Regenerative
          Power   and
                   Motion

RPM's Startup Resources

Our Startup Team

We believe our people, their capabilities, and their dedication to this venture, will always be our most valuable resource. Creativity, excellence, and productivity, along with mentoring, open and objective discussion and constructive criticism, mutual assistance, and team spirit, will be fostered by example and by encouraging RPM stock ownership for all employees.

Most of our startup team members have extensive power electronics, control systems, magnetics, and other hi-tech product development experience.  All are confident of meeting all goals we set forth in our development, production, and marketing schedule.  After RPM startup, individual starting dates will vary, depending on completion dates of  their on-going projects. Tasks may need to be shared, if any become a critical-path item.

The extraordinary interdisciplinary capabilities of our startup team is reflected by their accomplishments, described in our comprehensive business plan.  A team summary, their professional activities, and planned contributions to this venture, is briefly listed below:


A few photos of  RPM's startup team are shown below.  More will be added as they become available.
 
 


 
 

Dick Fradella, MSEE, RPM's founder, in the sunroom of  his San Juan Capistrano home. He has decades of experience developing advanced power electronics, magnetics, feedback loop, gyro, and motion control systems.

He developed stall warning systems for jetliners, seismic instruments, meteorological data systems, sensor electronics for the solar wind spectrometer on the moon, radiation measurement instruments, numerous power supplies and motion controllers, a stable gyro platform for spin-stabilized rockets, the first electromechanical thrust vector control for rockets, etc.

Dick holds 2 ultra-efficient regenerative brushless DC motor patents, 2 flywheel battery system patents, a broad-speed-range DC generator patent, plus a pending patent for a low-cost flywheel battery.

He also co-developed the first wide-band phased-array ultrasound transducer scanner for medical  diagnostic instruments; and  co-developed an arc-lamp flashlight with variable beam width and voice communication capability.

Engineering and science has always been his favorite hobby. He has always had a passion to learn every detail of any technology he thinks can be useful.

Dick compulsively repairs damaged things, and stores things most people would discard as junk, for  when he can find time to restore them. He stores materials from projects like building his home, to build something useful like household and yard furniture. This resourceful aspect has enabled Dick to persevere with RPM's projects, despite a minimum income tax on corporations in California that he paid since RPM was incorporated, and threats of criminal prosecution because his website stated RPM needs partners.

That minimum California corporation income tax was heralded as "closing a corporation loop-hole" by the California governor who made it a law !!   Sadly,  it's still in effect.  Was it imposed to increase State revenues, and does it?  Absolutely not.  It was imposed as a privilege to established business that makes political contributions.  It certainly impeded, and continues to impede startup ventures like RPM.  Such laws have abetted California's bankruptcy. All Californians are paying a horrendous price because of such corrupt politics, but few are aware of political acts causing our problems.

These California laws clearly seem intended to eliminate ventures developing technologies that threaten established businesses. Californians are thus denied far better alternatives to existing products. Environmental damage and a failed economy caused by government policies that support many existing products thus continues. Indeed, those harmful products of corrupt businesses are even subsidized by government.

RPM has submitted several meticulous proposals conforming to strict government agency formats, in response to agency Request For Quotations (RFQs). Conforming to the RFQ format is a very laborious and time-consuming task. RPM received only absurd rejections from those government agencies. One typical rejection was because RPM's flywheel cannot spin at 780,000 rpm !!

 If such an absurdly high speed was a goal of the RFQ, it was never even implied in the RFQ.

These agencies are funded to solve the problems to which RPM can enable excellent solutions. Unless those agencies are too incompetent to solve those problems, they are complying with a different agenda that has been dictated to them by corrupt politicians acting in concert with privileged business lobbyists. Their privileges are bought by "political contributions" which are simply bribes with huge payback to crooks at the expense of all. Dick hopes public awareness will reduce such corrupt practices, which have very harmful environmental, national economics, and even geopolitical consequences.

Besides his dedication to developing and furthering cleantech products, Dick's hobbies include caring for plants, fish, birds, frogs, lizards, and Timmie (a Pomeranian dog who shared his home).  Tweety (a yellow canary) can be seen singing on his perch.
 

David Olmos is a new RPM partner who works with the engineering team during summer break from his engineering classes at UC Berkeley.

David and Dick are seen at left, by the brushless regenerative ultra-high-efficiency DC motor and its control electronics that Dick built and very successfully demonstrated 35 years ago. Its electronics includes DC current and voltage meters that display voltage and current of a 48vdc (4 series 12vdc) lead-acid battery pack, behind David on the drafting table that Dick also built about 40 years ago from wood left over after he completed building his home.

This photo was taken in the office/lab of Dick's home, where this motor and RPM's first flywheel battery prototype were built and tested.

At the time this photo was taken, David had completed his Sophomore year at Cal, studying mechanical/electrical and interdisciplinary engineering.

David's main activities are his studies at Cal and helping RPM team members to achieve our goals.

In his spare time, David loves surfing and scuba diving, and spending time with his family.

Dick feels especially blessed that David's family shares his enthusiasm for the environmentally responsible sustainable technologies that RPM is developing; from the broad-speed-range DC generator (mainly for producing better quality DC power from wind turbines and 2x to 10x the energy yield of ubiquitous induction machines now widely used) and minimal-loss flywheel batteries (for storing and regenerating electric power, preferably from RPM generators and building-integral photovoltaic solar panels), including a unique onboard generator and motor-wheel that can enable a very low cost and very practical "fitness-EV". 

This no-gas personal transportation ultra-light EV would even include a recumbent cycling exercise option onboard. It  has not yet progressed beyond a 3D CAD model but has much future potential for another RPM business sector if sufficient financial investments can be secured for it.

Marco Gottini is seen above in Dick's family room. Gene Diloreto and Dick are seen in Dick's living room. Joe Lagaipa is seen at his computer.
 
 


Timmy (Dick's Pomeranian). We don't know if  he dug hi-tech. But he liked to be with us,  was chief  greeter to Dick's home, and always a great listener. Everyone who knew Timmie is sure there is a place in Heaven for him.
 


Office, Lab, Shop -- Facilities and Equipment
 

Facilities:
Over 2000 square feet of office, manufacturing, and storage space.

Equipment:
Electronic -- 1 GSample/sec digitizing oscilloscope, DVMs (including 7 digit), logic analyzer, lock-in amplifier, signal generators, power supplies.
Optical -- LED and laser light sources, lenses, and other components, fiberoptic components, fiberoptic connector kits for ST and SMA connectors, integrating sphere for camera characterization.
Real-Time Computer System -- VMEbus single board computer, time capture boards (by FWS), GPS receiver, C cross-compiler for software development.
CAD Work Stations -- XP computers, Solidworks, FEA, Spice, Orcad, AutoCAD, PADS Logic and PowerPCB, Viewlogic, Lattice FPGA software, HP Draftpro plotter.
Mechanical Fabrication -- Milling machine with tooling, band saw, drill press, sander, hand power tools.

Environmental test eqpmt. -- vacuum chamber, metered air flow, emi measurement.
Experimental Machine Shop -- Lathe with tooling, drill press, hand power tools, 5-ton lift, etc.


Prototypes, Patents, Research & Development, Custom Software

Motor/generator & Controller Electronics:
Several prototypes built and tested for various motion control applications.  RPM's proprietary brushless DC regenerative motor technology is covered by US Patents 4085355 and 4520300.  RPM's flywheel battery system technology is protected by Fradella's US Patent 6566775 for a  "Minimal-loss Flywheel Battery and Related Elements" and US Patent 6794777 for a "Robust Minimal-loss Flywheel System". They describe and illustrate all components of our integral high-speed flywheel and motor/generator, all with nearly zero idling losses.  New features include: Axial-field levitation, with magnetic-field-return stator and rotor iron that is not magnetically cycled; normally passive radial electromagnets that control radial position during possible vibration or earthquake; stator windings that block and buck eddy currents; rolling contact backup bearing control; inherent rotor balancing; and safety shutdown algorythms.  Completed extensive preliminary design assessments and patent searches. All related patents cataloged.  Relevant differences identified.  Power and efficiency data obtained from tests and computed with custom software.

RPM's limited resources shifted over the past year to a broad-speed-range generator, which can reach manufacturing and marketing with profitable income within several months, whereas our flywheel batteries will probably not reach profitability within two years at the present rate of progress limited by our existing resources.

Magnetic Bearing systems:
RPM's flywheel patents have independent claims for magnetic bearings with nearly zero idling losses, and rolling contact backup bearings.  Unique features include:  Magnetic bearings with no cyclic magnetic variation;  automatic axial positioning for zero steady-state axial stabilizing servo power;  integrated m/g rotor and rolling contact backup bearings that will be far easier to manufacture;  and automatic rotation axis shift to accommodate possible rotor unbalance.  Completed extensive patent searches.  All related patents cataloged.  Relevant differences identified.  Lift and centering forces tabulated vs. relative position, for several preliminary designs, using finite element analysis (boundary element method).  Tilt from earth rotation and stabilization analysis completed with custom software.

Flywheel Rim:

RPM's 2 flywheel prototypes have aluminum rims, because they are lowest cost. However, production versions will need carbon fiber composite rims, for smaller size and lower weight. Suppliers have been identified and consulted. Weight vs. energy vs. material, failure modes and effects, for several configurations, have been analyzed with FEA software.  RPM will finalize strategic partnership with rim supplier when startup is completed.

Low-cost Flywheel:

We have constructed and tested a prototype flywheel battery with passive magnetic bearings stabilized by ceramic ball bearings. It is described and illustrated in Fradella's patent pending for a "Low-cost Minimal-loss Flywheel Battery".
 
 

On-site solar and wind power generation:
RPM has developed and lab tested a broad-speed-range generator that is now connected to a wind turbine for customer demonstrations. Power and yield for various hardware, environmental conditions, and preliminary designs, have been computed with custom software.


 

Prototype Product Illustrations of What Could Be Great Options That RPM Could Make Available When Production Resources are Found
 


 
 
 

Baldor selectable speed test drive motor shown in position to test vertical-axis generator.

Speed is selected over full test speed range.

Shaft torque is recorded over full test speed range.

Mechanical input power = shaft torque x shaft speed.

Losses include all mechanical bearing losses, including losses in shaft coupling.

Generator ball bearing losses should be almost negligible, since rolling friction torque is only a few gm.cm.

Computed generator losses under 5% over a 10-to-1 minimum speed range include only electro-mechanical conversion losses.

RPM's generator has zero cogging torque and boost regulation.

Both features are essential to achieving its broad speed range.

Quiescent generator electronics losses are a few watts. They can be reduced by new lower power integrated circuits, and integrated circuits that perform functions like analog-to-PWM conversion now implemented by multiple components.

These ICs should soon become available. They will also improve reliability. 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

Photo at left shows first flywheel constructed by RPM team.

Its rotor has magnetic bearings.

Rotor axially positioned and centered by 2 axial and 8 radial electromagnets, controlled by servo loops having 2 axial and 8 radial Hall sensors, plus 2 axial and 8 radial rate coils.

Rate coil signals are vital to stabilizing the servo loops.

Signal levels are normally in a microvolt range.

This requires close proximity to electronic signal processors.

Servo loops require considerable power at startup, and have difficult stability requirements.

This flywheel would be difficult and expensive to produce.

Its further development requires considerable resources that are not yet available.

We are strongly motivated by its cleantech attributes, and evidence of vast global markets mainly for dependable power storage uninterruptible power systems (UPS) with no need for periodic maintenance.

Another potential market is onboard space vehicles, where 2 or more flywheel systems can be combined to provide UPS and concurrent spacecraft pitch, yaw, and roll control by what is known as a controlled moment gyro (CMG) function.
 
 
 
 


 
 

Photo at left shows second flywheel constructed by RPM team.

This flywheel rotor is supported by axially magnetized NIB ring magnets that repel each other.

Ring magnets supported by the bottom deck axially repel magnets held in the rotor.

The rotor is centered by a deep groove radial ball bearing at the bottom and another at the top.

Ball bearing inner races have a sliding fit with a center shaft that can be seen at the top.

Springs that provide a consistent axial preload for both top and bottom ball bearings also provide axial rotor lift forces.

Rotor balancing is crucial for ball bearing life.

Another magnetic bearing configuration is under analysis by the RPM engineering team, which does not require critical rotor balancing, does not require startup power, and yet can be low cost like the flywheel battery shown .

Clearly, the RPM flywheel battery is the most challenging product to emerge from RPM's related technologies.

Perhaps that is why no potential competitor has been able to produce a flywheel battery providing RPM's minimal-loss long-term power storage and regeneration features.

The image shown below is from a 3D CAD model of an ultra-light electric vehicle (EV) like no other. The CAD model integrates RPM motor and generator specialties. A special wheel-motor version of a far more powerful motor that we have developed would provide speed control and regenerative braking. A fitness-EV version includes a pedal powered RPM generator for optional recumbent cycling exercise that can extend the EV range as well. An "electronic differential gear" costing about 0.1% of a familiar mechanical differential gear is another unique feature. Furthermore, it needs no maintenance and does not incur losses.

A wheel having minimal unsprung mass is shown, that can provide a smooth ride with far less power losses than conventional vehicle suspension systems. The wheel shown at left has S-shape springs connecting the wheel-motor to the wheel rim. The wheel shown at its right has a spring mesh connecting them. This EV, or anything like it, is not available from others anywhere on Earth. Why not?
 


 
 

More Web Pages about RPM's Technology and Plans

HOME                   Compare to Others                 Business Plan Summary
           Flywheel Basics                                      On-site Solar & Wind Power
What we can do to enable awesome EVs with unlimited range from solar/wind power
Links to flywheel batteries, solar and wind power, dual-mode EVs, and a plan to achieve them
Urban EV with Onboard Batteries, Charger, PV, Regenerative Motor, Pedals
Onsite Solar/wind + RPM's storage & regeneration Benefits/costs
RPM's UPS/guidance for LEO Satellites & Orbit dynamics

RPM's Broad-speed range Generator

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, email me:  fradella@earthlink.net



Updated  May 2010