ORNL Invention Alert

ORNL Invention Alert
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Polyphase wireless power transfer system achieves 270-kilowatt charge, sets another world record for electric passenger vehicles

ORNL researchers have successfully demonstrated the first 270-kW wireless power transfer to a light-duty electric vehicle. The demonstration used a Porsche Taycan and was conducted in collaboration with Volkswagen Group of America using the ORNL-developed polyphase wireless charging system.

Researchers harness AI for autonomous discovery and optimization of materials
A novel tool developed at ORNL that leverages those technologies has demonstrated that AI can influence materials synthesis and conduct associated experiments without human supervision. Read more
New ORNL inventions

Continuous AM-CM Manufacturing
202205078 // Transportation // Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing followed by compression molding (AM-CM) is a hybrid manufacturing process that combines the benefits of AM and CM to produce high-performance functional composite structures for automotive production. But the process is limited due to the size of the press platen for compression molding, 4-foot by 4-foot. Also, the size limitation also comes from the printing speed as the printed material can cool down before compression in larger prints. This technology provides continuous additive compression not limited by length.

QRAM: Method and Apparatus for Quantum Spectroscopy and Imaging with Raman and SERS
202205113 // Detectors and Sensors // Healthcare and Biology
Technologies directed to quantum spectroscopy and imaging with Raman and surface-enhanced Raman scattering are described. 

Electrical Fault and Power Quality Monitoring using Distributed Ledger Technology
202305403 // Energy and Utilities // Manufacturing
Power utilities are increasingly deploying intelligent electronic devices inside and outside substations. Sharing data in substations between utility-owned devices and customer-owned distributed energy resources (DERs) risks the integrity and confidentiality of that data. A means to protect this information is crucial. This technology is a cyber-grid guard system using distributed ledger technology that includes substation architecture plus DERs. The power system applications evaluated included electrical fault and power quality detection, DER control and dispatch, and a simulated cyber event.

A Topographic Mapping (ATOM) Method to Design Magnetic Cores
202305479 // Transportation // Energy and Utilities
Efficient and widespread wireless charging is necessary to meet demand of electric vehicles, but adoption of EVs is hampered by long duration charging and limited range. Wireless charging pads require magnetic components. This technology consists of the design of a magnetic core that is compact, cost effective and charges with little core loss for wireless charging of EVs.

Polarization-Frequency Hyperentangled Photon Generation and Characterization
202305483 // IT and Communications
Photonic hyperentanglement involves pairs of photons entangled in multiple degrees of freedom (DoF), which hold promise for quantum communication protocols. However, the frequency DoF has received less attention due to constraints in evaluating such hyperentangled states. This technology provides scalable approaches capable of generating photons entangled in both frequency and polarization DoFs while enabling comprehensive state characterization. Additionally, this hyperentangled photon source supports wavelengths across the optical fiber communication band (1530 nm - 1625 nm), making it highly suitable for integration into existing fiber-optic networks.

Synthesis of Spherical Carbonaceous Particles via Spray Drying from Coal-Based Precursors for Energy
202305501 // Materials // Energy and Utilities
ORNL has developed a process to convert coal or waste streams from coal processing into graphite for use as anode in lithium-ion batteries.

An Approach for Foundry-Fabricated Silicon Sources of Broadband Hyperentanglement
202305537 // IT and Communications
ORNL's fully on-chip CMOS-fabricated integrated photonic circuit can generate polarization or frequency entangled photons for use in quantum communications and networking.

INSET (In-Pile Steady-State Extreme Temperature Testbed)
202305542 // Analytical Instrumentation // Materials 
Currently there is no capability to test materials, sensors, and nuclear fuels at extremely high temperatures and under radiation conditions for nuclear thermal rocket propulsion or advanced reactors. This technology is a low-cost, modular, vacuum furnace that is compatible with nuclear reactors and other irradiation facilities. Made of aluminum, its unique graphite insulation and heating element give this furnace unique capabilities for testing of materials, sensors and fuel up to 2300 C. Capable of steady state or rapid thermal transits, it can be used in the lab and also placed inside a nuclear reactor or other irradiation facility.

A bHLH Family-Derived Orphan Gene Enhances Plant Productivity
202405551 // Energy and Utilities // Healthcare and Biology
Orphan bHLH enhances plant biomass gain. The orphan bHLH gene has an exclusive nuclear subcellular localization with a transcriptional activator activity. Subsequently, the change in the expression levels of bHLH is associated with an increase in plant biomass accumulation; enhanced plant growth; an increase in atmospheric carbon sequestration; and plant leaf area.

Scalable Nitrogen-Carbon Catalyst for CO2 Reduction Using Nitrogen Plasma (N2) Treatment
202405555 // Materials // Energy and Utilities
This technology overcomes the limitations of carbon materials like carbon nanotubes (CNT) and graphene in carbon dioxide reduction. These materials show significant inactivity in electrochemical carbon dioxide (Na-CO2)reduction applications. This technology is a unique solution focusing on enhancing the efficacy of sodium-carbon dioxide (Na-CO2) batteries. It uses a specialized treatment process applied to carbonaceous materials. The result is much improved efficiency and effectiveness of next generation metal-CO2 batteries.

Roll-to-Roll Processing of Hierarchically Porous Acrylic Fibers through Guided Spinodal Decomposition
202405561 // Materials // Manufacturing
The disclosed technology provides a new pathway for roll-to-roll processing of hierarchically porous acrylic fibers through spinodal decomposition. The production of continuous fibers with tailorable architecture provides a scalable solution for the manufacture of woven articles requiring porous or ultra-high surface area filaments, including articles for selective capture of small molecules and particles, absorbents, thermally insulating fabrics, filtration devices, and more.

Catalytic Regeneration of Amino Acid
202405582 // Energy and Utilities // Chemicals
Regeneration of solvents used for carbon dioxide capture requires high temperature and high energy, which is a roadblock to commercialization and large-scale deployment of absorptive carbon capture plants. This technology decreases solvent regeneration energy and temperature with the use of a catalyst. It incorporates ways of introducing catalysts into traditional packing elements which will enable their usage directly into conventional regeneration columns.

Flux Synthesis of Single Crystal Nanofillers for Solid Composite Electrolytes
202405583 // Manufacturing // Materials
Inorganic fillers play an important role in improving the ionic conductivity, electrochemical stability, and mechanical strength of solid composite electrolytes (SCEs) for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. Among inorganic fillers, perovskite–type lithium lanthanum titanate (LLTO) stands out for its high bulk Li ionic conductivity. The ideal LLTO filler should feature a single crystal structure to minimize grain boundary, small particle size to enlarge filler/polymer interface, 1D morphology to provide fast interface channels, and cubic phase to ensure fast bulk Li-ion diffusion in filler. However, the synthesis of such a single crystal 1D LLTO nanomaterials with cubic phase is challenging. Herein, ORNL has developed a flux strategy to synthesize single-crystal LLTO. SCEs using LMTO described herein as a filler material exhibited more than twice the conductivities of polymer electrolytes, and those SCEs using commercial LLTO or TiO2 as filler materials. Moreover, LMTO-based SCEs exhibited much lower overpotentials and better cycling stability than the polymer electrolyte counterpart in both Li symmetric cells and full cells.

Spectral Correlation Function-Based Detection and Classification Method for Grid Signal Distortions
202405586 // Energy and Utilities // Detectors and Sensors
This invention disclosure proposes a novel method for signal detection and feature extraction based on the spectral correlation function, enabling improved characterization of grid-signal distortions. ORNL's approach differs from existing treatments of signal distortion in its analysis of the varied spectral content of signals observed in real-world scenarios. The method proposed has state-of-the-art discriminative power that provides meaningful and understandable characterizations of various grid events and anomalies and classification of power grid anomalies.

Apparatus and Method for Microwave Carbonization of Polymeric Materials for Carbon Fiber Production
202405598 // Manufacturing // Materials
Carbon fiber is used in a wide range of manufacturing that utilize composite materials, from aerospace to golf clubs, as it has high strength and is lightweight. The process for manufacturing carbon fiber is complex and requires several stages. This technology is an apparatus and method for carbonizing the already oxidized polymeric fibers using near-field electromagnetic treatment with the help of a material used as a susceptor in a resonant cavity.

Inducible Promoter for Gene Expression Control in Clostridium Thermocellum
202405602 // Chemicals // Healthcare and Biology
This technology can activate gene expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner in the thermophilic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum. This system will mediate inducible gene expression for strain engineering in C. thermocellum as well as in genotype-to-phenotype discovery studies. C. thermocellum is an anaerobic thermophile capable of degrading lignocellulose to sugars and fermenting those sugars into commodity chemicals such as ethanol, which eliminates the need for extra feedstock processing, a process known as consolidated bioprocessing (CBP). The inducible promoter used in this technology works at high temperatures, unlike other promoters.

A New Hybrid Explicit-Implicit Method to Accelerate Large-Scale Transient Thermal Stress Analysis
202405606 //  IT and Communications // Manufacturing
Finite element (FE) numerical computation method is widely used to facilitate the design and optimization of manufacturing processes using two types of solvers, implicit and explicit. The implicit solver is difficult to handle very large-scale problems due to the complexity to solve a large matrix of equations. The explicit solver has a requirement of a very small time increment. This technology is a novel hybrid explicit-implicit FE numerical method designed to accelerate simulation of very large-scale transient thermomechanical processes such as welding and additive manufacturing. 

To learn more about these technologies, email partnerships@ornl.gov or call