Get in Touch

2016 AFR Most Innovative Companies List #17

THYCON’s INNOVATION 1 Airfield Lighting Regulator for Commercial & Defence Airports:

The fundamental problem with the present technology in Airfield Lighting is the typical use of a voltage source circuit with voltage control, to control current and therefore lamp brightness. This system inevitably leads to delays in monitoring and control corrections to regulate current to the lamps. As the lamps have very small margin for over current, failure rates in lamps and cable and energy wastage are far more common than necessary, not to mention, environmental waste due to shortened life and early replacement of infrastructure.

THYCON’s innovation mitigates all of the above by utilising a fundamental change in design philosophy.

In essence, THYCON’s design creates a current source circuit to control current and therefore lamp brightness. THYCON’s regulator power circuit is a resonant circuit of very high impedance that when connected to a steady state voltage source will create a constant current at the output terminals.

Connecting lamps to the output terminals presents such a small impedance in comparison to the power circuit that any variations that may occur do not affect the output current. As a result, the current is set and variations in application do not affect the output current wave shape or magnitude. Over currents and over voltages cannot result ensuring maximized lifetime of lamps and cable and minimal energy wastage.

Further enhancements in the power circuit and control system have achieved gains in efficiency, supply power factor and harmonic minimisation to make this Regulator the most efficient and best performing unit on the market.

THYCON’s INNOVATION 2 Fault Current Limiter:

In recent years, the proliferation of distributed energy resources such as renewables and cogeneration connected to the electricity grid has stirred renewed interest in fault current limitation techniques. The general area of application is that of fast fault limitation where breakers are unable to intervene with sufficient speed.

The main disadvantages and reliability issues of present state of the art technology are as follows:

  • Impact on voltage regulation and stability
  • Size/footprint
  • Impact on system efficiency
  • Penetration of stray alternating flux
  • Impact on network switching surges
  • Lack of fail safe, passive technology

The development of the THYCON Fault Current Limiter (patent pending) addresses all of the above points.

A typical fault current profile can be defined by two main variables: Peak and RMS magnitude. By targeting the limitation of these two quantities separately the limitation technology can be made simpler and more reliable.

The TFCL, made up of interconnected network of diodes and a DC inductance, mitigates the initial asymmetric peak value of the fault current. Series fuses or circuit breakers, with appropriate selection and settings, mitigate the RMS value of the fault current. Both mitigation techniques involve no detection (measurement) circuitry, power supplies or gating signals and therefore the technology is considered passive.

The TFCL takes the principle of limitation one step further by eliminating the need for control and detection while maintaining the principle of self-activation, inherent in super-conductors and PTCs. It consists purely of passive components.

The TFCL is able to insert high instantaneous impedance for the critical first pulse and its impedance diminishes over the following cycles.

A TFCL is added in series with the renewable / co-generator to eliminate the asymmetric current peak during a fault, thus preserving the existing switchboard installation without the need for any costly modifications that often diminish the viability of the project.

This situation is common in any distribution grid because protection must be tightly co-ordinated with the network’s prospective faults to ensure safe and rapid response.