Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USM researcher uses nanotechnology to invent high quality varistor

12.11.2009
The new varistor is able to withstand up to 2000 Ampere electrical current without causing any harm to the electrical goods and is 30% cheaper.

Malaysia has the second highest rate of lighting and thunder occurences (about 280 days a year) after Florida at over 300 days a year.

The imapct results in the destruction of many electrical and electronic equipment and loss of electricity supply. USM researcher, Dr Sharom Mahmud, 46 has improved the varistor technology and succeeded in inventing a high quality varistor which is able to withstand up to 2000 Ampere electrical current without causing any harm to the electrical goods.

This far exceeds the standard 500 Ampere varistors found in most electrical items in our homes. Furthermore, the product is 30 % cheaper at RM 0.70 sen a unit compared to RM1.26 sen a unit for a comparable varistor in the market.

INTRODUCTION
Varistors are semiconductor components that protect electrical equipment from electrical power surges. Currently almost all electrical equipment use varistors for surge protection – it is a must-have product. Each time there is thunderstorm, there are reports of power failure due to power surges – it is a common problem in Malaysia. Most varistors are made from zinc oxide (ZnO) as the main element. The world makes about 3 billion varistors annually.
BACKGROUND
Dr Shahrom started working on varistors 16 years ago when he worked as a varistor engineer at a European-owned factory. He was involved in the improvement of varistor industrial technology. He has produced about half a billion varistors that conformed to world standards. For 7 years, Dr Shahrom has done research to further improve varistor technology with the help from Prof Mat Johar Abdullah. Finally he has produced High Performance Varistors that are proven to outperform international standards. His novel product is recognized by winning a gold medal in PECIPTA 2009. The invention, supported by an incentive grant from USM, is currently being processed for patent filing.
SIGNIFICANCE OF INVENTION TO SOCIETY
High Performance (HP) Varistors are what Malaysia need to solve the severe power surges due to lightning. With about 280 lightning days per year, Malaysia has one of the world’s highest lightning occurence. Many people have reported equipment damage during thunderstorms. HP Varistors can greatly reduce equipment damage due to power surges because they are specially formulated to absorb more electrical energy. They are also cheaper than commercial varistors because 90% of the raw material can be sourced locally and homegrown technology is used. Malaysia will need tens of millions of HP Varistors per year to overcome severe power surges due to lightning. With his decade-long industrial experience, Dr Shahrom has the expertise to build one varistor factory bottom-up.
UNIQUENESS OF THE INVENTION
High Performance Varistors can be produced by controlling at the nano scale. The main ingredient, zinc oxide, possesses several nano morphologies and Dr Shahrom discovered that certain rectangular morphologies tend to give the best energy handling capability for varistors. This nanostructural-electrical correlation is new and many varistor corporations are investigating this fascinating phenomenon. He is also currently attached as a consultation for two zinc oxide companies. State-of-the-art equipment at USM’s NOR Lab and EM Lab are used for this nano research.

This research won the Gold Medal in PECIPTA 2009

RESEARCHER
Dr. Shahrom Mahmud
Senior Lecturer
NanoOptoelectronic Reseach (NOR) Lab
School of Physics
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 Pulau Pinang.
Phone: 012-5710976
E-mail: shahromx@usm.my

Mohamad Abdullah | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://shahrom.com/
http://www.usm.my

Further reports about: Ampere NOR PECIPTA Performance Measurement-Systems Shahrom USM specimen processing

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

nachricht Magnetic moment of a single antiproton determined with greatest precision ever
19.01.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>