Innovative Solutions for Complex Engineering Problems
PHYSEIR (Physics, Engineering, Innovation and Research) is a new engineering company integrated by a talented group of engineers and physicists capable of carrying out high quality applied research and consulting, to offer our clients customized effective
and innovative solutions (methodologies, algorithms, software and devices/prototypes, among others) to complex engineering problems, and specialized services. We also offer training courses or programs designed to meet specific
needs or requirements. Our main areas of expertise are radiofrequency and microwave engineering, process control and automation, system and process optimization, signal analysis and processing and electrical engineering.
Our team members have a solid education and outstanding careers, some as professional engineers and other as professors and researchers. Precisely, the quality of our personnel is the main strength of PHYSEIR, due to up-to-date knowledge in their fields
and broad experience (technical, engineering and research projects, teaching academic and technical courses).
Relationship between electric permittivity and heavy oil viscosity for recovery using microwave heating View Detail
Electromagnetic characterization of heavy oil samples from Tia Juana field, Zulia state, Venezuela View Detail
Prototype of a low cost bottomhole electric heater for heavy and extraheavy oil View Detail
Simulation of the 3D propagation of electromagnetic waves in closed spaces using PML absorbers boundaries View Detail
Arduino-based system for control of three-phase AC and DC motors View Detail
Microcontroller-based device for speed control of three-phase induction motors View Detail
Software for the conversion of images to sound signals View Detail
Fast speckle analysis for detection of bumps in apples View Detail
Strategy for finding the optimal operation schedule of an oil recovery process View Detail
WHERE TO FIND US
Development of a parallel submarine robot
REMO I, a parallel structure underwater robot of 6 degrees of freedom, was developed. Compared to other underwater robots, navigation of REMO I is performed by the capability of its parallel structure to modify its geometric structure
(thruster and front ring) and to displace by itself. The single thruster in its rear ring gives the robot maneuverability, flexibility, and holonomic capabilities for its navigation and positioning, hence allowing it to follow
complex trajectories to reach places of difficult access.
SCARA robotic arm with three degrees of freedom and artificial vision
A SCARA robotic arm with three degrees of freedom and artificial vision was designed and built, for the manipulation of laboratory test tubes. The arm was able to extend up to 0.5 m, and its control system used direct and inverse
kinematic strategies, and image processing capabilities for real time capturing the dimension and the location of the object.
Electronic card and web app for bidirectional measurement of electric energy
An electronic card was designed and built for bidirectional (consumption and generation) measurement of electric energy. The card uses the three-phase digital meter and is ideal for alternative energy applications. A web app was also
developed to access a database in which the measured values of voltage, current, power, energy, among other variables, are stored, and provide the user with real time and historic information.
Electronic bracelet for wireless control of a bridge crane using myoelectric signals
An electronic bracelet was designed and built for wireless control of a bridge crane using myoelectric signals. The bracelet picks up such signals and the movements (has a gyroscope to detect position and velocity) from the user’s
arm and sends the data via Bluetooth to a computer, which analyses and turns the information into commands to the crane (movements and activation/deactivation of an electromagnet to pick up/release the object). Neural networks
were used to characterize the patterns of the myoelectric signals. The performance of the bracelet was tested on a crane simulated in a virtual reality environment.
Design and construction of a low cost ball and beam
A low cost ball and beam system was designed and built. The system is mainly constituted by: a metal beam coupled to a DC motor, a steel sphere that can roll on the beam, an encoder and a resistor to respectively measure the angle
of the beam and the position of the ball, and an electronic circuit. The control objective is to maintain the ball in a position on the bar, manipulating the motor voltage. An LQR control scheme was designed and implemented
on a computer, for real time digital control of the system. Due to its complex dynamics (unstable, nonlinear, fourth order), the ball and beam may be used in control laboratories as a benchmark for testing control algorithms.
Implementation of advanced schemes for real time control of petrochemical processes
Two advanced control schemes, optimal adaptive and adaptive MPC, were implemented for real time control of two petrochemical processes. The design of both schemes was based on a linear ARMAX model which is constantly updated to
describe the time-varying dynamics of the system. The complex mathematical calculations involved in the model update and control design are carried out in a computer, which communicates with the Digital Control System for reading/writing
the process variables by means of the OPC communication protocol using a constant frequency connection.
Update/replacement/integration of control systems in chemical plants
We have been responsible of different engineering projects in chemical plants related to the update or replacement of control systems, and the integration of devices of different technologies and/or manufacturers. Some relevant projects include:
Replacement of the Honeywell TDC 3000 distributed control system (DCS) by a DCS manufactured by Yokogawa–CentumVP in a vinyl chloride monomer plant. This system handles 1590 WIRE inputs/outputs (IO, 880 analog inputs (AI), 450 analog outputs (AO), 200 digital inputs (DI), 60 digital outputs (DO)), 1660 SERIAL IO, 150 operational displays (OD) and 380 PID blocks.
Replacement of the Honeywell TDC 3000 distributed control system (DCS) by a DCS manufactured by Invensys–IA FoxBoro in an olefins plant. This system handles 1400 WIRE IO (750AI, 400AO, 200DI, 50DO), 3340 SERIAL IO (410AI, 120 AO, 2000DI, 810DO), 650AI Fieldbus Foundation, 150 operational displays, 60 programs y 460 PID blocks.
Update of the emergency stop system in an olefins plant, constituted by 4 Schneider-Quantum PLCs, which were integrated with the Invensys–IA FoxBoro DCS via serial TCP/IP. This system handles 2000 IO (50AI+1100DI+850DO).
Protection of fuel storage tanks against atmospheric discharges in an electric plant
The electronic circuit of the level measuring instrument of a fuel storage tank in Casigua electric generation plant (in Zulia state, Venezuela), was severely damaged due to the electromagnetic transient produced by an atmospheric
discharge. A deep analysis on the conduction, radiation and coupling of the electromagnetic event allowed us to determine that the system for grounding and protection against atmospheric discharges did not appropriately protect
Sensor for detecting atmospheric discharges in tropical zones
A sensible and low cost sensor was developed for detecting atmospheric discharges in tropical zones. The resulting sensor was a parallel plate antenna that was calibrated based on patterns of discharges in tropical latitudes. The
sensor is capable of detecting electrical signals produced by lightings, with frequencies between 0.4 kHz and 400 kHz.
Technical, economic and environmental feasibility of implementing LED lighting systems in Venezuela
As an alternative to reduce the consumption of electricity in Venezuela, a technical, economic and environmental study was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of installing led lighting systems in the country. The study included determining components, costs and environmental impact associated to the manufacturing process of long life led lamps, from extraction of raw materials to final disposal. Thereafter, several power supply circuits for LEDs were compared taking in consideration compliance with international standards, performance, durability and manufacturing costs. At end, a detailed proposal for construction of LED lamps factories in Venezuela was presented. Results show that: (i) it is possible to manufacture led lamps of about 100.000 hours of life with a minimum environmental impact and (ii) a widespread use of proper LED lamps and drivers will reduce the consumption of electricity in Venezuela in approximately 14 % (about 2,800 MW).
Feasibility study for the design of a hybrid electric generation system for Zapara island in Venezuela
The purpose of this work is to propose an alternative for generating electricity in Zapara island (Zulia state, Venezuela), which lacks of an electric generation system. The eolian potential of the island was estimated based on
data from wind turbines nearby, and a mast for future measurements of the wind was also designed. At last, we designed a hybrid generation system consisting of 4 wind turbines of 2.5 MW each and a thermoelectric turbine to
guarantee the short circuit level.
Transverse electromagnetic (TEM) cell for testing electromagnetic compatibility in electric and electronic equipment
A TEM cell was developed for testing electromagnetic compatibility in electric and electronic equipment. This is part of a project for building a lab for low cost certification of electronic equipment, according to standards IEC
61000 and ISO17020. The TEM cell was designed using a method based on electromagnetic theory of transmission lines, taking as reference the dimensions of the equipment under test (EUT) and the desired cell operation bandwidth.
Antenna for measuring electromagnetic fields on the L and S microwave bands
An antenna was developed for measuring electromagnetic fields in the L and S microwave bands. FR4 dielectric was used to build a linearly polarized microstrip antenna with a gain of 9.5 dBi and 16 dipoles. The obtained antenna
was low cost, directive, ergonomic and log-periodic, capable of measuring electromagnetic shielding in the 900 MHz to 1 GHz frequency band.
Low cost antenna array for educational purposes
A linear array of microstrip antennas in the 2.4 GHz band was designed and built, using FR4 as dielectric. The array is constituted by two sets with two antennas each, which allow varying the phase difference by time displacing
one group with respect to the other. As a result, a variable radiation pattern can be obtained according to the sincronization of the feeders. This low-cost array is suitable for teaching the concepts of variable radiation
Relationship between electric permittivity and heavy oil viscosity for recovery using microwave heating
For different samples of heavy oil, we determined mathematical equations that relate viscosity and complex electric permittivity with temperature, from measurement of both variables at different temperatures. An Ostwald viscometer
was used to measure viscosity, while an electromagnetic device, constituted by a waveguide at 2.45 GHz, measure the permittivity using the technique of perturbed resonant cavity.
Electromagnetic characterization of heavy oil samples from Tia Juana field, Zulia state, Venezuela
Samples of heavy oil from Tia Juana field in Zulia state, Venezuela, were characterized from the electromagnetic point of view. Specifically, we determined physical and chemical properties, and the electric permittivity at a frequency
of 2.45 GHz. The results show that it is feasible to reduce the viscosity of the heavy oil samples under study by heating it using microwave radiation.
Prototype of a low cost bottomhole electric heater for heavy and extraheavy oil
We designed and built a prototype of a bottomhole electric heater for heavy and extraheavy oils. The device is a three-phase resistor that heats through conduction. It is built using and aluminum alloy, to avoid the formation of petroleum
coke on the production tubing. This heater has the potential of improving the recovery factor of these types of crude oils, by reducing their viscosity.
Simulation of the 3D propagation of electromagnetic waves in closed spaces using PML absorbers boundaries
A software was developed for the simulation of the 3D propagation of electromagnetic waves in closed spaces, using PML absorbers boundaries. The algorithm uses time-domain finite differences to solve a discrete-time formulation
of Maxwell equations. The software is a low cost application that can be used to simulate the propagation in closed spaces in different situations.
Arduino-based system for control of three-phase AC and DC motors
An Arduino-based system with Ethernet communication capabilities, was developed for the control of three-phase AC and DC motors. An Arduino Uno card with Ethernet shield was used as master for Ethernet communication and DC motor control; another Arduino Uno card was used as slave for AC motor control. A power electronics interface was also designed and built for each type of motor. In addition, an application for android devices was developed for control and supervision (bidirectional communication) of the motors through an intranet or the internet. This application allows the user to vary the speed of the motor, and supervise some variables (like current or temperature) in real time.
Microcontroller-based device for speed control of three-phase induction motors
A device was designed and built for speed control of squirrel-cage three-phase induction motors. This device is constituted by a power stage, built using mainly rectifier diodes and MOSFET power transistors, and a control stage which employs a PIC16C711 microcontroller. The power stage combines a rectifier, a chopper and an inverter, to simultaneously vary the frequency and the amplitude of the motor voltage. On the other hand, the control stage uses a PID controller which controls the operation of the device, by producing the appropriate relationship between voltage amplitude and frequency to reach the desired motor speed.
Software for the conversion of images to sound signals
A software was developed to convert images to sound signals, in order to aid blind people to perceive the surroundings. A camera is used to acquire the image, and the software extracts data corresponding to the sixteen dominant color
and represents it through pure and complex tones with different pitch, intensity and duration.
Fast speckle analysis for detection of bumps in apples
A fast speckle analysis is performed to apples, to detect bumps that are invisible for the human eye. It was determined that surroundings of the bump show a greater biological activity, compared to the rest of the apple. As opposed
to other works in speckle analysis, which require observation of biological activity during various days to obtain results, we only record and analyze 1.5 seconds of video (about 45 frames) to each section of the apple.
Strategy for finding the optimal operation schedule of an oil recovery process
An adaptive MPC strategy was developed for finding the operation schedule which maximizes Net Present Value (NPV) for an oil recovery processes. Operation schedule refers to specifying the injection rates along the producing horizon. According to the strategy, at every time instant a neural network model is updated and locally linearized, and this linear model is used, first to find the oil production rates that maximize NPV, and then to design an MPC strategy that will determine the injection rates to achieve such desired production rates. The proposed strategy was applied to waterflooding and SAGD recovery processes.