The Door Opens Wider for Dual Use
LICENSE HAS BEEN GRANTED to a New Jersey company to further develop
more commercial applications and wider uses for one of NASA's most
widely adopted "spinoff" technologiesthe power factor
controller. This device is used in countless homes and businesses
today as a means for efficient electrical energy conservation.
"Initially, more than 20 companies sought and were granted
nonexclusive licenses for commercial use of the invention,"
said Bob Broad, chief intellectual property counsel at Marshall
Space Flight Center. "NASA believes Power Efficiency Corp.,
one of the first companies to hold a nonexclusive license agreement,
has distinguished itself and demonstrated the commitment necessary
to develop the technology further."
An exclusive licensing agreement signed between NASA and Power
Efficiency Corporation of Hackensack, New Jersey, could make wider
use and further conservation of scarce energy resources possible.
The power factor controller senses the amount of power needed
by an electric motor. The device then varies the power according
to the need. Laboratory tests show the controller can trim power
usage by 6 to 8 percent under normal demand conditions and by as
much as 65 percent when a motor is idling.
Invented by now-retired NASA engineer Frank Nola for the space
program in the early 1980s at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
in Huntsville, Alabama, the power factor controller, with its remarkable
potential for energy savings, quickly became one of NASA's most
widely adopted "spinoff" technologies. It was incorporated
into machines ranging from household refrigerators and washing machines
to typewriters, kidney dialysis and industrial drilling machines,
as well as scores of other commercial products.
Nicholas Anderson, president of Power Efficiency Corp., said,
"Our success in marketing our energy-saving motor controllers
is directly attributed to the relationship developed over the years
between Power Efficiency Corp. and NASA. This relationship proves
that great benefits can occur when individuals and government work
together to develop technologies that reduce energy consumption."
Under the terms of the agreement, Power Efficiency will pay royalties
to NASA and inventor Frank Nola until 2001, when the patent and
the exclusive licensing agreement expire.
For more information, contact Bob Lessels at Marshall Space Flight
Call: 256/544-6539, Fax: 256/544-4810, E-mail: Bob.Lessels@msfc.nasa.gov
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