DHI Collaborating with Australia’s Guina R&D In Developing Superconducting Homopolar Motors and Generators

DHI Collaborating with Australia’s Guina R&D In Developing Superconducting Homopolar Motors and Generators

Alpha-Tron Homopolar MotorManassas Park, VA (May 15, 2012) – DHi (Defense Holdings, Inc.®) has announced that it will be supplying engineering services and HiPerCon® Brand Metal Fiber Brushes to Guina R&D for development of Guina’s high-efficiency superconducting homopolar electromagnetic “Tron Turbines” (motors and generators). Superconducting homopolar motors are among the most power-dense and electrically-efficient devices in the world. DHi’s HiPerCon Brand metal fiber brushes (electric brushes) are a key enabling technology that will allow these super-efficient electric machines to power industry into the next century.

Superconducting Homopolar Motors, Electrical Motor Brushes, and Metal Fiber Brushes

Superconducting homopolar technology has long been the “Holy Grail” of super-efficient and highly power-dense motors and generators. While fairly simple in concept, construction and operation, the success of these devices has long been limited by traditional brush systems that were inadequate to transfer the very high direct current required across the sliding interfaces. Existing carbon and metal-graphite electric brushes simply cannot handle the power requirements.  Additionally, another problem associated with long term operation of these devices has been the effect of the extremely high magnetic fields of up to 5 Tesla generated inside these machines. Guina’s line of Tron Turbines overcomes these challenges via DHi’s metal fiber brushes and a unique method for control of the high magnetic fields.

Originally, DHi (Defense Holdings, Inc.), then known as Noesis, Inc., developed metal fiber brushes for use as electric brushes on the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet. The technology was developed through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Small Business Independent Research (SBIR) program working with HiPerCon, LLC, the U.S. Navy, and the University of Virginia. Metal Fiber Brushes (MFBs), which gain their name from the fact that they are constructed of thousands of hair-fine silver alloy fibers running on their tips, offer significant improvement over carbon brushes at sliding speeds up to 90 m/second. Benefits include: (1) current transfer, offering extended brush and slip ring service life of at least twice the service life of carbon brushes; (2) high current capacity of 1,000 amps/sq.-in.; and, significant decreases in mechanical, acoustic, and electrical noise. MFBs produce 80% less wear debris than solid electric brushes reducing the need for expensive maintenance and reducing the potential for shorts and grounds. HiPerCon is the worldwide exclusive licensee for this technology. DHi is HiPerCon’s sole distributor for metal fiber brush and slip ring products including HiPerCon’s line of shaft grounding brushes.

DHi’s Metal Fiber Brushes Will Power Guina “Tron” Series of Superconducting Electromagnetic Turbines

DHi scientists and engineers collaborated with Guina scientists to develop a unique brush and brush holder system that provided extended service life while mitigating the effects of the high magnetic fields. The system utilizes power-dense metal fiber brushes to transfer current across the sliding interface. The brush system design maximizes brush service life in a very compact envelope by integrating a unique brush and spring system into the brush holder. The Tron Turbine’s brush holder system allows the brushes to operate independently while acting as an electrical integrated system.

Rich Martin On Collaborating With Guina R&D On Superconducting Electromagnetic Tron Turbines

Rich Martin, DHi’s President and CEO stated, “Many government and non-governmental organizations have been chasing the superconducting homopolar motor holy grail for a long time. HiPerCon has been involved in some of these efforts. What makes the efforts with Guina R&D so promising is the collaborative nature of this effort. Bringing together DHi’s and HiPerCon’s knowledge of metal fiber brush and brush system design with Guina’s knowledge of turbine design has allowed us to succeed where others have failed. DHi and Guina strongly believe that our metal fiber brush technology is critical to moving this highly efficient power source to market. Guina’s superconducting homopolar motor/generator technology can make major contributions to energy efficiency throughout the world.”

Guina R&D, LLC, based in Surfers Paradise, Australia, is a world leader in research and design of superconducting machines. Mr. Ante “Tony” Guina, the Managing Director of the company, started research into the magnetic and electromagnetic fields in the mid 1990's. In early 2010, Mr. Guina invented his first electromagnetic turbine (Alpha-Tron).

Founded in 1994 and originally operated as Noesis, Inc., DHi (Defense Holdings, Inc.) is a privately-held, service-disabled, veteran-owned, minority-owned (Native American), small business. DHi has been ISO 9001 registered since 2003 and has received awards from the federal government for outstanding technical innovation and performance. DHi is based in Manassas Park, VA with other facilities in Charlottesville, VA and Trenton, NC. DHi works with customers worldwide to overcome the limitations of conventional carbon and carbon-metallic brushes and slip ring systems in a wide variety of applications.