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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....

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....

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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.

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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....

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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)...

Plant fuel project moves to second phase under US Energy Department grant

November 12, 2013 9:49 am | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy is making good on the second phase of a plant fuel research project, pumping another $3 million into the study led by Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist. Yuan, who was granted $1.8 million for Phase I by the DOE in 2012, is focusing on tobacco as a potential fuel source.

MOSFET boasts an Rds(on) of only 19 mΩ in a TO 247 package

November 4, 2013 9:13 am | Mouser Electronics, Infineon | Product Releases | Comments

Mouser Electronics announced the availability of the CoolMOS C7 MOSFET from Infineon Technologies, with 650V Superjunction MOSFET technology and one of the lowest Rds(on) specs in the industry. A MOSFET behaves like a voltage controlled switch or resistor. The lower the on‑state resistance (Rds(on)), the more current flows through the switch and therefore the higher the efficiency of the circuit.

Sensors in energy harvesting

October 28, 2013 11:08 am | by Armin Anders, Vice President Business Development, EnOcean | Articles | Comments

Global challenges in energy generation and consumption motivates governments worldwide to set ambitious goals for increased energy efficiency, which results in a fast growing need for energy efficient buildings. Therefore, innovative, sustainable technologies that can be easily installed, especially in retrofit projects, are a necessity if the governments’ ambitious objectives are to be realized.

Photos of the Day: Cleaner and greener cities with integrated transparent solar cells

October 21, 2013 10:37 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Imagine buildings in which the windows allow the sun's light to enter, and at the same time capture the energy from the sun needed to meet all their energy needs. In this seemingly futuristic scenario, the windows become productive solar cells that help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and advance towards a greener and cleaner environment.

Q&A with Karim Wassef of GE Energy Management

October 15, 2013 3:11 pm | Articles | Comments

Our increasingly connected world and the oceans of data we generate has put the datacenter under tremendous pressure to accommodate our demands efficiently and reliably. ECN recently interviewed Dr. Karim Wassef, general manager of the Embedded Products business unit for GE’s Critical Power business about the trends and the challenges facing designers of datacenter devices.

Reference platform capable of securing any distributed node in the smart grid

October 14, 2013 1:10 pm | Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Designers of smart meters can now reduce time to market, raise the bar for higher accuracy, and secure their designs with Capistrano, a smart grid reference platform from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. Powered by the company’s Zeus metering SoC, Capistrano protects designs with advanced cryptography, physical attack detection, and life-cycle security schemes.

NREL releases roadmap to reduce solar PV 'soft costs' by 2020

October 8, 2013 4:49 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently issued a new report, "Non-Hardware ('Soft') Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013,"PDF funded by DOE's SunShot Initiative and written by NREL and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

E-Meters turn to smart relay drivers for remote grid management

September 26, 2013 4:20 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Smart meters have been touted to consumers as being integral in helping them lower their utility bills. Armed with accurate information – such as consumption pertaining to specific times of day – consumers can then adjust their behaviors to shrink their bills and their carbon emissions and, if regulations allow, even select from different pricing structures....

From worst to first: Commercial segment set to lead solar energy storage market by 2017

September 18, 2013 1:50 pm | News | Comments

  Currently the smallest part of the global solar energy storage business, the commercial sector is projected to expand by a factor of 700 in the coming years and become the largest market segment in 2017. Global installations of photovoltaic (PV) storage systems for commercial use are set to rise to 2.3 gigawatts....  

Clean energy least costly to power America’s electricity needs

September 18, 2013 10:59 am | by Springer | News | Comments

It’s less costly to get electricity from wind turbines and solar panels than coal-fired power plants when climate change costs and other health impacts are factored in, according to a new study published in Springer’s Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. In fact—using the official U.S. government estimates of health and environmental costs from burning fossil fuels...

Controller chip touts long battery life, high performance, and low price

September 12, 2013 10:02 am | Product Releases | Comments

GreenPeak Technologies introduced the latest addition to its ZigBee chip portfolio - the new GP490, a low cost, ultra-low power ZigBee PRO communication controller that allows the design and manufacture of cost and energy optimized sensor devices for the rapidly growing Smart Home application market.

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