Twin Falls Man's Invention Could Change The Game
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) - Have you thought you had a great idea for a new invention, but couldn't get any farther than that?
A local man said his invention could change the game in a big way, when it comes to connecting electrical wires.
These days if you want to connect two pieces of wire, you have to crimp them together.
Twin Falls businessman Mark Melni thought there had to be a better way.
He based his idea for an electrical connector on the 4,000 year old Chinese finger trap.
“This invention is a next step invention. It changes everything. If you get on the internet and take a look at crimps and other types of connectors, you'll quickly recognize what we're talking about. If you were to imagine going from buttons to the zipper, and from the zipper to Velcro, these are next step inventions,” said Mark Melni, Inventor.
Melni's connector prototype was tested at the Idaho National Laboratory west of Idaho Falls.
It had to pass both voltage and current tests to be approved by underwriters laboratories, or u–l.
The connector withstood 3400 volts for a minute, and held up to 41,000 volts before breaking down.
It also passed the heat test at 560 amperes for one minute, a full 200 amps about the required test amperage.
“I was quite surprised that it exceeded anything that we expected at the time, and it went way above the voltages, the current ratings. It was just a marvelous test, I thought,” said Scott Scherbinske, Nuclear Electrician, I.N.L.
In side by side tests, installing a Melni connector took 43 seconds, or only about one–sixth of the time it took to install a standard crimp splice.
That's not counting the crimp tool preparation time, or the bigger hole you have to dig for the older method.
In all, a traditional crimp splice took at least 12 minutes more than using a Melni connector.
“That's why I say it shows tremendous potential in the electrical industry for a connector that will be able to withstand a tremendous amount of current and abuse in the electrical world that we live in,” said Mark Hunter, Foreman, Nuclear Electricians, I.N.L.