be used with reduced wear through the elimination
    of side loads for the electrically driven pump
    
Initial funding for the integrated motor/pump was partially provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the United States Department of Energy.

AEC is in discussions with several companies interested in the integrated motor/pump's features for a wide variety of applications, from vehicle cooling systems, to swimming pool circulating pumps and HVAC systems. AEC is also exploring use of this technology as an integrated turbine/generator for capturing energy that would otherwise be wasted in industrial processes, wastewater systems, and public water supplies.

About Advanced Energy Conversion

Advanced Energy Conversion, LLC (AEC) is an engineering company with expertise in developing systems solutions using power electronics, embedded controls, and mechatronics. Founded in 1997, AEC grew out of the electric power engineering program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. AEC finds solutions to market-based problems by improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions, and increasing functionality.

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