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RFID sensor tag capable of transmitting a unique identifier without a battery

July 31, 2013 11:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Kineo1 from Farsens S.L., San Sebastián, Spain, is a battery-free RFID sensor tag capable of transmitting a unique identifier and the associated orientation data to a commercial EPC C1G2 reader without the need of a battery on the sensor tag. The Kineo1 tags can communicate to around 1.5 meters (5 feet)....

Pressure sensors created for demanding industrial applications

July 31, 2013 11:46 am | Measurement Specialties | Product Releases | Comments

Measurement Specialties  has expanded its line of pressure sensors with two compact, high-performance units for demanding industrial applications.  The M7100 and U7100 feature high reliability at a low price point. The new IP67-rated pressure transducers withstand high vibrations as well as harsh conditions, such as dust particles, contaminated water and corrosive fluids, making them ideal for use in demanding engine, vehicle and industrial applications.  

What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology? (Part II)

July 31, 2013 10:00 am | Articles | Comments

The biggest challenge is that LED chips are quickly approaching their theoretical limits for efficient light output. As they do, incremental improvements to the LED die are providing diminishing returns on investment. Fortunately, innovations in optical silicone packaging materials are introducing new, more cost-effective ways to enhance efficiency (lm/W), as well as cost (lm/$) and light density (lm/cm2).

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What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology?

July 31, 2013 9:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Adeline Chan, product marketing manager, Cree, Inc.: LED technology has been evolving rapidly over the years. From a performance perspective, lumen output and efficacy numbers have been improving. Other “areas” of the LED technology have also progressed such as thermal properties, substrate materials, light distribution pattern,

Solving wind energy storage problems

July 31, 2013 8:41 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to alternative energy, I have been a big fan of storage. Alternative energy will not be viable for large-scale power delivery to the grid without storage. My friend Clyde knows of my obsession with storage. He suggested I look into GE's new wind turbines that come with storage attached.

Linear position sensors critical to connectivity solutions

July 30, 2013 10:31 am | Fraba / Posital | Product Releases | Comments

POSITAL-FRABA’s LINARIX linear position sensors have been added to the list of products referenced by the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork™. Through Encompass™ Product Partners, customers can quickly locate complementary products that best solve any application challenges.

A guide to ZigBee device developers for the smart connected home

July 29, 2013 11:15 am | by Cees Link, CEO of GreenPeak Technologies, www.greenpeak.com | Articles | Comments

For decades, technology experts and home automation enthusiasts have been talking about and promising the emergence of the smart, connected home. They have foretold a home connected by multitude of sensors, monitoring applications such as HVAC, home security, and even the health of the inhabitants, and all controlled remotely over the web via a smartphone or a tablet.

Yokogawa installs EV charging stations at Newnan, GA facility

July 25, 2013 2:07 pm | News | Comments

Yokogawa Corporation of America announced that it is now offering electric vehicle charging stations to employees at its Newnan, GA facility.  ECOtality, Inc.  – a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies– has installed two Blink Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at Yokogawa Newnan as part of its Electric Vehicle Project.

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Engineering Update #17: The DIY quadrotor and 3D-printed Mini-Me

July 25, 2013 12:49 pm | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: Drone It Yourself turns random objects into RC quadrotors: A Drone It Yourself project turns just about anything into a quadrotor drone with the addition of a few motors and a control unit. Twinkind 3D photo booth scans your body in a flash: A company called Twinkind in Hamburg, Germany is offering a 3D portrait service that creates your very own mini-me.

10th Anniversary Top 10 Traps

July 19, 2013 6:05 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Blogs | Comments

A few folks requested my presentation from out 10th anniversary open house. So, without much adieu, here it is. Download Top 10 traps 7-2013 Duane Benson 10 time 10 isn't necessarily equal to 10 times 10. Especially if you mix bases. -Duane Benson

Engineering Update #16: Steerable paper planes and an educational robotic fish

July 18, 2013 10:14 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

A robotics team from the University of Queensland has created two versions of a single-use UAV. The unmanned aerial vehicles, which are usually associated with clandestine military operations, are both designed to relay environmental information.

The truth about test and measurement

July 16, 2013 2:41 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Articles | Comments

Test and measurement starts with standards. You have to have standards for mass, distance, charge, and time (plus a few others) so all standards refer back to those fundamental unit standards. But you don't measure volts in units of amps, kilograms, meters, and seconds, that requires something more convenient (i.e. measuring volts in volts).

Has solar power reached cost parity with other sources of electrical energy?

July 16, 2013 12:35 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

The solar-cell pushers have been touting for quite some time the fact that the costs of solar cells have now nearly reached capital-cost parity with other sources of electrical energy. Parity is assumed to be a dollar a peak watt of capacity or thereabouts. But is that really true?

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Advances in new material technology, according to engineers

July 15, 2013 9:42 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design. This month we're focusing on new material technology. From adhesives to thermal gap pad management, we want to know what's happening in your lab and on your benches!

Non-contact infrared temp sensors monitor heat sinks and pipes

July 15, 2013 9:13 am | by Vasco Polyzoev, Systems Engineer, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Measuring temperatures using infrared (IR) sensors without direct contact with an object, is the new paradigm in optimizing thermal monitoring and control. In this article we introduce the idea of this approach by taking advantage of new and very small IR temperature sensors available on the market.

The role of sensors in stable HVAC systems: Heavy duty pressure transducers

July 15, 2013 9:05 am | by Ketan Mehta, Honeywell | Honeywell Sensing And Control | Articles | Comments

Whether it’s a high-rise office tower or a manufacturing floor, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed for building occupants’ comfort. When systems operate at optimum levels, they’re energy efficient and go unnoticed. When they’re not, efficiency drops and complaints rise.

Valve dispenses flux for photovoltaics industry

July 12, 2013 1:18 pm | Nordson Efd Llc | Product Releases | Comments

Nordson EFD has developed a non-contact dispense valve for precision jetting of low viscosity flux onto solar cell bus bars. Operating at speeds up to 500Hz/sec, the Square Wave 745NC valve meets the photovoltaic industry's need to deposit continuous lines of microdots on the solder-coated metal ribbons that connect adjoining PV wafers.

Designing business-critical applications in the cloud

July 12, 2013 10:32 am | by Jonathan Alexander, CTO, Vocalocity | Articles | Comments

Perhaps no business service is more critical than telecommunications; reliability and quality of a phone system are absolute requirements.  Over the past decade, internet-based VoIP (voice over internet protocol) has taken its place as a viable means of communication for individuals....

Engineering Update #15: A laser gatling gun

July 11, 2013 12:38 pm | Videos | Comments

This episode of ECN's Engineering Update is brought to you by Mouser Electronics. In this week's headlines: A Laser Gatling Gun: A German laser weapons hobbyist has built a proof-of-concept Laser Gatling Gun. The aluminum-bodied gun's spinning turret features six blue 1.4-watt Class 4 lasers.

A tale of two cities: Ethernet meets PCIe

July 10, 2013 4:28 pm | by Michael Zimmerman, vice president of marketing, Tilera Corporation | Articles | Comments

Two industry megatrends are reshaping the way we design and deploy networks and compute (i.e. datacenter servers). The first is Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with the goal of moving functions such as content distribution, firewalls and base station controllers from proprietary hardware to standard, low cost servers.

Top 10 must-see posts from June

July 9, 2013 3:22 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

New Catalyst replaceable platinum for electric-automobiles

July 3, 2013 9:11 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Korean researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), S. Korea, developed a novel bio-inspired composite electrocatalyst outperforming platinum. This research work was published on June 25, in the journal Nature Communications. (Title: Promotion of Oxygen reduction by a bio-inspired tethered iron phthalocyanine carbon nanotube-based catalyst).

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #5 – “LEDs color-shift with time”

July 2, 2013 8:31 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

In the early days of white-emitting LEDs, the available chip packaging materials were ones developed decades earlier for use with red- and green-emitting devices. Unfortunately, when using those materials for blue-based white LEDs (blue LED + phosphors), unexpected problems arose.

Tiny nanocubes help scientists tell left from right

June 28, 2013 2:53 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

In chemical reactions, left and right can make a big difference. A "left-handed" molecule of a particular chemical composition could be an effective drug, while its mirror-image "right-handed" counterpart could be completely inactive. That's because, in biology, "left" and "right" molecular designs are crucial....

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #7 – “LEDs have high glare”

June 28, 2013 9:04 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

I’m standing in the taxi queue at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, having to squint ahead to gauge my wait. The cause of my discomfort: a horrible, blue-LED array-based outdoor luminaire ahead of me and above, spilling light in all directions and casting a putrid smear of yellow-green color against a nearby wall of the terminal, and directly into my eyes.

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