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1. Title of the Invention:
Bio-Film Sensor Package
1. Michael Cherry
922 South Tree Pass, Columbia SC, 20014
2. John Bryan III
55 High Top Road, Charleston SC, 30048
3. David Smith
6382 Singapore Lane, Greenville SC, 59340
3. Circumstances and Date of Conception:
Although Bio-Film sensing is relatively straight forward, bringing this product to market hasn’t. This is due to its packaging. As of September 9, 2014, we three have finally come up with two solutions that create a cost-efficient and reliable packaging solution to bring the Bio-Film sensor to the consumer.
Where is this invention documented: http://mlccstudios.com/electronics/schoolinventiondisclosure/
4. Description of the Invention:
a. Purpose: To develop a package for a Bio-Film Sensor located in water products, that is stable and easy to reproduce.
b. Technical Description: The Bio-Film sensor has two different forms that are possible for being constructed, as shown in section 5, Drawings. Both of these solutions contain easy to find and durable materials that can be used to construct a Bio-Film sensor package for manufacturing.
c. General Description: The Bio-Film Sensor is a sensor for detecting bacteria films in various water systems, such as pipes, tanks, pools, etc. The technology for developing the sensor element is already completed, but a efficient, stable packaging solution has yet to be found.
d. Applications: Although the Bio-Film Sensor element has been developed, a reliable, easy, and cheap-to-manufacturing way to package the sensor for use in all environments has yet to be found. The two possible inventions disclosed in there are solutions that we have found to work.
e. Products: At the current time the only company known to make a sensor with package is ChemTrac. This solution however, is costly, and not readily available to consumer use.
f. Market: The number of customers that this could apply to is well over 500,000. With products ranging from water treatment, medical use, and manufacturing plants, a cheap solution such as our invention could be widely adopted within a short period of time.
g. Novel Features: One of the features documented below, is the easy removability of the sensor, via threaded fitting. Another is that if at any time the sensor element is damaged by a foreign object in the water, this part can also be exchanged out for another one. Finally, this sensor can handle higher than 45psi than the current ChemTrac sensor, making it more versatile and rugged.
h. Competitive Advantages: As mentioned above, this sensor can handle higher pressures than the other sensor currently available. The easy to manufacture sensor also provides a low cost sensor to the consumer, which would make more profit than our competitor, ChemTrac.
In figure 1 above, is solution A for the Bio-Film Sensor packaging. The sensor element is attached to wires and then is mounted in the PVC pipe fitting. An epoxy layer then surrounds the sensor element for waterproofing the wire connections, as well as securing the mechanical parts of the wire connections, to the sensor also.
Figure 2 then shows solution B for the Bio-Film Sensor packaging. In this version, instead of the sensor element being held down by the epoxy, it is instead held down by two metal clamps which allow the sensor element to be changed out, in case if it is damaged.
Above in Figure 3, is a closer look at the metal clamps used for securing the sensor element. A rubber casing on the metal protects the metal from corrosion. The exposed area of metal is the part of the clamp that makes contact with the sensor. The screws are then provided to help mechanically secure the metal clamps from moving once placed onto the sensor element.
Figure 4: Invention Test Fixture
In figure 4 above, is the test fixture, to prove the reliable operation of the Bio-Film sensor packaging. It is a Capacitive Deionization/ simple filter system, with control interface for reading values from the Bio-Film sensor. The whole unit is placed on a cart for easy portability for demonstration purposes.
6. Reduction to Practice:
Although the test fixture for both inventions has been developed, construction is still in process at this moment for the sensor element.