KCF Technologies has been awarded Phase II of a Small Business Innovation Research project to tap waste electromagnetic energy on the U.S. Navy's most modern class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines and "harvest" it instead to perform other crucial functions on these state-of-the-art ships. The base contract is valued at $749,907.92 with an option of $249,932.81.
Advanced energy harvesting powered wireless sensors promise to reduce system costs by eliminating wiring and batteries, and making it possible to make system maintenance and replacement decisions based on continuous assessment of their condition as they operate, rather than based on arbitrary maintenance timetables. A successful implementation of magnetic field energy harvesting technology lays the foundation for a wide range of energy-harvesting applications, including temperature sensors in electrical motors and generators, power line sag sensors, and electrical power usage monitoring sensors.
Follow-on applications will expand the deployment of wireless sensors on Navy shipboard and submarine systems for health monitoring, advanced detection, and manpower reduction. Since the potential commercial markets for these services dwarf those of submarines alone, these wireless sensors will serve as an essential means to reduce production costs in many industrial applications in addition to those in the Department of Defense.
"The development effort will be highly experimental," states KCF Technologies President Jeremy Frank, "and will yield several improved versions of increasingly refined hardware before we arrive at technical solutions that will meet the Navy's needs."
The company's two-year plan will conclude with an energy harvester-powered wireless sensor demonstration under simulated real world conditions. The six-month Phase II option covers the research and development needed to turn mature prototype technology into working devices ready for production and operation on U.S. submarines.
KCF Technologies are exhibiting at Energy Harvesting & Storage and Wireless Networks & RTLS, November 15-16 2011, Boston, USA
Source: KCF Technologies
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