Inventor assigns patent to MTC—first for the school

(Bradenton, FL—October 18, 2018)  Manatee Technical College is a patent holder for the first time in its 55-year history, thanks to one of its instructors.  Dr. Michael Afanasiev invented an Air Conditioner Educational Demonstration System and Method of Operation, for which he received and assigned a United States Patent to Manatee Technical College.

“This patent is an example of the creative and educational excellence our Manatee County teachers possess,” said Doug Wagner, deputy superintendent of the School District of Manatee County.  “We are proud that our students are learning from the best of the best!”

Simply put, Afanasiev invented a simple, inexpensive simulator to teach a complex system, safely.  “Instead of taking a month to learn the entire system theory, students can learn it in a day,” said Afanasiev.

The training simulator represents the entire A/C refrigeration cycle. Afanasiev said most training simulators that accomplish the same task cost between $25,000 to $35,000—his costs about $100 to make.

What makes this simulator so safe—a very important factor when working with students—is it uses nitrogen, a harmless gas, instead of Freon, a refrigerant that is so cold it can cause frostbite and so dangerous that the fine for accidentally releasing it into the air is over $44,000 per day according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The patent is not a first, however, for Dr. Michael, as he is fondly called.  While he was working for the Eaton Corporation, Afanasiev invented a Hermetically Sealed Terminal for Electrical Device for which Eaton is the patent holder.  He was awarded six patents in the USSR, where he lived before emigrating to the U.S. 26 years ago.

“We are very proud of our staff as they continue to research and learn to provide the most up-to-date information and training for our students,” director of MTC, Dr. Valerie Viands, said.  She encourages anyone who wishes to see the invention to come to MTC’s Main Campus Open House from 5-8 p.m. on October 23.  Dr. Michael and his students will be giving demonstrations.

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