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Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

March 5, 2014 9:42 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Being able to charge 30 electric cars at once requires ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating  renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station. The network of charging stations for EVs is becoming more tightly meshed.

Transparent, color solar cells fuse energy, beauty

March 5, 2014 9:08 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Colorful, see-through solar cells invented at the University of Michigan could one day be used to make stained-glass windows, decorations and even shades that turn the sun's energy into electricity. The cells, believed to be the first semi-transparent, colored photovoltaics, have the potential to vastly broaden the use of the energy source.

'Fore!' heads up, wide use of more flexible metallic glass coming your way

March 4, 2014 10:23 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

University of Cincinnati researchers are reporting early results on a way to make solar-powered panels in lights, calculators and roofs lighter, less expensive, more flexible (therefore less breakable) and more efficient. Fei Yu, a University of Cincinnati doctoral student, will present new findings on boosting the power conversion efficiency of polymer solar cells on March 3, at the American Physical Society Meeting in Denver.

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Multilayer ceramic transmitter produces a high output of 80 Db

February 28, 2014 3:44 pm | Transducers Direct | Product Releases | Comments

Transducers USA (Elk Grove Village, IL) has introduced their new piezo ceramic MLCT (Multilayer Ceramic Transmitter) series. Its unique simple acoustic multi-layer ceramic construction produces a high output of 80 Db with only 16V low driving voltage.

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.

Chinese partnership fuels NJIT's solar cell research

February 28, 2014 2:12 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Earlier this month, NJIT formalized an agreement with Chinese partners that will advance the university's research on thin-film solar cells, an alternative energy technology with the potential to make buildings and other infrastructure substantially more energy-efficient.

UT part of $140 million White House advanced manufacturing initiative

February 28, 2014 1:54 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will be part of a national effort, announced today by President Barack Obama, which could lead to more fuel-efficient cars and decreased costs for ships and aircraft. Suresh Babu and a team of faculty will help lead UT's research effort in the $140 million Detroit-based institute....

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.

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Class-D amplifiers keeps evolving

February 27, 2014 3:54 pm | by Jun Honda, Director Audio Systems Engineering, International Rectifier | International Rectifier | Articles | Comments

Class D is redefining the trade-offs in audio power amplifier design, simultaneously delivering smaller size and higher power density with better sound than Class AB audio systems. Class D also has the advantage of offering low distortion and more stable dynamic response....

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.

GaN on GaN LED achieves world-record setting wall-plug-efficiency

February 24, 2014 12:23 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Soraa (Fremont, CA) announced today the world’s most efficient LED, which it will integrate into the market’s first full-visible-spectrum, large-form-factor lamps. Soraa’s third generation (Gen3) GaN on GaN LED achieves world-record setting wall-plug-efficiency, outperforming the nearest competitor by 20% at normal operating conditions.

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.

Obama orders new fuel standards for trucks

February 19, 2014 8:59 am | by Stacy A. Anderson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Drawing a link between reduced fuel consumption and climate change, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016. Obama said helping these vehicles use less fuel would have the triple benefit of making the U.S. less dependent on imported oil....

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Analog front ends offer high accuracy for 3-phase smart meters

February 18, 2014 4:50 pm | Microchip Technology Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) announced its next-generation family of energy-measurement Analog Front Ends (AFEs) with industry-leading accuracy. The MCP3913 and MCP3914 integrate six and eight 24-bit, delta-sigma Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), respectively, with 94.5 dB SINAD....

50 Watt Zener diodes provide voltage regulation protection

February 12, 2014 10:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

America Semiconductor (Union, NJ) announces the availability of a full series of power Zener diodes (part numbers: 1N3305 thru 1N3350) packaged in a DO-5 case. The robust 50 Watt devices are engineered to provide voltage regulation protection in a broad array of alternative energy....

Photos of the Day: Wind farms to blink only when necessary

February 11, 2014 9:18 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Like other tall structures, wind turbines use flashing lights to warn low-flying aircraft and prevent accidents. But citizens in Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, Germany are complaining about the flashing red lights as an annoyance. In addition, the lights attract birds.

Wind farms to blink only when necessary

February 10, 2014 12:47 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Wind power has been booming in Germany since the beginning of the energy transition. However, the voices of critics have been growing along with the increasing number of wind turbines. Citizens' initiatives in Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg for instance have founded a umbrella association meant to provide local groups with a political say.

Flat-pack lens boosts solar power

February 10, 2014 12:22 pm | News | Comments

Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to researchers in China. Fresnel lenses were invented by French engineer and scientist Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the early nineteenth century....

Sensor system improves air quality while making building ventilation more energy efficient

February 4, 2014 2:16 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A research consortium being coordinated at Saarland University is developing a novel sensor system for monitoring airborne contaminants that will provide high-quality indoor air without the energy losses typically associated with ventilation. Energy consumption levels can be halved as a result.

Will solar energy ever be a viable alternative to traditional power?

January 14, 2014 10:13 am | Apc- Schneider Electric | Articles | Comments

Solar is already a viable alternative to traditional carbon based and nuclear thermal power plants. In 2012, over 31 Gigawatts (GW) of new PV generation went online globally including 3.5GW in the United States alone. In 2013, that number in the United States is expected to grow by 28% to reach 4.9GW.

Vertical wire-to-board contacts serve harsh industrial applications

December 23, 2013 2:53 pm | Avx Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

AVX Corporation has further expanded its innovative series of single poke home wire-to-board (WTB) contacts with a new family of vertical top and bottom entry contacts. Featuring high spring force, dual beam, phosphor bronze contacts, AVX’s new vertical 9296 Series provides maximum mechanical stability....

The smart-grid evolution

December 17, 2013 3:54 pm | by Joshua Israelsohn, Technical Contributor | Articles | Comments

When the vision of a smart grid first appeared over a decade ago, it was revolutionary and broadly recognized as being so. Yet even an informal assessment of the facility and technology development necessary to realize that vision made it clear that smart grids would require a lengthy evolution.

US Department of Energy cracking down on idle adapters

December 13, 2013 4:24 pm | by Michael O’Loughlin, Senior Systems Solutions Engineer, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Portable devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and tablets have become popular over the years. Most people own at least two of these devices. Each device requires a power adapter to charge and provide power for these portable electronics.

CPV technology today and tomorrow

November 27, 2013 1:25 pm | by Anco S. Blazev | Articles | Comments

Modern CPV equipment consists of a metal pedestal cemented into the ground onto which a large metal frame is mounted on pivoting supports thus enabling it to move on an x-y axis with the help of a gear-drive assembly. Many CPV modules, mounted on the frame, contain a dozen or more highly efficient multi-junction interconnected CPV cells....

New solar cell is more efficient, less costly

November 12, 2013 3:41 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

American innovators still have some cards to play when it comes to squeezing more efficiency and lower costs out of silicon, the workhorse of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules worldwide. A recent breakthrough — the product of a partnership between manufacturer TetraSun and the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)...

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