Patents Assigned to Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
  • Patent number: 10362000
    Abstract: A method for providing a virtual Wi-Fi network with secure tunnel provisioning is disclosed. The method provides a reliable, persistent connection between wireless communications enabled devices located at a user's premises and a service provider, and includes the steps of using a software code running on a computing device to pass instructions including a remote server address to an Application Programming Interface (API) running on a wireless router connected to the computing device through a Local Area Network (LAN); using the wireless router to establish a secure communication session with the remote server through a Wide Area Network (WAN); receiving at the wireless router through the WAN parameters required to set up a wireless Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN); and using the router, establishing a wireless VLAN at the user's premises and connecting the wireless VLAN to the remote server through the WAN using a secure tunnel connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy Godfrey
  • Patent number: 10243332
    Abstract: A method of replacing pipe-type power cables is disclosed. The method includes the steps of using a pipe cutting rod to burst existing pipe; using an expander to expand soil surrounding the existing pipe to create a path for a new conduit or pipe; pulling the new conduit or pipe into the path created by the expander; and pulling new cables into the conduit or pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiebin Zhao, Jay A. Williams
  • Patent number: 10217533
    Abstract: In general, the present invention is directed to novel nuclear fuel rod claddings that have better performance characteristics compared to current claddings, particularly during a severe accident, such as a loss of coolant accident. The present invention provides a duplex cladding having two layers, an inner Mo or Mo-alloy layer and a protective layer disposed on the outside of the Mo or Mo-alloy layer. Optionally, the Mo or Mo-alloy layer may have a coating disposed on its inner surface to provide additional capability with the fuel pellets, thereby creating a triplex cladding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventor: Bo-Ching Cheng
  • Patent number: 10209293
    Abstract: A sensor to monitor health of surge arresters such as metal oxide arresters is disclosed. The sensor including a housing; a sensor assembly contained in the housing, and a voltage measurement strap extending around a periphery of the housing. The voltage measurement strap being electrically connected to the electronics board and configured to measure voltage using electric field. The sensor assembly including: an electronics board to receive, transmit, process, and store signals; a Rogowski coil electrically connected to the electronics board to measure surge currents diverted by the surge arrestor; and a current transformer electrically connected to the electronics board to measure leakage current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew John Phillips, Christiaan Engelbrecht, Robert Carlton Lynch, J. Mark Major
  • Patent number: 10073131
    Abstract: An apparatus for evaluating an electrical insulator includes: a frame having a base and a pair of spaced-apart resilient arms each having a distal end; and a flexible probe disposed between the arms, the flexible probe being generally U-shaped and having a pair of distal ends, each distal end of the probe being connected to a respective distal end of one of the arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew John Phillips, J. Mark Major, Robert Carlton Lynch, Lester Ray Harrell
  • Patent number: 10048225
    Abstract: A method for inspection of tubes in a boiler is disclosed. The method of inspecting includes the steps of providing an apparatus having a sensor and a housing adapted to contain the sensor. The method further including the steps of extending the apparatus into a tube bundle until a desired tube for inspection is reached; rotating the apparatus until the sensor is positioned over the tube to be inspected; clamping the housing around the tube to be inspected, thereby clamping the sensor around the tube; transmitting a pulse of guided waves into the tube to be inspected and detecting reflected signals; and acquiring data from the reflected signals and determining the condition of the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Hegeon Kwun, Matthew Capps, James Crane, Stanley M. Walker
  • Patent number: 9970759
    Abstract: A sensor and method for identifying a downed power transmission conductor or structure is disclosed. The method includes the steps of securing a sensor to a power transmission conductor or structure, using the sensor to measure inclination of the power transmission conductor or structure, comparing the measured inclination to a set threshold, and alerting a utility if the measured inclination exceeds the set threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventor: Andrew John Phillips
  • Patent number: 9903899
    Abstract: A sensor apparatus for detecting leakage current in a post-type insulator of an electrical power system includes: a sensor unit having a housing, the sensor unit including: a sensor assembly operable to generate an analog signal proportional to a received leakage current; an electronics module operable to covert the analog signal to a digital value; and a communications system operable to wirelessly transmit the digital value to an external receiver; a collection band adapted to be connected to an exterior surface of the insulator; and a transfer lead interconnecting the sensor assembly and the collection band, the transfer lead operable to transfer leakage current from the insulator from the collection band to the sensor assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew John Phillips, Christiaan Stephan Engelbrecht, J. Mark Major, Robert Carlton Lynch
  • Patent number: 9866064
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for continuously monitoring substation disconnects and transmission line switches to detect improper closing of the disconnects or switches is disclosed. The method includes the step of providing an apparatus adapted to measure, process, and transmit data associated with a disconnect or switch. The method further includes the steps of positioning the apparatus on or in close proximity to the disconnect or switch, using the apparatus to collect data of the disconnect or switch and processing the data for transmission to a remote receiver, and transmitting the processed data to a remote receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventor: Andrew John Phillips
  • Patent number: 9822328
    Abstract: A cleaner and method for maintaining bearings, bushings, linkage pins and chains used in various types of machinery, including industrial machinery is disclosed. The cleaner is effective to rejuvenate spent grease and includes a polar fraction, a miscible non-polar fraction, and a non-ionic surface activating agent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Bhavin N. Desai, Robert H. Kinner, John W. Harley, Corbin Moon, Michael A Lebow
  • Patent number: 9797049
    Abstract: A system configured to provide cathodic protection to buried and/or submerged metal components and/or structures, such as pipes is disclosed. The system includes a cathodic protection apparatus having at least one upright support and a plurality of sacrificial anodes secured to the at least one upright support in a vertical orientation to provide variable cathodic protection to the metallic structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Neal Scott Murray, Tiebin Zhao
  • Patent number: 9753469
    Abstract: A device for harvesting energy from a power line carrying AC current including: a transformer having a core with separate first and second sections, the core being formed of ceramic material or layered nickel alloy tape; a first secondary winding wound around the first section of the core; a second secondary winding wound around the second section of the core; a first DC core-flux control winding wound around the first section of the core; and a second DC core-flux control winding wound around the second section of the core; wherein the core is configured to be in operative communication with a magnetic field radiated from the power line, such that an AC voltage is generated in the first and second secondary windings, and the maximum AC voltage produced by the first and second secondary windings is limited by the first and second DC core-flux control windings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventor: Norman D. McCollough
  • Patent number: 9752960
    Abstract: A system and method for anomaly detection is provided. The system (100) and method (200) include utilizing one or more processors, such as in a server, for receiving (108) operational and dynamics data (104) from sensors associated with devices (102), filtering the data, establishing a set of baseline dynamics data and eliminating data dependencies (110). The system and method further include generating an expected level of data variation (112), identifying an anomaly based on a deviation of the device data from the baseline data normalized by the expected level of data variation (114), optionally correlating an anomaly with potential causes, and providing an output indicating an anomaly (116).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Leonard Angello, Tim Lieuwen, David Robert Noble, Brian Poole
  • Patent number: 9589690
    Abstract: A method for the cleanup of ionic species such as cobalt and nickel in nuclear power plant aqueous streams using a sequestration resin material is disclosed herein. The method includes the steps of providing a sequestration resin for removal of radioisotopes of transition metal impurities contained in the plant process streams, and distributing the sequestration resin into the plant process streams such that the sequestration resin interacts with the process streams and removes the transition metal impurities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Paul L. Frattini, Roger Howard Asay, Keith Paul Fruzzetti, Susan Elaine Garcia, Richard Herbert Kohlmann, Daniel Morgan Wells
  • Patent number: 9535105
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for accurately detecting and monitoring leakage currents on porcelain and glass insulator disc strings is disclosed. The sensor apparatus includes a sensor unit configured to attach to a cap of an insulator disc string. The sensor unit includes a sensor disc configured to surround the cap and a housing connected to the sensor disc. The sensor disc includes a conducting lower disc set, a conducting upper disc set, an insulating disc set sandwiched between the upper and lower conducting disc sets, and a conducting mesh connected to a bottom of the lower disc set. The housing including electronics configured to measure and communicate leakage currents on an insulator disc. Leakage currents on a surface of the insulator disc are intercepted by the sensor disc and transferred to the housing for processing and communication by the electronics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew John Phillips, Christiaan Stephan Engelbrecht, J. Mark Major, Robert Carlton Lynch
  • Patent number: 9488678
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for measuring geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) is disclosed. The apparatus is configured to measure GICs temporarily flowing in high-voltage, 60 Hz power transmission conductors, and includes a securing means for securing the apparatus to the power transmission conductor. The apparatus further includes a flux concentrator having a toroidal ferrite core and winding wound around the core configured to capture a magnetic field from the power transmission conductor; a hall-effect sensor assembly configured to receive the magnetic field from the flux concentrator and produce a voltage signal corresponding to the magnetic field; and an electronics module configured to receive the voltage signal from the hall-effect sensor assembly, conduct measurements, and transmit the measurements to a local access point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew John Philips, Richard Lordan, J. Mark Major
  • Patent number: 9470620
    Abstract: An insulator inspection tool and method for identifying defects or conditions that may prevent the insulator from performing properly is disclosed. The apparatus includes a launcher adapted to launch a projectile towards an insulator being tested, a listening device adapted to receive a response signal from the insulator upon being struck by the projectile, and a processing device adapted to measure the response signal received by the listening device and process the response signal to determine whether the insulator contains any defects or conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew John Phillips, Timothy Scott Shaw, Kristopher C. Kozak, Jerry A. Towler
  • Patent number: 9413092
    Abstract: An electrical connector for connecting electrical power transmission lines where the electrical connector is capable of conducting 1×106 to 2.5×106 siemens per meter squared (S/m2), and includes a base metal having a surface layer doped with a conductive material dopant. The conductive dopant material improves the reliability and performance of the electrical connector. An electrical power transmission system includes electrical power transmission lines connected by the electrical connector, and a method of joining power transmission lines with the electrical connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: John K. Chan, Gary Charles Sibilant, Jy-An Wang, Fei Ren
  • Patent number: 9354157
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for assessing subgrade corrosion is disclosed. The apparatus is configured to assess soil corrosivity and subgrade corrosion of a structure without disturbing the site where the structure resides and includes a probe having a plurality of electrodes and sensors configured to conduct environmental and corrosion measurements at the site, and a controller having a potentiostat contained therein to determine a corrosion rate at the site, wherein the corrosion rate provides an indicator of the amount of corrosion of the structure over time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventor: Neal Scott Murray
  • Patent number: 9261414
    Abstract: An overhead conductor sensor for measuring various parameters that affect an overhead conductor is disclosed. The overhead conductor sensor includes an electronics housing having first and second opposing ends, a jaw assembly having a first jaw connected to the first end of the electronics housing and a second jaw pivotally attached to the first jaw to allow the jaw assembly to move between an open position for receiving an overhead conductor therein and a closed position for securing the sensor to the overhead conductor, and a thermocouple assembly electrically connected to electronics housed in the electronics housing and extending through the jaw assembly for engagement with the overhead conductor. The thermocouple assembly is adapted to measure a temperature of the overhead conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew John Phillips, Mark Major, Robert Carlton Lynch, Kyle Hill, Sam Harrell, Brandon Rummage