When researchers at General Electric Co. sought help in designing a plasma-based power switch, they turned to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, which helped them develop a plasma-filled tube that would replace semiconductor switches used for changing direct current to alternating current. The proposed switch could contribute to a more advanced and reliable electric grid and help to lower utility bills.
We already charge our toothbrushes and cellphones using contactless technology. Researchers in Germany have developed a particularly efficient and cost-effective inductive method that could allow electric cars to soon follow suit. The new design places the charging coils close to the car’s undercarriage without actually touching it. The charging station is also robust enough to be driven over.
The University of Notre Dame, along with GE and four other public entities, are collaborating on a $36 million project to create a research and testing center to advance the technology of gas turbine engines used for jet aircraft, power generation plants and the oil and gas industry. GE has committed $13.5 million over the next five years to fund research at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility, which was unveiled this week in Indiana.
Researchers in Europe have designed a new type of fuel cell that is much simpler and can be mounted on a wall and used in a home. Designed with heater manufacturer Vaillant, the compact and safe system is based on solid fuel cell technology and generates electricity and heat from natural gas. With an output of 1 kW, it provides the average current consumption for a four-person household.
As news reports of lithium-ion battery (LIB) fires in Boeing Dreamliner planes and Tesla electric cars remind us, these batteries, which are in everyday portable devices, like tablets and smartphones, have their downsides. Now, scientists have designed a safer kind of lithium battery component that is far less likely to catch fire and still promises effective performance.
Of all the electricity generated in the U.S., more than quarter is consumed by lighting. In 2010, North Carolina’s RTI International launched a new product, NLite, intended to help alleviate this burden by improving the reflectance performance of power-intensive lighting devices such as luminaires and liquid crystal displays. The technology, based on nanofiber reflectance polymers, won a 2011 R&D 100 Award.
The solar lamp developed by a start-up in Switzerland is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people in the world. Designed to be made by anyone, these solar-powered light-emitting diode lamps require nothing more than locally-found equipment. Only the solar panels are ordered from abroad.
Panasonic Corp. is considering setting up a new plant jointly with Tesla Motors Inc. in the United States to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The Japanese electronics maker is mulling asking Japanese materials makers to set up bases at the new plant to create integrated production of batteries and is also considering supplying batteries to Toyota.
Installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace. The shortage has created incidents of "charge rage" among drivers, with vehicles being unplugged while charging. But adding chargers is expensive.
Bruker’s ContourSP large panel metrology system more than doubles the measurement throughput of the high-density interconnect (HDI) substrates in multi-chip modules (MCM) over previous generation SP models used by the semiconductor packaging industry. It is specifically designed to measure each layer of the printed circuit board (PCB) panels during manufacturing.
Watson-Marlow Pumps Group will introduce the DriveSure, a new panel-mount OEM brushless DC gear motor with fully integrated speed controller at MD&M West 2014 at Anaheim Convention Center, Calif., in February. The highly adaptable drive is designed for biopharmaceutical, medical device, and process analysis equipment.
A new device transforms almost any bicycle into an electric-hybrid vehicle using an app on a smartphone. The device, called the Copenhagen Wheel, is is equipped with wireless connectivity to track travel and installed as part of a rear hub of a bike wheel. Packed with a proprietary computer, batteries, and sensors that monitor how hard a rider is pedaling, it activates an onboard motor whenever support is needed.
API Delevan now offers three SMD power inductors with the highest reliability rating currently available. The MILP1812, MIL4922 and MIL8532 meet all military QPL requirements, and the ruggedized molded and leaded construction is proven against MIL-STD-202 mechanical vibration, moisture resistance, and DWV testing.
A new maritime propulsion technology called the RudderPod, which steers independently of the main propulsion unit, could save up to half a million euros in fuel costs, according to the TRIPOD research project collaborators in Europe who plan to retrofit the new system to a ship for testing. The project aims to improve propeller efficiency as well by integrating RudderPod with new types of propellers.
Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) has launched a new research program on hybrid bio-semiconductor systems that they hope will provide insights and opportunities for future information and communication technologies. The Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SSB) program will initially fund research at six universities.
Amy Prieto, a chemist at Colorado State Univ. leads a start-up company with the goal of developing a lithium-ion battery that should be safer, cheaper, faster-charging, and more environmentally friendly than conventional batteries now on the market. The key to the technology is copper foam which is easy to manufacture and has high power density.
Materials in lithium ion battery electrodes expand and contract during charge and discharge. These volume changes drive particle fracture, which shortens battery lifetime. A group of scientists has quantified this effect for the first time using high-resolution 3D movies recorded using x-ray tomography at the Swiss Light Source.
The SpectraLight QC is a visual color assessment lightbooth that can meet practically any specification. This holistic solution starts with state of the art light sources, and includes a data-driven back-end that carefully monitors the performance and condition of lamps, as well as a system to educate and certify operators.
B&K Precision has introduced three new base models to its XLN Series of programmable DC power supplies. Expanding on the success of the XLN Series, the new models, XLN15010, XLN30052 and XLN60026 offer an even greater range in output voltage, up to 150V, 300 V and 600 V, respectively.
Speaking at the American Chemical Society’s meeting in Indianapolis this week, electric vehicle pioneer John E. Waters said that relatively recent advances in engineering and use of lithium-ion batteries are producing electric vehicles (EVs) capable of leaving traditional internal combustion engine race cars in the dust. Part of the shift is the elevated storage-to-torque efficiency of electric motor.
B&K Precision has expanded its DC system power supply offerings with the introduction of the model 9115 multi-range programmable DC power source. The 9115 can deliver up to 1200 W in multiple combinations of voltage up to 80 V and current up to 60 A in a 1U form factor.
On Thursday, electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. said that by the end of next month it will triple the number of charging stations it runs from the current eight. The number will go to around 100 in the coming year, putting stations within reach of almost the entire populations of both U.S. and Canada. The expanded "supercharger" network will allow owners of Tesla's $70,000 Model S sedans to travel from Los Angeles to New York.
After China reported quarterly economic growth of 7.7% this week, global markets reacted by falling, wiping out billions of dollars in stock. The reason? Growth came in under the 8% expected by forecasters. The plunge highlighted complaints about the possible inaccuracy of Beijing's official data and the intense, possibly excessive importance traders attach to a handful of Chinese economic indicators.
Recent research shows that a newly discovered class of materials, called layered oxide heterostructures, could have optimal electrical characteristics. A research team at the Vienna University of Technology, together with colleagues from the United States and Germany, has now shown that these heterostructures can be used to create a new kind of extremely efficient ultra-thin solar cells.
For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70% of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power. A new fabrication technique developed by University of Connecticut engineering professor Brian Willis could provide the breakthrough for this technology.
It may be possible soon to charge cell phones, change the tint on windows, or power small toys with peel-and-stick versions of solar cells. A partnership between Stanford University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory aims to produce water-assisted transfer printing technologies that support thin-film solar cell production.
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