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Maximizing solar power on electrical grids

December 10, 2014 3:04 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and SolarCity have entered into a cooperative research agreement to address the operational issues associated with large amounts of distributed solar energy on electrical grids. The ...

Switch mode power supply measurement and analysis with a bench oscilloscope

December 10, 2014 1:56 pm | by Varun Merchant, Tektronix | Articles | Comments

The power supply is integral to virtually every type of line-powered and battery-operated electronic product, and the switch-mode power supply (SMPS) has become the dominant architecture in many applications. A single switch-mode power supply’s performance ...

New solutions and challenges for digital control of power converters

December 10, 2014 1:30 pm | by Stephen Pimpis, Vice President, Strategic Product Marketing; Bill Smith, Director of Marketing, Board Mounted Power; and Paul Knauber, Murata University Coordinator: Murata Power Solutions | Articles | Comments

Advancements in semiconductor technologies and system-level performance requirements, particularly in the telecom and datacom markets, have had a tremendous impact on the board level power infrastructure. Moore’s Law has been driving device ...

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Could prettier, quieter wind turbines make it in the city?

December 10, 2014 12:18 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D, @kaylieannduffy | Blogs | Comments

Despite many complaints about noise, size, and appearance, wind turbines are one of the most innovative and productive sources of clean energy to date. However, because of these grievances most wind turbines have been exiled to the countryside or ...

Low power? No power!

December 10, 2014 11:25 am | by Matthias Kassner, Product Marketing Director, EnOcean | Articles | Comments

This article describes the benefits associated with using energy harvesting wireless sensor nodes within the context of an Internet of Things. It discusses key architectural requirements and design trade-offs of such devices and gives examples of current ...

Controller, converter, or module — which is right for my design?

December 10, 2014 10:57 am | by Chris Ammann, Global Technical Marketing Engineer, Power Avnet Electronics Marketing | Articles | Comments

Power supplies come in many shapes and sizes. As technologies have advanced, more and more integration has become commonplace when designing a power system. In a lot of instances, integration makes for a simpler design process. However ...

What is the most creative way LEDs have been implemented?

December 10, 2014 10:11 am | Articles | Comments

The next generation of lighting is addressing the increasing demand for solutions that produce higher light output, higher optical density and better heat dissipation with fewer LED placements — ultimately resulting in system cost reductions that can ...

Bra stops sexual assault with 3,800 kilovolt electric shock

December 10, 2014 8:49 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

I’ve seen numerous devices and ideas for empowering women — pepper spray, tasers, self-defense courses, firearms — but I can honestly say I’ve never seen a bra used as a weapon. Engineering students Manisha Mohan, Niladhri Basu Bal, and Rimpi Tripathi ...

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Engineering Live: How Do We Get More Kids Into STEM? (On Demand)

December 10, 2014 8:38 am | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

It’s easy to say we need more kids interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the challenge comes in finding ways to accomplish it. Whether it’s the toys they play with as kids, or the classes they take as students ...

The key to STEM education

December 9, 2014 11:57 am | by Nick Soggu, Founder and President of Silvertech | Blogs | Comments

There is a constant challenge for educators and communities to find new ways to promote and encourage science, technology, engineering, and math interests to students at young ages as well as throughout a child’s educational development. My commitment to STEM education and personal interests and experiences with technology businesses drives my support for STEM learning and other educational community initiatives.

This is why you shouldn’t fly drones indoors

December 9, 2014 9:04 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Flying drones indoors is rarely a wise decision. Flying large drones indoors near innocent bystanders is asking for trouble. So when TGI Friday’s mistletoe-toting drones injured someone in a cramped restaurant in Brooklyn, well, we should’ve seen this coming....

How to use Bluetooth Smart in industrial lighting

December 8, 2014 9:02 am | by Joakim Lindh, Applications Engineer, Bluetooth Smart Solutions, Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

ECN will be hosting a 6-part series from Texas Instruments about the benefits of using BlueTooth Smart in industrial applications. Light sources are important. Did you know that there are professional interior designers that focus on composing the ...

This is what happens when an editor gets a GoldieBlox

December 8, 2014 8:04 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Generally speaking, my job is really fun. I get to meet all types of people, write about really cool technology, and work on a lot of projects that are very important to me. One of those projects is ECN (and her sister publications) push for STEM education. In particular, many of the...

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Why being a lifelong learner makes engineering a perfect career

December 5, 2014 2:49 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Welcome to this week's edition of STEM Student of the Week. Once a week, ECN features a student working on a degree (of any level) in engineering as part of our STEM initiative. Meet Alexis Noelli Peña, a student at Syracuse University focusing in biomedical engineering.

Engineering Newswire: Stephen Hawking gets an upgrade

December 4, 2014 4:07 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Manager of Multimedia Production | Videos | Comments

Intel has upgraded Stephen Hawking’s communication platform to help him better communicate with the world, increase ease of use for his daily routines, and empower him with continued independence. The tailored solution, Assistive Context Aware Toolkit ...

Engineering Update #88: Lockheed Martin’s supersonic commercial aircraft

December 4, 2014 11:20 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Let’s face it — we’re no longer impressed by the ability to travel from New York to Los Angeles in five hours in a cramped 737. Doesn’t two and a half hours sound much better? Lockheed Martin thinks so, too, so they’re working on an aircraft for commercial ...

Infographic: Smart Appliances & The Kitchen of Tomorrow

December 4, 2014 9:32 am | by Pennywell | News | Comments

From dishwashers with digital interfaces to smartphone apps that can manage entire home heating systems, this shift in home appliances means that the household of tomorrow will be drastically different to that of today. Enjoy this Infographic, courtesy of Pennywell (www.pennywell.ie)....

Why the Navy hasn’t discovered the Holy Grail of energy independence

December 3, 2014 1:02 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

A while back, the Navy announced plans to turn seawater into fuel, thereby eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels — and despotic regimes — and discovering the Holy Grail of energy independence. And no one’s talking about it. Well ... turns out ...

Catch Engineering Live: How Do We Get More Kids Into STEM?

December 3, 2014 8:39 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Blogs | Comments

It’s easy to say we need more kids interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the challenge comes in finding ways to accomplish it. Whether it’s the toys they play with as kids, or the classes they take as students, we are experiencing a surge in the...

Smartgun system calls for police backup in dire situations

December 2, 2014 3:55 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Previous smartguns have focused on personalization options that restrict the weapon to authorized users or require a companion bracelet or other trinket to operate it. But Yardarm Technologies is taking a slightly different approach — a tracking module ...

Why Bluetooth Smart is perfect for M2M

December 2, 2014 12:37 pm | by Joakim Lindh is an Applications Engineer, Bluetooth Smart Solutions, at Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

Wireless connectivity outside of cellular has been around for almost 20 years and new process technologies are pushing solutions toward high-performance and power-optimized architectures. Bluetooth Smart is one of the technologies riding the Internet of Things (IoT) wave...

Matched 'hybrid' systems may enable wider use of renewable energy

December 1, 2014 1:13 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to "match" different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers ...

Engineering Newswire: Elon Musk unveils autonomous spaceport drone ship

December 1, 2014 8:45 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Elon Musk has revealed an image of what he calls an autonomous spaceport drone ship. SpaceX has released no official statement on the ship, but musk continued tweeting, explaining that the vehicle will allow for refuel and rocket fly back in the ...

Engineering Update #87: Virtual reality beach vacations

December 1, 2014 8:13 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Last week, we talked about a system of targeted advertising very similar to the film Minority Report, based on the short story by Phillip K. Dick. And this time, we shine the spotlight on a famous hotel chain — rhymes with “chariot” — that’s introducing ...

Here's what the astronauts are having for Thanksgiving

November 25, 2014 10:38 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

On Thursday, while you're nestled in your home, enjoying food with friends and family, take a minute to think about how lucky you are that your Thanksgiving turkey isn't freeze-dried. The crew on the International Space Station (ISS) consists of Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore...

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