Veteran ConEd employee invents device to restore power faster

New York, NY, Feb. 4, 2008 — Con Edison employee Alan Homyk, director of quality assurance and operations services and a 26-year veteran of the company, has invented a device called the “PhazeSaver” that is used to provide temporary power to customers during partial outages or low-voltage situations.

Weighing about 50 pounds, the PhazeSaver is a mini transformer. The portable device has been used on New York City streets to help power emergency mobile vans and command vehicles for Homeland Security and the United Nations.

For use by electric operations’ mechanics to restore full power to a customer until cables can be permanently repaired, the PhazeSaver is part of a company-wide pilot program. Due to the success rate in residential settings as well as with emergency response vehicles on city streets, the company says it is in the process of expanding the program.

Homyk said the “PhazeSaver” provides the power of 240 volts from a single 120 volt phase.

When cable cannot be instantly repaired, utilities often resort to running a temporary conductor from an alternate service, such as a light pole, which involves suspending cable overhead with temporary braces. The PhazeSaver avoids the need to bridge or run a shunt for residential customers who may lose a phase or experience low voltage.

In the tradition of Thomas Edison, who secured more than 1,000 patents, Con Edison encourages its employees to cultivate ideas with the help of the Research and Development department. Homyk’s PhazeSaver is one of eight Con Edison patents pending applications filed in 2007. The applications focus on greener, smarter and safer innovations.

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