Completed Projects

Development of an Asset Health Monitoring System for Commercial Vehicle Monitoring

Vnomics

Technical Description

The objective of this program was to adapt the Asset Health Monitoring (AHM) software, previously developed under an Office of Naval Research project, for use on commercial truck fleets. The objectives of the program were 1) to create a generic application of the AHM system that could be utilized on vehicles with different data busses (J1939 and J1708), different manufacturers, and different signal sets to remotely inform fleet owners and maintainers of potential or existing problems with their vehicles; 2) to provide visibility of the location of all equipped fleet vehicles to fleet managers; 3) to provide a method for training truck operators in fuel efficient driving techniques; and 4) to provide electronic tracking of legally mandated Hours of Service information. This project was completed as a collaborative effort with Vnomics Corporation.

Outcomes

The core AHM software and patents were licensed to Vnomics and enhanced to meet the needs of the commercial trucking market. The commercial truck version of the AHM system has been operational for over 3 years. During this time Vnomics has gone from a start-up to a fleet of nearly 4,000 vehicles with planned deliveries of at least 6,000 more vehicles by the end of 2013.

Primary Personnel

Dr. Michael Thurston

Additional Information

Research at RIT - Innovation and Entrepreneurship
RIT research helps military fleet
Press release from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

Development and commercialization of a toner cartridge wiper blade inspection fixture

wiper blade Technical Description

The objective of this program was to design, develop and commercialize an inspection fixture to enable reuse of a toner cartridge wiper blade for a remanufactured toner cartridge. The basis for the device was derived as an outcome of a research project originally funded by the NYS Environmental Management Investment Group which was initiated to study the failure modes of specific toner cartridge components and to assess their remanufacturability. The results indicated that wiper blades are highly reusable but only if the condition of the working edge can be assessed. In order to commercialize the inspection fixture it must be 1) accurate, 2) reliable and repeatable, 3) have a short cycle time to be economical for a high volume remanufacturing operation, and 4) display results in a simplistic manner which any operator could interpret. This project was completed as a collaborative effort with Optical Technologies Corporation and Finetone Corporation.

Outcomes

The wiper blade analyzer was designed, developed, patented and made commercially available worldwide. Wiper Blade Analyzers were placed in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Vietnam manufacturing facilities. The machine's software has a complex inspection algorithm which assesses the wiper blade condition to assure a successful reuse life cycle and utilizes a simple pass/fail user interface. The Wiper Blade Analyzer has received the NYS Environmental Excellence Award presented by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Primary Personnel

Andrij Harlan
Robert Matesic

Additional Information

RIT receives 2004 Environmental Excellence Award
RIT Imaging Products Laboratory
RIT patents for Remanufacturing Technologies
Report highlights two RIT patents

Metallurgical Process Development for Buffalo Armory

Buffalo Armory

Technical Description

The Buffalo Armory is developing a new induction heating process to produce high hardness, high strength steels with improved ductility for military and commercial armor application as well as wear applications such as snow plow blades, bucket tips for front end loaders, and ground engaging components on farm and construction equipment. RIT has provided metallurgical support in understanding the process and its effect on the steel's microstructure and mechanical properties, process development support in both the laboratory and on the processing line and was able to perform all the mechanical testing during the process development.

The ability to provide both the metallurgical support and the mechanical property testing reduced the process development time required for Buffalo Armory to produce a product with the required physical and mechanical properties.

Outcomes

A process was successfully developed that was able to produce a steel plate that meets several of the DOD specifications. The testing provided by RIT also showed Buffalo Armory the impact and wear resistance of their material is better than that currently used farm and construction equipment applications. BA is using the data generated by RIT to pursue these potential applications.

Primary Personnel

Dr. Michael Haselkorn

Ethanol Precursor Processor Development

sweetwater

Sweetwater Energy

Technical Description

SweetWater Energy has designed a concept using anaerobically ensiled biomass as its feed stock in the production of lignocellulosic ethanol. The process uses a decentralized approach which capitalizes on the efficiencies of on farm storage of feed stock, coupled with value added processing of the lignocellulosic biomass into a fermentable concentrated precursor to ethanol, or sugar water. The remaining higher protein, low carbohydrate forage could be available as feed supplement or bedding material on the farm. Transportation from the farm will be limited to the concentrated precursor to ethanol.

RIT helped Sweetwater develop this process by performing research and developing a preliminary bench scale process for extracting the sugars for the lignocellulosic biomass. Next, RIT designed and built the initial pilot facility and continued to develop the process by running trials using the pilot facility.

Outcomes

The outcome of this project was that the ethanol procurer process was scaled from the laboratory to a pilot. This scale-up demonstrated the viability of the process which in turn enabled SweetWater to obtain investors and funding to continue this development.

Primary Personnel

Dr. Michael Haselkorn

Advancement of Fuel Cells for Sustainable Energy Solutions

fuel cell

Sustainable Energy Solutions

Technical Description

There were two main objectives of this program: to test state-of-the-art solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems and perform research on processes for bio-fuel reforming. Complete stand-alone prototype SOFC systems from Delphi Corporation were tested using accelerated test profiles to identify and improve on potential failure modes. The focus of the program was on diagnostics, optimization, and design improvements. The second objective focused on the ability to reform bio-fuels (i.e. B100 and HRJ-5) for conversion to hydrogen gas for fuel cell consumption. Multiple catalyst formulations were tested to define the carbon formation boundary and reforming efficiencies.

Outcomes

Hundreds of test runs were performed on several generations of SOFC systems. Areas for design and software control improvement were identified. Final reports to TARDEC and ONR were delivered to document the performance and durability of SOFC APU systems. Blends of bio-diesel/diesel, and JP8/HRJ5 were reformed under different operating parameters. Reformation results were published in several journals for the fuel cell and energy communities.

Primary Personnel

Dr. Thomas Trabold
Mark Walluk
Daniel Smith

Additional Information

Measurement and Analysis of Carbon Formation During Diesel Reforming for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Autothermal Reforming of Biodiesel-Ethanol-Diesel Blends for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Applications

Laboratory-Scale Anaerobic Digester for Education and Research Applications

biodrill

BioDrill

Technical Description

The economy of western New York State depends heavily on agriculture, and as a result there are many farms and food processing plants in the region. Anaerobic digestion is a key technology for conversion of organic waste materials into bio-methane for sustainable energy production. RIT has partnered with BioDrill LLC to research a laboratory-scale anaerobic digester (AD) apparatus that accurately represents the key features of a commercial-scale system. The two-phase design of the BioDrill TS-AD200 improves reactor stability, particularly when digesting materials such as high sugar content food wastes. Two-phase systems also provide protection against the biochemical conversion processes involving volatile fatty acid (VFA) production rates proceeding at a faster rate than the reaction rate of VFAs to methane gas. The effects of exogenous factors causing reactor instability, such as fluctuations in the organic loading rate or substantial heterogeneity of wastes, are all lessened within two-phase systems.

Outcomes

Laboratory experimentation has been conducted to empirically investigate the actual methane generation potential of high strength food manufacturing wastewaters available in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The BioDrill TS-AD200 has been used to understand the biochemical and microbial interactions effecting the energy potential for co-digestion of dairy manure and food manufacturing waste, and how different blends of each feedstock affects biogas quantity and quality. Real-world analyses will identify any inhibitory effects they may have on the digestion process while helping to discern the optimal blending quantities of manure and food manufacturing waste feedstocks, based on their chemical compositions that maximize biogas production.

Primary Personnel

Dr. Thomas Trabold

Additional Information

Center for Sustainable Mobility