By Andy Choi
The Cranston, RI-based Electro Standards Laboratories has announced the development of a technology that can be applied to power remote sensor systems. The high density energy storage features ultra-capacitor modules, hybrid batteries and ultra-capacitors.
To transmit data, certain sensor systems require constant low level monitoring with high energy bursts. Instances include powering of sensor systems present in isolated energy harvesting buoys where linear generators are embedded to obtain heave energy from ocean waves. This accumulated energy can power sensors for extended periods of time as the obtained energy is continually restocked.
By applying optimized generators developed for underwater use, Electro Standards Laboratories aims to harvest the energy from undersea currents. To maximize the harvesting of the energy from the source, advanced algorithms for electric motor control will be used to tune the controls of the underwater generators. The algorithms developed will also depend on the servo control of AC machines developed by Electro Standards. This feature will aid in parameter estimation for prognostics and motor diagnostics as well as adaptive control over environmental changes. Power management systems have been designed for battery and hybrid electric management, following the sensorless control design of the AC motors.
The developed technology will be applied to commercial applications that include emergency beacons for watercrafts and offshore rig-monitoring buoys used in oil and gas exploration. Scaling up of the remote technology will provide an unlimited source of electrical energy that can be used to power large systems.