SBIR Phase I: Proposal for Research into Low-Cost Distributed Wireless Sensing of Operational Condition in Industrial Electric Motors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$148K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Energizing Solutions, Inc
6326 Beach Drive SW
Seattle, WA 98136
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This SBIR Phase I research proposal proposes research to develop an ultra-compact, low cost system for wirelessly monitoring motors that will cost manufacturers less than $300/ motor to implement. The research will leverage existing patent-pending energy-efficient algorithms for determining motor condition based on vibration and temperature data to develop wireless nodes capable of autonomously determining the condition of any motor to which they are attached. The research will result in a prototype system of wireless nodes implemented at an industrial partner, which will provide the necessary incentive for future investment in the company and technology. The broader impact of this research will be to enable a wireless system to facilitate condition-based maintenance of electric motors in industrial facilities at a cost of less than $300 per motor to manufacturers, which is about 10% of the cost of current systems. At this price point, tens of thousands of facilities around the United States will be able to afford the initial investment to implement condition-based maintenance on their motor systems. Since condition-based maintenance has been shown to maximize up-time and minimize yearly maintenance costs, this will increase the competitiveness of American manufacturing and ultimately help create more manufacturing sector jobs. Additionally, the prototype system produced as a result of the research will provide an important proof-of-concept for low-cost, low-power wireless sensor nodes that should help spur future development and investment in this field, which is in turn instrumental for the development of "smart grids", "smart cities", and other intelligent infrastructure.