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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.

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....

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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.

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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 | Keysight 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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Engineering Update 46: The United Arab Emirates' drone delivery service

February 24, 2014 8:52 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Consumers who fell in love with Amazon's 30-minute drone delivery service but can't wait for the mountain of red tape and regulations standing in the way of "Amazon Prime Air" now have an alternative — move to the United Arab Emirates!

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.

Magnetometer sensor outputs 13-bit data over a magnetic field range of +/- 1000uT

February 21, 2014 1:41 pm | Saelig Company, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has announced the IST8301C, a single-chip 3-axis digital magnetometer sensor, housed in a form factor of 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.0mm, a 12-pin BGA package. The IST8301C is an integrated chip containing 3-axis magnetic sensors with an ASIC controller.

Rotary encoders combine optical encoder characteristics with ruggedness and compact form factor

February 20, 2014 9:10 am | Fraba / Posital | Product Releases | Comments

POSITAL-FRABA’s (Hamilton, NJ) IXARC encoders combine the accuracy and dynamic response of optical encoders with the ruggedness and compact form factor of magnetic encoders. Building on the company’s

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....

The five best apps to plan your perfect Valentine’s at the last second

February 14, 2014 4:19 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Waited till the last second to make your Valentine’s Day plans? Forgot about the day of love entirely? Or maybe you’re snowed in and have to rethink your plans? Not to worry — these five apps, free or inexpensive for multiple operating systems, are ready to save the day. No matter what kind of day you want.

Engineering Update Episode 45 bloopers

February 13, 2014 2:28 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Hey, even journalists have a sense of humor! Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, outtakes, and bloopers from the latest edition of the Engineering Update. Special thanks to Managing Editor Kasey Panetta and Technical Editor Jason Lomberg for being such good sports!

Engineering Update Episode 45: The most advanced British aircraft ever built

February 13, 2014 2:05 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

The Taranis, an unmanned combat demonstrator aircraft being billed as the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers took it's first 15-minute test flight under the command of test pilot Bob Fraser, a few months ago at a super top secret location.

The microcontroller as metaobject

February 13, 2014 6:28 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

Pretty much everyone in our industry is familiar with the long evolution of microcontrollers. So familiar that it’s easy to miss changes in our industry and society, both positive and negative, that accompanied that evolution just as we tend not to see daily changes in our own aging faces.

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.

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