Iranian Inventor Canada’s Innovator of 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Active ImageThe Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation has named the Rockwell Automation inventor of "the transformerless medium voltage drive" its innovator of the year. Dr. Navid Zargari from Rockwell Automation in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, was recognized in May 2009 at the Premier's Innovation Awards ceremony in Toronto and received a $200,000 grant.

A manager of medium voltage development at Rockwell Automation, Zargari was a major contributor in developing the transformerless medium voltage motor drive, a technology that is helping increase energy efficiency and reliability to achieve sustainability in industries such as oil and gas, power utilities, mining and cement, and water/wastewater.

Along with Dr. Bin Wu of Toronto's Ryerson University, and Steve Rizzo and Yuan Xiao of Rockwell Automation, Zargari co-invented the integrated DC choke for the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 7000 medium voltage (up to 34,000 horsepower/22.5 MW) drive. The patented, integrated DC choke helps eliminate the need for an isolation transformer to mitigate common mode voltages. This helps companies reduce manufacturing costs by 20-25% per drive, as well as reduce overall operating costs.

The DC choke also helps improve sustainability by increasing drive efficiency by nearly 40%, and creates a smaller footprint than the previous generation of medium voltage drives by decreasing drive size and weight by nearly 30%.

"Navid led the research, development and technology transfer as the senior design engineer on the PowerFlex 7000 project team," says Steve Rizzo, manager, Medium Voltage Drives. "His groundbreaking work has helped us grow medium voltage sales significantly with growth rates in the double digits year over year."

The $200,000 grant will be used toward preliminary technology development and a feasibility study for wind energy conversion systems.

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