South Dakota Patent of the Month – August 2022

When AC motor driven devices are started up there is a sudden inrush of electrical current. This is called a hard start and is known to cause unsafe and unpleasant user experiences. Have you ever turned something on only to have the lights dim? That’s one common effect but others include the wear and tear of the motor driven devices, tripping circuit breakers, and potential harm.

Raymond Innovations, LLC knew there had to be a better way … a softer way. So they designed the world’s first single phase, “just-plug-it-in” aftermarket soft starter. The design creates a slow ramp up of energy which means a longer equipment life and improved safety. The devices limit the large inrush of current from the motor’s startup, creating a slower and more gentle process to achieve full speed.

The company has recently been awarded a patent for their soft starter design. High-current electric devices are addressed using an inrush current limiting circuit built from a PCB and a microcontroller to control the electrical inputs and outputs. The current limiting circuit allows a slow increase in voltage and current over time from the electrical input to the output. This slow increase is controlled by a current sensor and the microcontroller. While this is an innovation in and of itself, the company constantly strives to expand their product lineups to offer more features and improved performance.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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