Written by Seamus Kelleher.
Look around and you’ll probably spot something that uses an electric motor. Electric motors power our cars, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, paper shredders, garage door openers and so much more. You can’t escape them—they’re a major part of our everyday lives and drive many important functions we rely on. Resonance Group in Toledo, Ohio, designs technology that boosts the efficiency of electrical processes like motors, saves energy, and further advances engineering towards clean energy solutions.
“The goal is to develop alternative energy technologies. We engineer systems that improve the efficiency of electrical motors and can extend battery life,” said Jason Owens, Chief Engineer at Resonance Group. “Our flagship technology is our Energy Control System. We use a pulse motor to replace a system’s existing electric motor. We can capture electrical energy that’s usually wasted as heat, and recycle it so that it takes less energy to power a system.”
Further Resonance Group technology is based off this advanced understanding of high frequency, high voltage pulsed electricity. Their newest project expands on their flagship technology but focuses on batteries, particularly those in electric cars. They’ve engineered a power management device that works in conjunction with the Energy Control System, and can regulate the energy required from, and returning to, a battery. This ability to control energy expense extends a battery’s potential life and improves performance through increased efficiency.
“The technology will help to increase the efficiency of the discharge process, keep the battery cooler and help it run more efficiently. When you pulse charge a battery instead of the traditional direct current way, you can store more power,” said Owens. “You’re no longer wasting power to heat loss. So, a 100 amp-hour battery could now perform like a 150 amp-hour battery. You can either get more capacity out of the same battery or utilize smaller batteries that are less expensive, and still get the same capacity out of them as the larger one.”
In 2009, Owens became the first student to participate in the student entrepreneurship program at the University of Toledo College of Engineering. After graduating, Owens repurposed his garage into a lab space and got to work with a team that would come to be known as Resonance Group. After outgrowing the garage, Owens and his five-full-time staff returned to where it all began, the University of Toledo, entering the LaunchPad Incubation Program in 2016.
At LaunchPad, a northwest Ohio regional partner of Ohio Third Frontier, the Resonance Group team has plenty of elbow room they didn’t have in Owens’ garage, and that has helped them ramp up their research. Since being admitted to LaunchPad, the team has experienced increased visibility and leveraged the incubator’s network to land business with several of Toledo’s industrial companies. Perhaps more than anything, though, Owens says Resonance Group appreciates the close relationship with the university and the educational opportunities that provides. Moving forward, they plan to expand on that academic relationship and are working to build a reputation as a company that’s both successful, and a top-notch electrical engineering research company.
“We have access to such great talent at UT. We run a co-op program where students can work with us for a semester, and I think that’s mutually beneficial for them and for us,” said Owens. “Moving forward, we also plan to offer workshops for students in engineering. We’d love to be viewed as a ‘hub of expertise,’ specifically for alternative energy. Being involved with LaunchPad and UT, where many of us are alumni, has been awesome.”