Nuclear Submarine Technology Delivers up to 12% Energy Savings in Industrial Facilities

July 18, 2018 by Paul Shepard

The Internet, GPS, satellite communications, and the microwave all have one thing in common. The methodology behind these widely used technologies originated in the military. These technologies went on to have major consumer and industrial applications far beyond their original purposes. Quantify Energy's electricity recycling technology is another in that long list of military technologies that have been adapted for commercial use, sometimes with unexpected results.

Nuclear submarines are affected by harmonic distortion, which reduces the useful life of on-board equipment and affects their performance. Therefore, the Navy developed a methodology to capture that distortion and feed it back into the electrical system. Quantify Energy adapted this methodology for commercial and industrial use in collaboration with the MIT Design Lab.

"We initially installed it at industrial facilities like manufacturing plants to help clients reduce harmonic distortion," says Sumanth Reddy, CEO of Quantify Energy. "Strangely enough, a few months later, clients were calling to thank us for reducing their energy bills. An unexpected benefit of the technology was that it reduced our clients' electricity bills by 3-12%."

Harmonic distortion is a problem that affects all types of facilities - from manufacturing plants and supermarkets to data centers and hospitals. Traditionally, harmonic filters would simply dissipate the captured distortion as heat, instead of channeling it as useful energy.

"The innovative aspect of our technology is that the harmonic filters capture harmonic distortion and recycle it back as useful electricity into the system," continued Sumanth.

This has the effect of reducing the actual electricity consumption (kWh) and demand (kW) - something that conventional technologies like power factor correction devices/ capacitor banks are not able to achieve.

"In addition, Quantify Energy has a payback period of less than 2 years and a 10-year warranty - which conventional technologies cannot match," Sumanth added.

Quantify Energy has worked with major companies spanning industries to reduce their electricity costs, including Kellogg's, McDonald's, Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels, Aldi, and Mitsubishi Electric.

"Military research has provided the platform for many incredible technologies we widely use today. In adapting this research for commercial applications, its impact has been harnessed for the benefit of many industries. As Quantify Energy, we aim to continue that trend," concluded Sumanth.

Technology summary

  • Quantify Energy's proprietary Powerworx technology captures the energy in an electrical system that would otherwise be wasted as heat and recycles it back into the system as useful energy
  • It captures harmonic distortion and instead of heat sinking it, recycles the reactive power back into the system to feed the electrical load
  • Unlike power factor correctors/ capacitor banks, Powerworx actually reduces the kWh consumption and kW demand, which results in 3-12% electricity savings
  • Powerworx units are compact (14"12"x8" - about the size of a large briefcase), and are installed at the main distribution panels and other sub-panels in a building
  • They can be easily installed (in less than a day), require no facility downtime, and need no ongoing maintenance and operating expense, and have a 10-year warranty