Wyoming Patent of the Month – November 2020
Energy is a hot topic across the world today. People are concerned about its use, environmental effects, and especially its cost. Some areas have introduced peak-demand periods with higher pricing for energy use. With this in mind, accurately measuring energy use is critical. Both the companies and the people want this measurement to be accurate. Nobody wants to pay more than they should.
Orison, Inc. began looking at ways to measure energy use in circuit breakers and realized that the current methods are either inaccurate, difficult to use, or expensive. So they brought a new idea to the table which just might fix all of these problems. Using integrated vector magnetometers (sensors), they can detect the magnetic field from the conductive path in a circuit breaker and its output load wire. Collected data is sent to a processor which determines the current carried. The final result lets the user know the estimated current measurement so that the system can adjust or manage its input/output. The design is even adaptable to various types of circuit boards with small modifications.
How is this current measuring device different?
Modern ammeters are built into the circuit series. But they always introduce some amount of resistance leading to a voltage drop. Clamps and coils are connected to the circuit. They can only measure AC currents , since a DC current would magnetize the iron core and result in an inaccurate energy reading. Further, the clamps and coils have to be positioned precisely to be accurate, and require access to the wire to be measured.
Orison’s current measurement device can be placed on top of a circuit breaker and does not require direct contact with the current. They are separate devices which can adhere to the breakers for measurement. The magnetometers used are low cost, don’t interfere with the current being measured, and interact with AC and DC currents.
Overall, Orison may have found a cost effective alternative to measure energy use accurately.
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