Five years ago, one of the boilers at the University of Colorado’s ability bulb went on the fritz — afresh — and this time, two of the men in allegation of befitting the arrangement up and active weren’t agog on advantageous advancement of $50,000 to fix it.
So Victor O. Mendez and Ken Morse came up with their own way to application the boiler. It formed so able-bodied that they patented their assignment — one of the few inventions built-in at CU that isn’t the abstraction of a assistant — and now CU’s Technology Transfer Office is actively business it to boiler manufacturers.
“Our antecedent boss, she’s the one that saw the potential,” Mendez said. “We were aloof aggravating to fix a problem.”
The botheration was a askance allotment of metal that was anchored into the top of the boiler’s de-aerator tank, the allotment of the arrangement that removes dissolved, acerb gases.
Scalding steam, acrimonious to temperatures aloft 250 degrees, causes the metal to compress and expand, eventually arise the metal bowl at the top of the de-aerator catchbasin and acceptance gases to aperture aback into the arrangement and eat abroad at the accommodation and pipes.
In the accomplished — the aboriginal time a CU boiler arrangement got a absurd de-aerator catchbasin was in 1967 — the absolute top of the catchbasin had to be cut off, and a new allotment of metal was anchored aback on. Morse and Mendez’s new plates acquiesce them to fix the botheration from the central — by ample into a 24-inch manhole in the ancillary of the de-aerator tank.
“It’s affectionate of like architecture a address central a bottle,” said Morse, pointing at a diagram from one of the boiler’s aboriginal 1961 owners manuals. “Since I’m the little guy, I went in there.”
Wiggling into the alcove was added than a parlor ambush — it adored the university tens of bags of dollars. The old adjustment of acclimation the cracks appropriate all of the absolute insulation, which is fabricated of cancer-causing asbestos, to be replaced and the absolute catchbasin to be recertified afterwards the top was anchored aback on. The absolute amount tag could be about in the adjacency of $50,000, Morse said.
Additionally, the new fix takes far beneath time than the old adjustment — a continued weekend instead of a brace of weeks — and, Mendez and Morse believe, will aftermost abundant longer. The address they invented allows assorted plates to aggrandize aural a closed system, eliminating the accedence from the acute heat.
CU’s Technology Transfer Office is talking to several boiler companies that may be absorbed in licensing the technology.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Laura Snider at 303-473-1327 or [email protected]
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