Energy Efficiency

April 2018
Undersecretary of Energy Menezes Announces $23 Million in New Funding to Advance Marine Energy Technologies
WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes announced up to $23 million for innovative technologies to reduce capital costs and shorten deployment timelines of marine energy devices.The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
. . . Read More
Date:
04/30/2018
'Exceptional' Research Points Way Toward Quantum Discoveries

Rice University scientists used nanotube films and polarized light to strongly couple light and matter progressively and on demand at room temperature. Their discovery of exceptional points in the resulting polaritons could allow researchers to explore novel quantum technologies like advanced information storage or one-dimensional lasers.

HOUSTON - (April 30, 2018) - Rice University scientists are known for exceptional research, but a new paper led by physicist Junichiro Kono makes that point most literally. The discovery of exceptional points in a unique material created by Kono's lab is one of several revelations in a paper that
. . . Read More
Date:
04/30/2018
New Catalyst Turns Ammonia Into an Innovative Clean Fuel

CuOx/3A2S selectively produces N2 and H2O from NH3 through a two-step reaction.

Taking measures against climate change and converting into societies that use significant amounts of renewable energy for power are two of the most important issues common to developed countries today. One promising technology in those efforts uses hydrogen (H2) as a renewable energy source. Although
. . . Read More
Date:
04/27/2018

Vicor Launches 12V to 48V NBM Module at GTC 2018
Vicor Corporation has announced a 12V to 48V non-isolated up converter to support 48V high-performance GPUs in data centers that are still relying on legacy 12V power distribution. The 2317 NBM converts 12V
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
Ultra-soft IGBT freewheeling diodes offer industry leading low losses
Infineon Technologies Bipolar GmbH & Co. KG launches a new diode family especially designed for modern IGBT applications: Infineon ® Prime Soft. This diode features an improved turn-off capability which now rates at 5 kA/µs. Prime Soft builds on the well-received
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
The Schaffner Group introduces ecosine active sync series, the new generation of modular, compact, effective and reliable active harmonic filters
Schaffner is again setting a benchmark with its product offering for harmonics mitigation solutions. ecosine® active sync utilises superior technology to reliably mitigate excessive harmonics with an evolutionary modular product concept.
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
Vincotech Joins the Charging Interface Initiative
Vincotech has joined Charging Interface Initiative e. V., an association set up by Germany's automotive luminaries to entrench the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the definitive technology for battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs).
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
Power factor correction: PQvar boosts energy efficiency and ensures load balancing
TDK Corporation presents EPCOS PQvar, a modular static var generator for active stepless power factor correction and load balancing in industrial grids and large commercial buildings. With a fast response time of less than 15 ms and a dynamic reaction time of 50
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
Balancing Nuclear and Renewable Energy

Power plants that balance nuclear and renewable energy could increase revenues from electricity markets and reduce variable operating and maintenance costs, according to Argonne scientists.

Nuclear power plants typically run either at full capacity or not at all. Yet the plants have the technical ability to adjust to the changing demand for power and thus better accommodate sources of renewable energy such as wind or solar power. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
Ultra-Low-Power Switch Features
Santa Clara, CA.— GLF Integrated Power introduces the GLF76321 IQSmart IC with “Deep Sleep” power conservation mode. While in this mode, the device operates with a typical standby current (ISD) of just 7nA – which is negligible compared to the typical self-discharge of Li-ion batteries.
. . . Read More
Date:
04/26/2018
Ultra slim device guarantees 5kV isolation and 8.0mm creepage and clearance distances
Toshiba Electronics Europe today announced the launch of a new gate driver photocoupler housed in a low-profile SO8L package. The TLP5832 delivers 2.5A peak output current (IOPH,IOPL) and can directly drive medium-class IGBTs and MOSFETs in applications such as inverters
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
New Ultracapacitor and Battery-Powered DC UPS announced by BLOCK
BLOCK announces the introduction of two new 24V/40A uninterruptible power supplies. These DC input UPS ensure reliable availability of safety-critical systems in the case of power failure. BLOCK UPS supports 12V, 24V and 48V systems and can be either battery-powered
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
Power from the wind turbine to the charging station
The products and intelligent solutions of HARTING make the technology group a partner and pioneer in electromobility and the energy transition. The subsidiary HARTING Automotive develops and makes charging cables and associated equipment for electro and plug-in hybrid
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
Renesas Electronics Introduces ISL91302B, ISL91301A, and ISL91301B Multiphase PMICs with Highest Efficiency and Smallest Footprint
Renesas announced three programmable power management ICs (PMICs) that offer the highest power efficiency and smallest footprint for application processors in smartphones and tablets: the ISL91302B, ISL91301A, and ISL91301B PMICs. The PMICs also deliver power to
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
Now in stock at TTI, Inc. and ideal for demanding automotive applications are Panasonic’s LP-Series power choke coils and ZE-Series Hybrid capacitors
Now available in Europe through TTI are Panasonic’s highly power efficient LP-Series power choke coils and ZE-Series Conductive Polymer Hybrid Aluminum SMD technology capacitors featuring a high ripple current (up to 2.0A) and a low ESR value.
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
WÃrth Elektronik eiSos expands its MagIÂC series of power module
With the MagI³C-VDMM (Variable Step Down MicroModule), Würth Elektronik eiSos expands its product series of power modules with high power density, very few external components and outstanding electromagnetic compatibility. The step-down converter with variable
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
High reliability thick-film resistors from TT Electronics get smaller
TT Electronics has announced the introduction of two additional resistor types that expand and enhance its high-reliability CR and HR series. The latest versions of these thick-film chip resistors are in the smaller 0603 size and hence offer greater opportunities
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
The pursuit of higher efficiency has been a driving factor in industry progress since electricity was first harnessed.  The introduction of solid state transistors in switching applications enabled the switching power converter and created a step function improvement in power conversion efficiency.  Advances
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
Sensor Reference Design Intended for Blood Pressure, Vital Signs for Smart Health and Wearables
Premstaetten, Austria -- ams announced the release of the first integrated vital sign sensor reference design based on its AS7024.The solution can perform accurate, fast and convenient 24/7 cuffless blood pressure measurement. The new vital signs sensor reference design based on AS7024 integrates
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
Cheaper And Easier Way Found to Make Plastic Semiconductors
Cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors will soon be a reality thanks to a breakthrough by chemists at the University of Waterloo. Professor Derek Schipper and his team at Waterloo have developed a way to make conjugated polymers, plastics that conduct electricity like metals, using
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
SoC Now Supports Zigbee For Smart Home, Enterprise, And Industrial Applications
Oslo, Norway - Nordic Semiconductor announces its first Zigbee wireless connectivity solution for use with the nRF52840 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC). The first engineering release is available now with a production grade Zigbee 3.0-certified release planned for the second half of 2018. The introduction
. . . Read More
Date:
04/25/2018
In-House Processing Brings Cost-Effective AI

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

Earlier this year I wrote a blog on Google and its tensor processing units. The company had just launched the second generation of its powerful ICs that provide the computing power for its vast datacentres around the world. The processors are specifically designed for the complex AI computational tasks found
. . . Read More
Date:
04/24/2018
It’s all about materials

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

Welcome to the May edition of PSD. This year seems to be constantly busy and the time is flying in. Maybe it is because the industry is on the crest of a wave at the moment, or it may be that the number of important events is increasing and we are constantly in the lead up to another one. This month, we start
. . . Read More
Date:
04/24/2018
SiC Cascodes: Fast-Track to Wide-Bandgap Performance and Efficiency

Figure 1. SiC cascode configuration

SiC MOSFETs can deliver impressive performance and efficiency gains in power-conversion circuits, but a clean-sheet design is needed for best results. SiC cascodes offer a drop-in replacement bringing instant access to many of the advantages of wide-bandgap devices. Drop In, Turn On Silicon
. . . Read More
Date:
04/24/2018
Advanced Cooling and Efficient Semiconductor Technology is a Winning Combination

Figure 1: 3D model depicting Dual Cool technology

Power engineers often face seemingly conflicting and almost impossible challenges. As system designers add more features and functionality to newer product generations, so the system requires more power, but has less space available to generate it. While there are many techniques available to manage heat, forced
. . . Read More
Date:
04/23/2018
Powering the Future with Intelligence and Efficiency

Figure 1: Comparison of the normalized area of a chip versus the voltage rating of the best MOSFETs, in blue, with the latest generation of GaN FET (Source Efficient Power Conversion (EPC))

In March 2018, the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) took place in San Antonio (Texas). APEC is the world’s largest convention dedicated to applied power electronics, and the place where research laboratories, universities, market analysts and companies showcase the latest and often ‘industry first’
. . . Read More
Date:
04/23/2018
Automated Driving Technologies Will Never Be Perfect
As a species, we have an innate fear of a fictional robot apocalypse, and it colors our every reaction to semi-autonomous and autonomous systems. Case in point – the agita over the handful of semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicle fatal crashes. Back in March, a Tesla Model X
. . . Read More
Date:
04/23/2018
Fundamentals of Switching Regulators

Figure 1: Linear regulator

Electronic equipment uses ICs in order to function, requiring a DC voltage as the supply input at various voltage levels. The AC power line (utility supply wall outlet) or DC power (batteries, solar panels, etc.), are the main power inputs. DC-DC power conversion technology enables these energy sources to be
. . . Read More
Date:
04/23/2018
Efficient Redundancy for Power Supplies

Figure 1: A load current of 40A creates approximately 20W of power losses - a heavy thermally induced stress for power electronics

N+1 redundant power module connection guarantees reliable system availability even if a power supply fails. However, the common use of decoupling diodes in such modules causes a large voltage drop leading to high power losses generating heat. After a complete design review, PULS is now replacing these
. . . Read More
Date:
04/23/2018
TMR 3WIR and TMR 6WIR Series
The TMR 3WIR and the TMR 6WIR series are a set of 3/6 Watt DC/DC converters in a SIP-8 metal case. The design purpose of these series was to miniaturized low power DC/DC converters for railway application to the maximum without sacrificing highest efficiency. They
. . . Read More
Date:
04/19/2018
PSDcast - Improving Building Efficiency With Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats
In this episode of the PSDcast, we’re talking about Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats and legacy cooling systems. Just recently, a 345,000 square-foot property in Phoenix, Arizona won the BOMA Green Building Committee Kilowatt Krackdown award after achieving the highest Energy Star score of 98 in the competition.
. . . Read More
Date:
04/18/2018
KAIST Develops Sodium Ion Batteries Using Copper Sulfide

This is the sodiation process of copper sulfide.

A KAIST research team recently developed sodium ion batteries using copper sulfide anode. This finding will contribute to advancing the commercialization of sodium ion batteries (SIBs) and reducing the production cost of any electronic products with batteries. Professor Jong Min Yuk and Emeritus Professor
. . . Read More
Date:
04/17/2018
Thin Film Series Satisfies Higher Voltage and Current Requirements
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Bourns, Inc. has announced the introduction of the first of many new SinglFuse product series the company has planned in its strategic roadmap for 2018. The significant expansion of its SinglFuse line will include advanced wire-core, ceramic multilayer and ceramic tube fuse
. . . Read More
Date:
04/17/2018
A Higher-Energy, Safer and Longer-Lasting Zinc Battery
College Park, Md. -- Again establishing the University of Maryland (UMD) as a leader in the development of groundbreaking battery technology, a team led by researchers at UMD's A. James Clark School of Engineering has created a water-based zinc battery that
. . . Read More
Date:
04/16/2018
Synchronous buck-boost converters with four power switches can deliver very high efficiency while providing both step-up and step-down DC/DC conversion. Combining the capabilities of two separate converters (buck and boost) has the advantage of reduced solution size and cost. Four-switch converters should be
. . . Read More
Date:
04/16/2018
One year on, how does the Analog Devices takeover of Linear Technology look?

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

It’s been almost a year a year to the day (10th March) since Analog Devices announced that the company had completed its approximately $15 billion takeover of Linear Technology. The initial announcement had come as a shock to the industry, in that one of the seemingly few remaining large privately
. . . Read More
Date:
04/16/2018
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are semiconductor devices which provide an efficient and reliable source of light and contain no moving parts, making them very reliable in environments with elevated vibration and shock, such as automobiles. Other desirable properties include high efficiency, long life and brightness.
. . . Read More
Date:
04/16/2018
Algae-Forestry, Bioenergy Mix Could Help Make CO2 Vanish From Thin Air
ITHACA, N.Y. - An unconventional mélange of algae, eucalyptus and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage appears to be a quirky ecological recipe. But, scientists from Cornell University, Duke University, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo have an idea that could use that recipe to help power and provide
. . . Read More
Date:
04/13/2018
CMI Expands Research in Tech Metals as Demand for Electric Vehicles Grows

The Critical Materials Institute is launching new research in the processing, use and recycling of materials necessary to EV technology.

As increasing consumer interest in electric vehicles drives the demand for supplies of lithium and cobalt (ingredients in lithium-ion batteries), the Critical Materials Institute will begin new efforts this July to maximize the efficient processing, use, and recycling of those elements. "The
. . . Read More
Date:
04/12/2018
PLEDs Support Replacing Fluorescent Lighting Tubes with LED Strings or Tubes Without Scrapping the Ballast Drivers
CHICAGO — Littelfuse, Inc. introduced a series of PLEDs with an ultra-low holding current (just 21mA) that makes the ballast drivers widely used in the output of fluorescent tubes compatible with modern replacement LED strings or tubes. This eliminates the need to scrap otherwise still-working
. . . Read More
Date:
04/12/2018
The Industry's First 3 Volt Thin Prismatic Supercapacitors
CAP-XX announced it has developed the industry’s first 3V thin, prismatic supercapacitors. The company will deploy its 3V technology first in thin prismatic form to meet demand for small, inexpensive, energy-efficient power solutions for thin wearables, key FOBs and other IoT devices. CAP-XX will then integrate
. . . Read More
Date:
04/12/2018
The Thermodynamics of Computing
As steam engines became increasingly widespread in the 19th century, the question soon arose as to how to optimise them. Thermodynamics, the physical theory that resulted from the study of these machines, proved to be an extremely fruitful approach; it is still a central concept in the optimisation of energy
. . . Read More
Date:
04/11/2018
2018 Will be a SiC Year
We’ve been playing soothsayer a lot lately, but if you strolled the halls of the Henry B. González Convention Center at APEC 2018, one theme was absolutely inescapable – the ubiquity of silicon carbide (SiC). 2018 should be its coming-out party. Nearly every company we visited chatted up the
. . . Read More
Date:
04/10/2018
Choosing a Fan Design That Minimizes Trade-Offs

Figure 1. Cross section of a sleeve bearing

In the same way that oxygen and water are essential to human life, cooling fans are critical to many of the devices we rely on every day. From home appliances to industrial-grade machinery, and from laptop computers to the large-scale data centers, the need to remove hot air is essential. If the fan fails, the
. . . Read More
Date:
04/10/2018
A Smart Solution for Smart Meter Power-Path Management

Figure 1. Circuit schematic

Some smart meter applications require an external wireless communication module to be attached to them. The power requirements imposed are that the module should limit its supply current to be within a 100 – 150mA range. There is also a requirement for a super capacitor (supercap) backup supply to continue
. . . Read More
Date:
04/10/2018
New Ultralow Quiescent Current Buck-Boost Converters Power Industrial Systems & More

Figure 1. LTC3130 Typical Application Schematic and Features

A buck-boost DC/DC converter is one of the most valuable tools in a power supply designer’s toolbox for dealing with a variety of power conversion scenarios. In these situations, input voltages can vary widely due to non-ideal or multi-input power sources, transient disturbances or charging and discharging
. . . Read More
Date:
04/10/2018
Power-Over-Ethernet: The Missing Link Between Digital Ceilings and a New Breed of Smart Buildings

Figure 1. Digital Ceiling Ecosystem

We are in the digital era when enterprises are embracing innovative technologies to create new experiences and business opportunities. This transformation has given rise to some revolutionary applications, including digital ceilings that have gained immense popularity by connecting everything associated with
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
RS Components delivers flexible, cost-effective rack power with modular RS Pro PDUs featuring power management options
RS Components has introduced easily upgradeable power distribution units (PDUs) to its high-quality high-value RS Pro range, which give flexibility to retrofit power metering or networked power monitoring cost effectively and with minimal disruption.
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
Lumileds Latest LUXEON CoB Core Range LEDs, Now at Mouser, Offer High Density in a Small Surface
Mouser Electronics is now stocking LUXEON CoB Core Range (Gen 4) LEDs from Lumileds. These LEDs offer high flux densities in a small light emitting surface (LES), enabling double the luminous flux of the third generation of LUXEON CoB Core Range devices. The high-density
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
Imec and Qromis Present High Performance p-GaN HEMTs on 200mm CTE-matched Substrates
imec and Qromis, have announced the development of high performance enhancement mode p-GaN power devices on 200mm engineered Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)-matched substrates, processed in imec’s silicon pilot line. The substrates are offered by Qromis
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
STMicroelectronics’ ACEPACK IGBT Modules, Now at Mouser, Deliver Highly Integrated Power Conversion Up to 30kW
Mouser Electronics is now stocking the ACEPACK IGBT modules from STMicroelectronics (ST). Part of a new plastic power module family developed mainly to address industrial applications, the Adaptable Compact Easier PACKage (ACEPACK) modules provide economical and
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
Harwin Introduces Ultra-Compact Fine Pitch Cable-to-Board Connector Offering
Continuing to extend the breadth of its interconnect solutions, Harwin has announced the latest addition to the M40 series. With phosphor bronze contacts that are rated for currents of up to 1A, these lightweight, low profile 1mm pitch units are the smallest in the
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
Vincotech’s new booster +H6.5 inverter â€
Vincotech today announced the launch of the new flowSOL 1 BI (TL) high efficiency H6.5 inverter with dual booster designed to ease the development of single-phase solar applications up to 10 kW. Efficient, reliable and robust, this module is perfect for
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
High power LTKAK Series TVS Diodes from Littelfuse offer superior clamping compared to standard silicon avalanche diodes - now in stock at TTI, Inc.
The new LTKAK Series TVS Diodes from Littelfuse is now available in Europe through TTI. Offering superior clamping characteristics compared to standard silicon avalanche diodes, the LTKAK Series features Littelfuse Foldbak technology, which provides a clamping voltage
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
Next Generation 2/3 Watt SIP-8 DC/DC converters
TEC 2/3 (WI) are new series with the design purpose to improve the prevalent 2/3 Watt SIP-8 DC/DC converters (eg. TMR 2/3E) in terms of cost, efficiency and performance. The latest technology and components
. . . Read More
Date:
04/09/2018
Elk Grove Village, IL - BEA Lasers has announced the availability of its full line of Industrial Laser modules, some of which are now offered in new sizes.  The BEA Industrial Lasers are ruggedized for use in factories, machine shops and other harsh environments. BEA Industrial
. . . Read More
Date:
04/06/2018
New research from the University of Waterloo shows that Canadian small businesses are important- and often overlooked- drivers of sustainability and the green economy. The Waterloo study, led by researcher Sarah Burch, discovered that eight out of 10 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) surveyed are
. . . Read More
Date:
04/06/2018
Banking on Sunshine: World Added Far More Solar Than Fossil Fuel Power Generating Capacity in 2017

Global investments in renewable energy of $2.7 trillion from 2007 to 2017 (11 years inclusive) have increased the proportion of world electricity generated by wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, marine and small hydro from 5.2 per cent to 12.1 per cent.

Solar energy dominated global investment in new power generation like never before in 2017. The world installed a record 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity, far more than the net additions of any other technology - renewable, fossil fuel or nuclear. Solar power also attracted far more investment,
. . . Read More
Date:
04/06/2018
PSDcast - AC/DC Rapid Charge Solutions
In this episode of the PSDcast, we’re discussing AC/DC rapid charge solutions with Faisal Ahmad from Dialog Semiconductor. Our industry often intersects with the consumer world – after all, every proprietary technology eventually
. . . Read More
Date:
04/03/2018
Path to a Booming Australian Solar Thermal Energy Market

A novel solar peaker plant concept presented by Solar Dynamics estimated that a solar peaker plant can be competitive with a fossil fueled peaker at typical capacity payments rates.

A report out from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) this month published responses from industry stakeholders on the viability of a concentrated solar thermal (CST) energy market in Australia: Paving the way for concentrated solar thermal in Australia. Only 5 gigawatts (GW) of CST is
. . . Read More
Date:
04/03/2018
In recent years, significance of semiconductor module for photovoltaic power conversion systems is increasing. Especially higher output power with existing housing size of power module is important to realize further downsizing or rating upgrade for its systems. For realizing higher
. . . Read More
Date:
04/03/2018