Sunday, April 20, 2014
The following patent filters are available for download.  They are displayed in hierarchical form. They can be downloaded individually or in aggregate for the four major categories. Filters can be downloaded by completing and accepting the Terms of Use agreement. Once the Terms of Use agreement has been accepted, download icons will appear on this page.

Alternative Energy & Related Technologies

 Alternative Energy & Energy Storage
Alternative Energy
This area comprises waste-to-energy, energy recovery, and biofuels technology. Waste-to-energy can include vegetation, agricultural waste, municipal waste, wood waste, and man-made waste. Energy recovery primarily pertains to biogas capture. Biofuels includes patents for the conversion of plants or animal fats into a fuel, most notably biodiesel and ethanol.
Geothermal encompasses the use of the earth or groundwater to heat, cool or provide electricity generation through steam. End uses covered include power plants, district heating, industrial applications (food dehydration, drying lumber, etc.), greenhouse heating in cool weather, and prevention of roadway freezing. This area includes technologies for turbines, steam condensers, brine treatment/purification and the recovery of minerals, and locating, operating, drilling, sealing, and maintenance of wells or reservoirs.
Hydropower consists of using man-made structures through impoundment (dams) or run-of-river systems to harness the potential or kinetic energy of flowing water. This includes large, small, and micro-scale power plants. The technologies used include water turbines, generators, motors, pumps, pipe materials, penstocks, and gates. Structural technology, primarily for dams and power plants, as well as peripheral technologies for fish diversion are included. This area also contains water/paddle wheels and water treatments.
A large portion of this landscape is related to mechanisms required for nuclear power plants and the operation of nuclear reactors, primarily fusion and fission based with varying moderators and coolants. This includes technologies related to nuclear fuel sources, pellet handling, assembly, control rods, absorbers, heat exchangers, generators, pumps, and other parts required for reactor vessels. Also included are maintenance and repair tools, shielding, fuel reprocessing, cleaning, storage containers, waste handling, decontamination, and other safety measures. Additionally, this area includes control methods and equipment, monitoring and testing, and modeling and simulation software.
Solar energy comprises materials that make up the solar cell and photovoltaic modules along with concentrator technologies. Examples of materials include: substrates for applying cells in thin film PV, dyes for dye-sensitized cells, glass or other optic materials for concentrating sunlight, as well as coatings used to optimize the concentration of sunlight. This area includes thermal solar energy as well as passive solar collection in the form of solar heat, to heat a swimming pool or greenhouse, drying grain, and water desalinization. It also includes storage of solar heat and testing, monitoring, and power regulation of solar energy systems.
This area includes technology related to harnessing energy derived from the force of moving water from natural resources such as ocean currents, tidal flows and waves (as opposed to man-made formations of hydroelectric power from dams).  It also includes ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), which uses the temperature differences naturally occurring in oceans in certain regions of the world to produce electricity, primarily through heat exchangers. Some technologies included are water turbines, terminator devices such as oscillating water columns, attenuators, pumps, and point absorbers in the form of floating buoys whose components move due to wave action and are used to drive energy converters. It also includes structural underwater installations used to anchor the equipment.
The technologies currently captured in this filter are various fluid motion turbines and their parts, including airfoils, blades, rotors, gearing, assembly, and mounting. It also includes maintenance and monitoring, such as de-icing blades, cooling turbines, and lightning detection for wind energy devices. Generators, voltage control/converters, materials used for blades, nacelles, etc., as well as technologies for support structures, mooring systems, and transporting of such equipment are also covered.
.......Electric/Hybrid Vehicles (EV/HEV)
Vehicle types covered are primarily automobiles, trucks, locomotives, monorails, and trolleys, but may also include forklifts, agriculture equipment, golf carts, lawn mowers, and motorcycles. Not included are wheelchairs, children’s ride-on toys, sports related equipment (e.g. bicycles), and amusement rides. Regenerative braking, electric/hybrid drives/drivetrains, hybrid transmissions, and in-wheel motors are covered. Power sources (e.g. batteries, capacitors, fuel cells, flywheels, renewable sources, direct connection devices for trolleys and trains) are covered, but only as they pertain to EV/HEVs. A large portion of this landscape includes EV/HEV control systems, excluding those related to climate control, defrosting, wipers, mirrors, lighting, displays, cabins, and seats. If tightly paired with EV/HEV terminology, the following technologies are also included:  clutches, gearboxes, hydraulic drives or transmissions, continuously or infinitely variable transmissions, and electric motors.
.......Fuel Cells
This area focuses on materials and compounds used in the fuel cell itself and their reactions (e.g. the electrolyte and catalyst).  This includes the main components (hardware) required to make a fuel cell, such as membranes, inverters, separators, cartridges, cathodes, anodes, gaskets, and reformers.  Also included are various sensors and monitoring of fuel cells. It does not include end uses, specifically vehicles that run on fuel cells, or the recycling of fuel cells.
Energy Storage
This area captures batteries used for electric/hybrid vehicles as well as for grid energy storage or uninterrupted power supplies.  For the most part, it focuses on materials/elements used for secondary cells or batteries (i.e. rechargeable).  It also includes flow batteries that are being used for load management and peak sharing as well as remote area power sources.  In addition to materials, there are other components (e.g. casings, separators, cell construction) captured that are important for realistic implementation of batteries for these purposes.  Battery monitoring and health as well as the state of charge are also covered.
The focus for this energy storage area is limited to capacitors with the ability to have a high energy density for applications such as electric/hybrid vehicles or for electricity storage.  Standard electrostatic and fixed capacitors are not included. Specific materials searched for include carbon, "nano", graphene, activated charcoal, aerogels, barium titanate, and conductive polymers. Measuring and monitoring of ultracapacitors is also covered.
This small area focuses on the use of flywheels in energy storage.  Flywheels are essentially a spinning wheel or disc with a fixed axle, where energy is stored in the rotor as kinetic energy, specifically rotational energy.
.......Superconducting Magnetic
Energy Systems
Superconductors are widely used for electricity conduction and generation and have many applications in medical and scientific instruments unrelated to energy storage. This filter, however, captures the use of superconducting magnets for energy storage purposes only.
.......Compressed Air
Compressed air energy storage (CAES) is an enabling technology for solar and wind energy as well as smart grid load balancing. This area focuses on the use of stored compressed air as an energy source. It also includes technology from the first generation CAES systems from the 1980’s.
.......Hydrogen Production & Storage
This area covers processes for producing, recovering, and storing hydrogen.  The two main production processes included are steam reforming and electrolysis but this area may also include production via partial oxidation, plasma reforming, coal conversion, and thermolysis.  The focus of this area is on hydrogen as it relates to fuel cells but hydrogen recovery from algae, biomass and bioreactors may also be included.
.......Thermal Energy Storage
This small area focuses on thermal energy storage, latent heat storage, and thermal energy storage materials. It includes solar heat, but only as it is related to storage.  Ice energy and molten salt are also captured.
 Green Technologies
Pollution Mitigation
This area primarily pertains to processing used materials to form new products, including industrial recycling in which a material is reused during a manufacturing process or a by-product is recovered for another use. The materials covered are primarily solids, mainly asphalt, cement, metals, paper, pulp, plastic, rubber, textiles, wood, batteries, electronic components, and some specialty materials. This area may also include hazardous waste treatment if the process includes the recovery of a substance. Automobile dismantling and recovery of materials is included. Processing techniques such as materials separation (primarily solid-solid and solid-liquid), purification, and subsequent reclamation are captured. Decomposition processes are included (thermal, chemical, and biological). This area also includes regeneration, reclamation, scrap consolidation, and waste sorting techniques.
.......Pollution Control – Air
This area covers general pollution removal from air and atmosphere, including industrial air emission abatement techniques and vehicle emission technology. Major contaminants covered include:  NOx, SOx, Carbon oxides, VOCs, aromatic compounds, smoke, soot, dust, black carbon, aerosols, asbestos, CFCs, mercury, ground level ozone, POPs, and ammonia. The major techniques include:  solid particle separation, cyclone collectors, electrostatic precipitators, baghouses, scrubbers, adsorption, low NOx burners and scrubbers, selective catalytic reduction, exhaust gas recirculation, catalytic converters, treatment of off-gas flares, thermal or catalytic oxidizers, biofilters, cryogenic condensers, flue gas desulfurization, sorbent injection, aerosol separators, HEPA filters, and electro-catalytic oxidation. 
.......Pollution Control – Solid Waste
This area comprises disposition, treatment, and storage of waste (any type – municipal, animal, human (sludge, not sewage), hazardous, medical, etc.) for the purpose of pollution control.  Pollution control includes:  (1) reduction of waste materials (i.e. composting, compaction, incineration, disintegration); (2) treatment for emission reduction within the reduction process (i.e. scrubbers in an incinerator); (3) disposal treatments for keeping environmental hazards from air, water, soil (i.e. pathogen reduction, medical waste treatment, sterilization, disinfection); (4) storage facilities (i.e. landfills, landfill liners) that reduce pollutants into air, water, soil; (5)  transfer stations (sorting, separation); and (6) industrial processes for separating waste. 
.......Pollution Control – Water
This area pertains to water pollution control, abatement, and treatment for point (sewage treatment plants, municipal/industrial waste discharge) as well as non-point (agricultural run-off, storm water drainage) sources. It includes remediation and removal of contaminates from water sources such as lakes and rivers as well as wastewater treatment facilities. The areas covered concern drinking water purification as well as water treatment (such as denitrification, ozonation, chorination, disinfection, flocculation, aeration, sedimentation, and several filtration techniques), but does not include desalination or water softening. Microscale/portable water filters are included as they pertain to the removal of specific contaminants but not simply for taste improvement. Also included is debris filtering to prevent eutrophication.
.......Environmental Remediation
This area encompasses techniques that clean a contaminated site either on-site or off-site. It is specific to soil and water sources subjected to contamination from oil spills, hazardous waste, or landfill leakage. It includes both generalized contaminants as well as a host of specific ones (heavy metals, NACLs, PCBs, etc.). The main remediation techniques captured include air sparging, solidification and stabilization, phytoremediation, radio frequency heating, and soil washing. It also includes germ warfare/chemical destruction. Site assessment and monitoring techniques specific to remediation or contamination are included.
.......Cleaner Coal
This filter encompasses four primary areas that are used to lower emissions from coal use as energy: pre-combustion (washing and drying coal), post combustion, carbon capture (that specifically applies to coal), and alternative techniques for "cleaner" use of coal. Washing includes chemical, biological, flotation, and gravity techniques as well as general beneficiation of coal. Drying includes dewatering and dehydration techniques. Alternative techniques include Gasification (specifically Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle), Circulating or Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion, and Supercritical or Ultra-supercritical Pulverized Coal Combustion.
.......Carbon & Greenhouse Gas Capture &
This area identifies patents that relate to the direct capture of carbon dioxide and other main greenhouse gases (methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated carbons, sulfur hexachloride, nitrogen trifluoride, and ozone) as well as their sequestration and storage or disposal.  While to some extent this area will include the re-use of a captured GHG, specific ways captured greenhouse gases are used were not targeted by this filter. 
Smart Grid
.......Advanced Components
This area is broken into six sections: (1) Power Electronics, comprising Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) and Power Quality devices; (2) Superconductivity (including wires, cables, and power lines), Fault Current Limiters (FCL) and Transformers, and High-Temperature Superconducting (HTS) Materials; (3) Distributed Energy Resources (DER) used for small-scale power generation and storage technologies and including energy conversion devices and integration of DER into the grid; (4) EV Charging (charging stations and vehicle charging in general, not just for the purpose of feeding electricity back into the grid); (5) Complex Systems (pertaining to Microgrids and Premium Power Parks); and (6) Composite Conductors (new high-temperature composite transmission-cable designs).  These specifically include:  ACCC Cable (aluminum conductor composite core); ACCR (composite reinforced); and the ACSS/TW (steel supported, but with a trapezoid cross section).
.......Sensing & Measurement
There are seven sub-sections within Sensing & Measurement: (1) Advanced Instrument Transformers, which utilize optics for sensing, measurement and metering purposes; (2) Specific Monitoring Devices, which covers fiber-optic temperature sensors (FOTS), circuit breaker monitoring, cable monitoring, and battery monitoring; (3) General Monitoring/Measuring, mostly relating to current detection, flow, and power quality; (4) Advanced Metering Infrastructure, which encompasses smart meters and their functionality, remote meter reading, and meter data management; (5) Phasor Measurement Units and synchrophasor technology; (6) Dynamic Line Rating, which comprises temperature, sag, tension and ampacity sensors, and monitoring or measuring techniques for a power line to determine the line rating; and (7) Protective Systems, which comprises protective relaying, waveform analysis, and pulseclosing. 
.......Advanced Control Methods
This area encompasses: (1) General Control, which captures control aspects of the grid not specifically covered elsewhere; (2) Operational Applications, which includes substation automation, SMP gateway, SCADA, distribution automation, smart maintenance, demand response, outage management, asset optimization, distributed intelligent control systems, and several other miscellaneous control systems; (3) Analytical Tools that aide in the control of a smart grid, enabling self-healing, real-time assessments, and predictions to keep the grid running smoothly and efficiently; (4) Distributed Intelligent Agents (DIA), including grid-friendly appliance controllers, intelligent tap changers, power factor correction devices, integrated volt/var control, state estimators, energy management systems, and dynamic distributed power control devices; and (5) Miscellaneous specific control technologies, such as GRIDSTAT, real-time voltage stability, integration with other enterprise-wide processes and technologies, and grid shock absorbers.
.......Improved Interfaces & Decision
There are three sections within this area: (1) Training/Simulators, related to simulation techniques for operator training, including real-time simulators, system operator training, control room design reviews, human-factor reviews, and human-performance analysis; (2) Decision Support, capturing software programs that assist grid operators in making decisions, both real-time and predictive, including alerting tools, what-if and course-of-action tools, risk and probability assessments, autonomous agents, business intelligence and on-line analytical processing, power system analysis tools, data optimization, and distribution modeling software; and (3) Visualization tools to aide power grid operators in making quicker decisions with ease-of-use, including 3-D visualization, virtual reality, volumetric/holographic types of images, web-based interactive maps, graphics packaging, pattern recognition, haptics interfaces, GIS (geographical information systems), interactive user interfaces, and dashboards.
.......Integrated Communication
Considered the most critical technology for a true smart grid to work, this area captures technology for interconnection of all devices and systems on the grid, allowing near real-time communication between them and operators.  It also includes technology related to cyber security. 

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