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With increasing automation and demand for energy efficiency, new digital measurement solutions are more pertinent than ever for monitoring and process optimisations. Existing products based on current monitoring lack flexibility and are costly to install. Due to the operating principle, these sensors can only measure the current in a single conductor of a cable. Therefore, these systems are unsuitable for many businesses, especially for retrofits because of cost and complexity. Based on space technology deployed as part of ESA’s Rosetta Mission, PhySens GmbH developed a contactless, non-invasive and easily retrofittable sensor solution for current measurement. By simply mounting the sensor on a cable, it measures the currents in all conductors simultaneously using high-precision magnetic field data. As a result, this new sensor solution can detect and classify anomalies in current profiles caused by e.g. faulty motors or seized bearings in hard-to-access or sealed machinery. This is vital for intelligent load management and predictive maintenance as part of industrial automation.
Winning the INNOspace Masters ESA BIC challenge paved the way for a successful application to ESA BIC Northern Germany. In particular, the collaboration with a regional economic development agency (Starthaus Bremen) as part of the ESA BIC programme increased visibility and generated new sales leads. As a result, the INNOspace Masters provided an initial boost and helped to use the contactless magnetic current sensor in a multitude of sustainable energy applications. Ranging from diagnostic tools for electric vehicle charging to retrofittable load management for heat pumps, the space technology-based systems provide flexible and cost-effective solutions for customers on Earth.
PhySens applies and commercialises a magnetic field sensor technology successfully tested in the ESA Rosetta mission in the terrestrial domain. Since their participation in the INNOspace Masters, the team has greatly developed the technology in a very short time and made it accessible for new applications, e.g. for charging monitoring in electric vehicles.