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Promising news for solar fuels from Berkely lab researchers at JCAP

March 7, 2014 1:52 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

There’s promising news from the front on efforts to produce  fuels through artificial photosynthesis. A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) shows that nearly 90-percent of the electrons generated by a hybrid material designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in the target hydrogen molecules.

Vertimass licenses ORNL biofuel-to-hydrocarbon conversion technology

March 7, 2014 11:06 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Vertimass LLC, a California-based start-up company, has licensed an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technology that directly converts ethanol into a hydrocarbon blend-stock for use in transportation fuels. The ORNL technology offers a new pathway to biomass-derived renewable fuels that can lower greenhouse gas emissions and decrease U.S. reliance on foreign sources of oil.   

Engineering Update Episode 48 bloopers

March 6, 2014 12:39 pm | Videos | Comments

Who says ECN's editors can't have a bit of fun? Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, and hilarious outtakes from the latest edition of ECN's premier video series, Engineering Update. Thanks to Technical Editor Jason Lomberg, Managing Editor Kasey Panetta, and Editor-in-Chief David Mantey for being such great sports!

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Why is ZigBee green?

March 6, 2014 11:44 am | by Cees Links, CEO and Founder of GreenPeak, ZigBee Alliance Member | Blogs | Comments

One of the biggest challenges that consumers and service providers will have in the future is maintaining a wide range of sensor and control devices located throughout the smart home. For ease of use and installation, it makes much more sense to have these powered by either batteries or by energy harvesting technologies.

Engineering Update Episode 48: Jet-powered UAV can roam up to 1,800 miles

March 6, 2014 10:59 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The Predator C Avenger is a jet-powered UAV with the firepower, range, and capabilities to set a new gold standard for unmanned vehicles. Whereas the Predator and Reaper were powered by a relatively primitive turboprop engine, with a top speed of 300 mph, the Avenger uses a Pratt & Whitney turbofan engine ...

Europe rethinks renewable energy standards

March 5, 2014 12:14 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

For the past decade or more, as Al Gore and the majority of climate-change scientists have insisted that the world is speeding headlong toward an environmental catastrophe of epic proportions, European countries have adhered to stringent emission controls....

Novel quantum dot laser paves the way for lower-cost photonics

March 5, 2014 11:00 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

With the explosive growth of bandwidth demand in telecommunications networks, experts are continually seeking new ways to transmit increasingly large amounts of data in the quickest and cheapest ways possible. Photonic devices—which convert light to electricity and vice versa—offer an energy-efficient alternative to traditional copper network links for information transmission.

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.

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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.

7 things I’ll need for my house in 2025

March 3, 2014 7:47 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I can’t wait to live in GE’s home of the future. (Last week, I talked about the car I must have, so it seems fitting that my next topic be about my dream house. As with the car, this is assuming an unlimited budget and available technology.) Last week, I headed to Allentown, PA to the Da Vinci Science Center in order to see an exhibit called Home 2025.

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.

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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.

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....

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.

Five messengers beyond WhatsApp

February 26, 2014 8:34 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp has the technology world abuzz about messaging apps. This begs some questions: What are some other messaging apps? What makes them special? And, with standard texting and calling already built into most cell phones, what exactly can fancy messaging apps do for you? 

Wearable technology: 6 effects you never thought of

February 26, 2014 7:11 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

We know that wearables will transform our lives, but how? Giving tech access to workers who can't use handheld devices, living healthier lives, boosting retail shopping and sales, protecting employees, enabling cheating on tests, and revolutionizing both solving and committing crime.

Reference design features better than ±0.1% accuracy

February 25, 2014 3:08 pm | Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Factories can transmit industrial temperatures with the Novato (MAXREFDES16#) reference design, a 4–20mA loop-powered temperature transmitter with the HART communication protocol from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (San Jose, CA). This smart transmitter enables low-power temperature measurement from -200°C to +850°C with accuracy better than ±0.1% or ±1.0°C.

Hints to help ensure multi-vendor interoperability in PXI-based systems

February 25, 2014 2:39 pm | by Alan Lesko, Agilent Technologies | Agilent Technologies | Articles | Comments

To meet a specific need, system creators often assemble test solutions that incorporate a variety of hardware and software elements. One key benefit of accepted industry standards is the ability to pick and choose among elements offered by multiple vendors. Achieving success with—and confidence in—the integration of a multi-vendor solution depends on compatibility at the mechanical, electrical and software levels.

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.

Ambient light sensors feature sensitivity over a range of 57,542 lux to 0.001 lux

February 24, 2014 12:50 pm | Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Using the Santa Cruz ambient light sensor (ALS) from Maxim Integrated Products (San Jose, CA), factories can quickly configure and monitor multiple red, green, blue (RGB) and infrared (IR) ambient light sensors with the high accuracy required in industrial applications.

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.

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