SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/07/13 -- ClearSign Combustion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLIR) today announced that it has developed and successfully demonstrated a novel power amplifier specifically designed for installation of the company's proprietary ECC Technology in a wide range of operating environments and combustion system types. A small number of pre-production prototypes are now being built.
Compared with standard power amplifiers, which can be as large as a refrigerator and can weigh several hundred pounds, the new ECC Amplifier measures only 5-1/2" by 3-1/4", weighs only ounces, and can be held comfortably in the palm of one's hand. But, in spite of its tiny footprint, the device is capable of generating +/- 20,000 volts and operates with an extremely low power input of less than 65 W. Traditional high-voltage power amplifiers require a clean, temperature controlled environment and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. By contrast, the new ClearSign ECC Amplifier is inexpensive to manufacture and can be 'ruggedized' for installation much nearer to the combustion source, while tolerating humidity, dust and a wider temperature range. This may result in lower capital and operating expense, and can reduce external high-voltage cable runs for easier and faster retrofits.
"This is a tremendously important development in our path to commercialization," said ClearSign CEO Rick Rutkowski. "The availability of a low cost, compact power amplifier that can tolerate the environmental conditions of an industrial site is a key enabler for us."
For ClearSign, a high voltage power amplifier is a key component of their Electrodynamic Combustion Control (ECC) technology, which uses computer controlled, pulsed electric charges to optimize the environmental performance, energy efficiency and heat transfer characteristics of combustion systems.
"Historically, the power amplifier has been by far the most expensive element in our estimated bill of materials for installing ECC technology," explained Rutkowski. "This development may change that completely, and holds significant potential for ClearSign relating to both profitability and market penetration."
According to Rutkowski, these tremendous cost improvements versus off-the-shelf power amplifiers will allow the company to make its technology more affordable for a broader range of system types.
"In fact," Rutkowski added, "we believe that in volume, we may be able to produce this power supply at a cost that may meet OEM requirements for even very high volume combustion systems such as those used in commercial and residential heating."
According to the company, because of its compact size and low cost, the new amplifier will also enable multi-amplifier / multi-burner installations, allowing in some cases one amplifier to be used for each burner in the installation. This increases installation reliability by eliminating the single point-of-failure risk inherent in a single-amplifier, centralized design.
ClearSign CTO Joe Colannino, offered more details, "The new ECC power amplifier, was designed and developed by ClearSign Sr. Research Engineer, Dr. Igor Krichtafovitch and offers several unique advantages. The unit operates with a universal power supply that accepts any AC line voltage between 90v and 260v at 50Hz - 60Hz as found near virtually every target combustion system worldwide.
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