Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INSWITCH (InSwitch – Ultra-Compact Electronic Solid-State Device for Induction Motor Starting and Performance Improvement)
Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2015-12-31
In this project, a feasibility study was carried out by OptiSigma (www.optisigm.pt) aiming the industrialization and international commercialization of a disruptive and very competitive high-efficiency, high-reliability, ultra-compact, self-powered electronic solid-state device, named InSwitch, for optimized soft-starting, steady-state performance improvement, remote operation & condition monitoring/control and advanced protection of fixed-speed three-phase squirrel-cage induction motors (SCIMs). This device can directly replace and/or compete with electromechanical star-delta starters and electronic soft-starters, being potentially cheaper and much smaller. It is designed to be installed inside the motor terminal box, which is a unique disruptive feature that saves space in the switchboards, halves the number of conductors from the switchboard to the motor, and allows direct motor vibration measurement. The patented self-tuned load-based stator-winding connection-mode change technique allows improving the motor efficiency and power factor improvement at light loads, translating into an energy savings potential of 5-20%.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
The main tasks carried out during this project were the experimental validation of the InSwitch concept, a preliminary evaluation of the large-scale production cost, an industry-targeted survey on the InSwitch technical and economic interest, an updated market dimension assessment and a preliminary business plan, including a long-term financial analysis.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
It can be concluded that InSwitch is considered in the industrial sector an outstanding and disruptive technology, with an excellent cost-benefit relation and obvious technical advantages in relation to the competing commercial solutions, having a strong possibility of becoming the next standard solution for soft-starting and performance improvement of fixed-speed SCIMs. Some large companies want to start using InSwitch as soon as it is commercially available. The estimated worldwide InSwitch market dimension can reach 15 G€/year in revenue. InSwitch-related software applications and specialized consultancy services exploitation may also lead to large revenues. Hence, InSwitch project represents a highly-appealing business opportunity. An investment of 1.6 M€ will be required in the first 2 years to develop this project toward the large-scale production and international commercialization. The breakeven is to be reached in the 4th year and 614 M€ of revenues are foreseen for the 10th year.