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New, inexpensive production materials boost promise of hydrogen fuel

February 28, 2014 3:30 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Generating electricity is not the only way to turn sunlight into energy we can use on demand.  In a study published last week in the journal Science, Choi and postdoctoral researcher Tae Woo Kim combined cheap, oxide-based materials to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases using solar energy with a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 1.7 percent, the highest reported for any oxide-based photoelectrode system.

Ultra-fast laser spectroscopy lights way to understanding new materials

February 28, 2014 1:51 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are revealing the mysteries of new materials using ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, similar to high-speed photography where many quick images reveal subtle movements and changes inside the materials. Seeing these dynamics is one emerging strategy to better understanding how new materials work, so that we can use them to enable new energy technologies.

Engineering Newswire 79: AirMule UAV is a flying donkey

February 28, 2014 12:08 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Today on Engineering Newswire, we're saving lives in a flying donkey. From Israel-based Urban Aeronautics, AirMule isn’t the prettiest airborne vehicle you’ll ever lay eyes on, but it is unique in its ability to lift payloads up to 500 kilograms.

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York physicists pave the way for more energy efficient technology

February 28, 2014 10:09 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

An international team of scientists led by physicists from the University of York has paved the way for a new class of magnetic materials and devices with improved performance and power efficiency. Magnetic materials are currently used to store digital information.

Electric drive vehicles don’t reduce emissions

February 28, 2014 9:26 am | by Chris Fox, PD&D Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A study was recently released by North Carolina State University that provides evidence supporting the fact that electric drive vehicles (EDVs) have little impact on reducing emissions. As an engineering audience that knows efficiency when they see it, most PD&D readers will throw their hands in the air having known this for some time.

Photos of the Day: The Hennessey Venom GT, aka the world's fastest sports car

February 28, 2014 9:15 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

On February 14th at the Kennedy Space Center, the Hennessey Venom GT reached a top speed of 270.49 mph on a 3.22-mile shuttle landing strip. Back in January 2013, the Venom also set the record for 0–200 mph (0–322 km/h) acceleration in 14.51 seconds.

Big step for next-generation fuel cells and electrolyzers

February 27, 2014 2:33 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A big step in the development of next-generation fuel cells and water-alkali electrolyzers has been achieved with the discovery of a new class of bimetallic nanocatalysts that are an order of magnitude higher in activity than the target set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for 2017.

Engineering Update 47: The world's fastest sports car

February 27, 2014 11:45 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this episode of the Engineering Update, brought to you by Mouser Electronics: The world's fastest sports car: Hennessey Venom GT might have just become the fastest 2-seats sports car in the world. In a run that took place on February 14 at the Kennedy space center, the Venom hit speeds of 270.49 mpg.

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NanoMarkets report projects smart glass sales to the automotive sector to reach $3.2 billion by 2019

February 26, 2014 10:33 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has published a new report, “Smart Glass Opportunities in the Automotive Industry – 2014” covering the market for smart glass in the automotive sector.  In this report the NanoMarkets says it expects this market to reach $2.1 billion by 2019, compared with $1.0 billion in 2014.

Now it will become cheaper to make second-generation biofuel for our cars

February 25, 2014 12:03 pm | News | Comments

Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmetally friendly - but it is also expensive because the process as used today needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market. Now a Danish/Iraqi collaboration presents a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production of second generation biofuels thus becomes cheaper, probably attracting many more producers and competition, and this...

Only a matter of time till computers know you better than you know yourself

February 25, 2014 11:01 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

We have “smart” phones, watches, homes, cars, and even toothbrushes, and they’re getting smarter by the second. What will artificial intelligence revolutionize next? Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, bets it’ll be the search engine.

Portable hydrogen fuel cell unit to provide green, sustainable power to Honolulu port

February 25, 2014 10:09 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Clean hydrogen power that's expected to lower emissions and reduce energy consumption will be coming to the Port of Honolulu in 2015 after the completion of a new fuel cell technology demonstration, one that could lead to a commercial technology for ports worldwide.

Mandated 'smart' tech could put cars in charge of their drivers

February 25, 2014 6:53 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

A new federal mandate could ensure that you’re not the only driver in control of the wheel. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is a big deal. Basically, it enables cars to “talk” to each other and exchange data such as speed and location. That way, if someone were to pull a dangerous maneuver, the cars would “know” and could respond to avoid a collision....

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High-temperature inductor features a rating of -55°C to +300°C

February 24, 2014 12:51 pm | Coilcraft Critical Products & Services | Product Releases | Comments

The new AT549RBT cored-spring inductor from Coilcraft CPS (Cary, IL) features a temperature rating of -55°C to +300°C, making it ideal for extreme-temperature applications such as down-hole drilling and on-engine automotive. Features include...

Photos of the Day: The XchangE Tesla autonomous concept car

February 24, 2014 11:09 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The XchangE autonomous concept car from Rinspeed — engineered by 4erC — takes a Tesla Model S and modifies it into a luxury vehicle that you don’t need to drive. Is this the future of automobiles? Underlining the point that the XchangE probably won’t be cheap, the concept car includes a 32-inch, 4k monitor in the rear seat....

Why the self-driving car will be the greatest technology of all time (seriously)

February 24, 2014 10:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am in desperate need of a self-driving car. We’re talking desperate. I would pay a considerable amount of money — in this circumstance not only does the self-driving car exist, it is widely available and I have hit the lottery — for a self-driving car.

Rinspeed XchangE autonomous concept car

February 24, 2014 9:48 am | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

Autonomous driving is set to become reality in the near future. While the major automakers are putting the finishing touches on the technology, the Swiss idea factory Rinspeed puts man at the center of the autonomous car. At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show Rinspeed presents the "XchangE" study to the public in a world premiere.

New, inexpensive production materials boost promise of hydrogen fuel

February 24, 2014 9:20 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Generating electricity is not the only way to turn sunlight into energy we can use on demand. The sun can also drive reactions to create chemical fuels, such as hydrogen, that can in turn power cars, trucks and trains. The trouble with solar fuel production is the cost of producing the sun-capturing semiconductors and the catalysts to generate fuel.

Are electric vehicles worth it?

February 24, 2014 9:16 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Last year alone, the U.S. sold almost 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles. That’s nearly double the purchase rate of 2012. But as more consumers and experts grow to love EVs, at least as many vehemently hate them. Are electric vehicles a worthwhile investment or just another craze?

LED light ideal for use in mining applications

February 21, 2014 4:56 pm | Larson Electronics Llc | Product Releases | Comments

Larson Electronics (Kemp, TX) has announced the release of a 160 watt high intensity LED light that is ideal for use in mining applications as well as heavy equipment, hunting, boating, vehicle, military, law enforcement, and industrial manufacturing uses.

Will plug-in cars crash the electric grid?

February 21, 2014 2:24 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Selecting a Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf — or one of many other new models — shoppers in the United States bought more than 96,000 plug-in electric cars in 2013. That's a tiny slice of the auto market, but it's up eighty-four percent from the year before.

Why are we being plagued by product recalls?

February 20, 2014 10:35 am | by Keith Nichols, Research Analyst, Cambashi, www.cambashi.com | Blogs | Comments

Manufacturing companies build their reputation on the quality and safety of their products. Serious design faults, manufacturing errors and even incorrect labelling often result in widely publicised product recalls, which carry the risk of unwelcome commercial and brand image fall-out.

Photos of the Day: New fuel standards for trucks

February 20, 2014 9:03 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

On Tuesday, President Obama announced new fuel-efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks that would take effect by March 2016. These would come on top of existing standards for 2014-2018 model years. While heavy duty trucks make up just 4% of the nation's vehicles, they emit about 20% of the pollutants spewed into the population by the transportation sector.

Power connectors aim to fill a critical power gap with a small footprint

February 14, 2014 11:45 am | Molex | Product Releases | Comments

Molex’ (Lisle, IL) Mega-Fit wire-to-board, mid-range power connector is presented as filling a significant power void in today’s interconnect marketplace by delivering 23 A in a small 5.7-mm footprint. The connectors are appropriate for

Thin-film chip resistor laboratory sample kits aid prototyping in automotive applications

February 14, 2014 9:29 am | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. is offering laboratory sample kits of its automotive-grade precision thin film chip resistors. The MCW 0406 AT (LCW AT 96/4) and MCT 0603 AT (LCT AT 96/4) kits aid engineers in prototyping, and speed time to market in a wide range of electronic systems. The two new

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