On-Site Research Publications

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Automatic monitoring of vibration welding equipment
Creators: Spicer, John Patrick; Chakraborty, Debejyo; Wincek, Michael Anthony; Wang, Hui; Abell, Jeffrey A; Bracey, Jennifer; Cai, Wayne W
Date: 10/14/2014
Description: A vibration welding system includes vibration welding equipment having a welding horn and anvil, a host device, a check station, and a robot. The robot moves the horn and anvil via an arm to the check station. Sensors, e.g., temperature sensors, are positioned with respect to the welding equipment. Additional sensors are positioned with respect to the check station, including a pressure-sensitive array. The host device, which monitors a condition of the welding equipment, measures signals via the sensors positioned with respect to the welding equipment when the horn is actively forming a weld. The robot moves the horn and anvil to the check station, activates the check station sensors at the check station, and determines a condition of the welding equipment by processing the received signals. Acoustic, force, temperature, displacement, amplitude, and/or attitude/gyroscopic sensors may be used.

Electronically conducting metal oxide nanoparticles and films for optical sensing applications
Creators: Ohodnicki, Jr., Paul R.; Wang, Congjun; Andio, Mark A
Date: 09/16/2014
Description: The disclosure relates to a method of detecting a change in a chemical composition by contacting a conducting oxide material with a monitored stream, illuminating the conducting oxide material with incident light, collecting exiting light, monitoring an optical signal based on a comparison of the incident light and the exiting light, and detecting a shift in the optical signal. The conducting metal oxide has a carrier concentration of at least 10.sup.17/cm.sup.3, a bandgap of at least 2 eV, and an electronic conductivity of at least 10.sup.-1 S/cm, where parameters are specified at the gas stream temperature. The optical response of the conducting oxide materials is proposed to result from the high carrier concentration and electronic conductivity of the conducting metal oxide, and the resulting impact of changing gas atmospheres on that relatively high carrier concentration and electronic conductivity. These changes in effective carrier densities and electronic conductivity of conducting metal oxide films and nanoparticles are postulated to be responsible for the change in measured optical absorption associated with free carriers. Exemplary conducting metal oxides include but are not limited to Al-doped ZnO, Sn-doped In.sub.2O.sub.3, Nb-doped TiO.sub.2, and F-doped SnO.sub.2.

Upgrading platform using alkali metals
Creators: Gordon, John Howard
Date: 09/09/2014
Description: A process for removing sulfur, nitrogen or metals from an oil feedstock (such as heavy oil, bitumen, shale oil, etc.) The method involves reacting the oil feedstock with an alkali metal and a radical capping substance. The alkali metal reacts with the metal, sulfur or nitrogen content to form one or more inorganic products and the radical capping substance reacts with the carbon and hydrogen content to form a hydrocarbon phase. The inorganic products may then be separated out from the hydrocarbon phase.

Upgrading of petroleum oil feedstocks using alkali metals and hydrocarbons
Creators: Gordon, John Howard
Date: 09/09/2014
Description: A method of upgrading an oil feedstock by removing heteroatoms and/or one or more heavy metals from the oil feedstock composition. This method reacts the oil feedstock with an alkali metal and an upgradant hydrocarbon. The alkali metal reacts with a portion of the heteroatoms and/or one or more heavy metals to form an inorganic phase separable from the organic oil feedstock material. The upgradant hydrocarbon bonds to the oil feedstock material and increases the number of carbon atoms in the product. This increase in the number of carbon atoms of the product increases the energy value of the resulting oil feedstock.

Control system for a hybrid powertrain system
Creators: Naqvi, Ali K.; Demirovic, Besim; Gupta, Pinaki; Kaminsky, Lawrence A.
Date: 09/09/2014
Description: A vehicle includes a powertrain with an engine, first and second torque machines, and a hybrid transmission. A method for operating the vehicle includes operating the engine in an unfueled state, releasing an off-going clutch which when engaged effects operation of the hybrid transmission in a first continuously variable mode, and applying a friction braking torque to a wheel of the vehicle to compensate for an increase in an output torque of the hybrid transmission resulting from releasing the off-going clutch. Subsequent to releasing the off-going clutch, an oncoming clutch which when engaged effects operation of the hybrid transmission in a second continuously variable mode is synchronized. Subsequent to synchronization of the oncoming clutch, the oncoming clutch is engaged.

Two stage serial impingement cooling for isogrid structures
Creators: Lee, Ching-Pang; Morrison, Jay A.
Date: 09/09/2014
Description: A system for cooling a wall (24) of a component having an outer surface with raised ribs (12) defining a structural pocket (10), including: an inner wall (26) within the structural pocket and separating the wall outer surface within the pocket into a first region (28) outside of the inner wall and a second region (40) enclosed by the inner wall; a plate (14) disposed atop the raised ribs and enclosing the structural pocket, the plate having a plate impingement hole (16) to direct cooling air onto an impingement cooled area (38) of the first region; a cap having a skirt (50) in contact with the inner wall, the cap having a cap impingement hole (20) configured to direct the cooling air onto an impingement cooled area (44) of the second region, and; a film cooling hole (22) formed through the wall in the second region.

Rankine cycle system and method
Creators: Ernst, Timothy C.; Nelson, Christopher R.
Date: 09/09/2014
Description: A Rankine cycle waste heat recovery system uses a receiver with a maximum liquid working fluid level lower than the minimum liquid working fluid level of a sub-cooler of the waste heat recovery system. The receiver may have a position that is physically lower than the sub-cooler's position. A valve controls transfer of fluid between several of the components in the waste heat recovery system, especially from the receiver to the sub-cooler. The system may also have an associated control module.

Hybrid switch for resonant power converters
Creators: Lai, Jih-Sheng; Yu, Wensong
Date: 09/09/2014
Description: A hybrid switch comprising two semiconductor switches connected in parallel but having different voltage drop characteristics as a function of current facilitates attainment of zero voltage switching and reduces conduction losses to complement reduction of switching losses achieved through zero voltage switching in power converters such as high-current inverters.

Electric-drive tractability indicator integrated in hybrid electric vehicle tachometer
Creators: Tamai, Goro; Zhou, Jing; Weslati, Feisel
Date: 09/02/2014
Description: An indicator, system and method of indicating electric drive usability in a hybrid electric vehicle. A tachometer is used that includes a display having an all-electric drive portion and a hybrid drive portion. The all-electric drive portion and the hybrid drive portion share a first boundary which indicates a minimum electric drive usability and a beginning of hybrid drive operation of the vehicle. The indicated level of electric drive usability is derived from at least one of a percent battery discharge, a percent maximum torque provided by the electric drive, and a percent electric drive to hybrid drive operating cost for the hybrid electric vehicle.

Control system and method for a universal power conditioning system
Creators: Lai, Jih-Sheng; Park, Sung Yeul; Chen, Chien-Liang
Date: 09/02/2014
Description: A new current loop control system method is proposed for a single-phase grid-tie power conditioning system that can be used under a standalone or a grid-tie mode. This type of inverter utilizes an inductor-capacitor-inductor (LCL) filter as the interface in between inverter and the utility grid. The first set of inductor-capacitor (LC) can be used in the standalone mode, and the complete LCL can be used for the grid-tie mode. A new admittance compensation technique is proposed for the controller design to avoid low stability margin while maintaining sufficient gain at the fundamental frequency. The proposed current loop controller system and admittance compensation technique have been simulated and tested. Simulation results indicate that without the admittance path compensation, the current loop controller output duty cycle is largely offset by an undesired admittance path. At the initial simulation cycle, the power flow may be erratically fed back to the inverter causing catastrophic failure. With admittance path compensation, the output power shows a steady-state offset that matches the design value. Experimental results show that the inverter is capable of both a standalone and a grid-tie connection mode using the LCL filter configuration.

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