50 Most-Read Industry News Stories of 2014: 40 to 31

January 05, 2015 by Power Pulse1595211359

40: Organic Flow Batteries for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have developed a water-based organic battery that is long lasting and built from cheap, eco-friendly components. The new battery, which uses no metals or toxic materials, is intended for use in power plants, where it can make the energy grid more resilient and efficient by creating a large-scale means to store energy for use as needed. This is similar to an announcement from Harvard scientists and engineers earlier this year, who also demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar far more economical and reliable. more

39: Eliminating Batteries in Future Portable Electronic Devices

Researchers at Vanderbilt University's Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory have proposed to eliminate batteries from portable electronic devices. This intriguing prospect is one of the reasons for the current interest in building the capacity to store electrical energy directly into a wide range of products, such as a laptop whose casing serves as its battery, or an electric car powered by energy stored in its chassis, or a home where the dry wall and siding store the electricity that runs the lights and appliances. It also makes the small, dull grey wafers that graduate student Andrew Westover and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Cary Pint have made in Vanderbilt's Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory far more important than their nondescript appearance suggests. more

38: Japanese find HEMS plus PV Reduces Peak Electricity Demand by 42%

The HEMS Working Group, one of the household divisions of the Keihanna Eco-City Next-Generation Energy and Social System Verification Experiment Project in charge of HEMS, has initiated verification experiments for 14 households equipped with HEMS (Home Energy Management Systems) and solar power (PV) generators. These experiments are largely divided into two parts; reducing CO2 emissions by half or more by providing "visibility" for the amount of electricity consumed and advice on saving electricity, and responding to Demand Response (DR) requests issued by the CEMS (Community Energy Management System). The full-scale operation of these experiments started in fiscal 2013, and in addition to achieving excellent results, they have also added more clarity to the topics that need to be approached. The summer per-person target for the Peak Demand Reduction model implemented in fiscal 2013 was set at 0.100kW per person, which represents a 61% decrease in load over the 0.257kW per person set in 2007. The result of this was 0.150kW against the set target, and although the target was not achieved, a reduction of 42% was attained. more

37: Artesyn Embedded Technologies Rebranding Under new Ownership

The former Emerson Embedded Computing & Power business of Emerson Network Power announced a new name and corporate identity, Artesyn Embedded Technologies. The new brand comes following a transition to new ownership during the fourth quarter of 2013. Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, acquired a majority interest in the company from Emerson in November. Emerson retained a 49 percent stake. more

36: On Earth Day April 22 You can also Celebrate Sun Day

Sixty years ago on April 25, 1954, at a press conference in New York, Bell Laboratories demonstrated to the world what has been called "the greatest breakthrough ever recorded in the history of solar energy and of electricity," the first solar cell capable of directly converting enough sunlight into electricity to generate useful amounts of power. The press watched in awe as light poured on the first solar cell of silicon to run a 21-inch Ferris wheel made from an Erector set. The next day the New York Times stated on its front page that the Bell invention marked "the beginning of a new era, eventually leading to the realization of one of mankind's most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization." The full story appears in John Perlin's recent 451-page book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. more

35: Infrared: A New Renewable Energy Source?

When the sun sets on a remote desert outpost and solar panels shut down, what energy source will provide power through the night? A battery, perhaps, or an old diesel generator? Perhaps something strange and new. Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) envision a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. Heated by the sun, our planet is warm compared to the frigid vacuum beyond. As a result of recent technological advances, the researchers say, that heat imbalance could soon be transformed into direct-current (DC) power, taking advantage of a vast and untapped energy source. Their analysis of the thermodynamics, practical concerns, and technological requirements will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. more

34: MEMS Arrays Switch 600V / 560W Loads in Microseconds

Arc-free switching of hundreds of volts is possible using a MEMS switching device developed by a team of researchers with General Electric Global Research and General Electric Industrial Solutions. The resulting arrays are able to conduct current more efficiently and can open orders of magnitude faster than traditional macroscopic mechanical relays. The prototype system has been used to turn on and off a 3/4-hp motor and, more importantly, to provide arc-less protection in a test simulating a 16,000A fault current. Applications envisioned for this highly-scalable technology range from mobile phone handsets to grid-connected appliances. more

33: ezIGBT Online IGBT Comparison Calculator Launched

Synchro Technologies LLC is emerging from stealth mode and has released its ezIGBT online calculator to help designers in selecting the right IGBTs for motor drives, UPSs, solar inverters, industrial power supplies, and so on. With the release of this Online Calculator, ezIGBT is in the first phase of helping power converter designers analyze performance of IGBTs and compare IGBTs from different manufacturers. The online calculator is designed to help when selecting IGBTs for specific application conditions. Since datasheets provide guidance only for limited min and max operating conditions, designers need extra help in predicting the total losses of IGBTs in specific applications conditions. The online calculator from ezIGBT solves the problem for designers by helping them to compare suitable products based on device and performance comparison. more

32: Creating a Graphene-Metal Sandwich to Improve Electronics

Researchers have discovered that creating a graphene-copper-graphene "sandwich" strongly enhances the heat conducting properties of copper, a discovery that could further help in the downscaling of electronics. The work was led by Alexander A. Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering at the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside and Konstantin S. Novoselov, a professor of physics at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Balandin and Novoselov are corresponding authors for the paper just published in the journal Nano Letters. more

31: Digital Power Consortium formed by CUI, Ericsson and Murata

The formation of the Architects of Modern Power (AMP) digital power consortium was announced today by founding members CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata. The aim of the alliance is to create the most technically advanced, end-to-end distributed power solutions – a complete ecosystem of hardware, software and support. The advent of digital control in dc-dc converters and point-of-load regulators, driven initially by telecom and datacom companies experiencing a staggering rise in IP traffic and now proliferating into other industries, has made multi-sourcing of leading-edge power conversion products more difficult for customers. A level of software compatibility will be required in order to achieve a true multi-source solution, including compatibility of PMBus commands, proprietary controller commands, and configuration files. The AMP Group was formed to address this challenge. more