Energy Efficiency

August 2019
The Road to Success for Power Semiconductors

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Figure 1: Comparison of Superjunction transistor, SiC MOSFET, and GaN HEMT

The commercial availability of Superjunction transistors 20 years ago, challenged and finally proved wrong the limitations of conventional silicon-based transistors with respect to on-state resistance. What was regarded as revolutionary at that time is standard today. Today there is not a single transistor from
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Date:
08/31/2019
Gallium Oxide Power Transistors with Record Values

Gallium oxide chip with transistor structures and for measurement purposes, processed at FBH via projection lithography.

Powerful electronic components are indispensable for future communications, for the digital transformation of society and for artificial intelligence applications. On a footprint as small as possible, they should offer low energy consumption and achieve ever higher power densities, thus working more efficiently.
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Date:
08/27/2019
PSDcast â€

The winning team from the Technical University of Munich

In this episode of the PSDcast, we’re talking about The Hyperloop Pod Competition and the future of transportation! For the fourth year in
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Date:
08/27/2019

Dangerous Wild Grass will be Used in Batteries

Hogweed

Hogweed, which has grown over vast territories of Russia, can be useful as a material for batteries. Scientists from NUST MISIS have investigated the possibilities of fibrous substances in the plant stems. They have turned them into electrodes -- elements of devices capable of storing energy. It was experimentally
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Date:
08/26/2019
Study Demonstrates Silicon's Energy-Harvesting Power

Dr. Mark Lee, head of the Department of Physics in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, explains his research into the thermoelectric harvesting ability of silicon "nanoblades."

A University of Texas at Dallas physicist has teamed with Texas Instruments Inc. to design a better way for electronics to convert waste heat into reusable energy. The collaborative project demonstrated that silicon's ability to harvest energy from heat can be greatly increased while remaining mass-producible. Dr.
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Date:
08/26/2019
Carbon-Neutral Fuels from air and Green Power

The world's first integrated Power-to-Liquid (PtL) test facility to synthesize fuels from the air-captured carbon dioxide. (Photo: P2X project/Patrick Langer, KIT)

Several challenges associated with the energy transition can be managed by coupling the sectors of electric power and mobility. Green power could be stored in the long term, fuels of high energy density could be used in a carbon-neutral way. Sector coupling has now been demonstrated by the partners of the P2X
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Date:
08/22/2019
California's Rooftop-Solar Boom Leaves Equity Gap
OAKLAND, CA - California leads the nation in the adoption of rooftop solar systems, but information on which communities do, and do not, benefit from these installations has been limited to broad income classifications and anecdotal observations. Now, the data is in: The adoption of distributed solar - rooftop
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Date:
08/22/2019
DOE Issues Small Business R&D Funding Opportunity
The Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs issued its first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Fiscal Year 2020. The Phase I Release 1 FOA, with approximately $31.5 million in available funding, will allow small businesses
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Date:
08/22/2019
A Hallmark of Superconductivity, Beyond Superconductivity

Rice University physicists (from left) Liyang Chen, Panpan Zhou and Doug Natelson and colleagues at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Connecticut found evidence of electron pairing -- a hallmark feature of superconductivity -- at temperatures and energies well above the critical threshold where superconductivity occurs. The research appears this week in Nature.

HOUSTON -- Physicists have found "electron pairing," a hallmark feature of superconductivity, at temperatures and energies well above the critical threshold where superconductivity happens. Rice University's Doug Natelson, co-corresponding author of a paper about the work in this week's
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Date:
08/22/2019
PSDcast: Save Energy w/ Micromobility (+ Electric Scooters)

Josh Frisby, the founder of Electric Scooter Insider

In this episode of the PSDcast, we’re chatting with the founder of Electric Scooter Insider, Josh Frisby, about cutting back on fossil fuels through micromobility.
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Date:
08/20/2019
Are you SiC of Silicon? â€

Anup Bhalla, Vice President Engineering, UnitedSiC

Ultra-High Voltage SiC and Supercascodes New applications are emerging that require high voltage switch technology which is significantly lower in balance-of-system costs and operating losses than silicon IGBT and IGCT technology. This spans a wide range from solid state transformers, MW motor drives,
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Date:
08/20/2019
Europe has Onshore Capacity for Global Energy Demand

Map showing the power density potential for each European country.

Europe has the capacity to produce more than 100 times the amount of energy it currently produces through onshore windfarms, new analysis from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University has revealed. In an analysis of all suitable sites for onshore wind farms, the new study reveals that Europe
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Date:
08/14/2019
Growth of Wind Energy Points to Future Challenges, Promise

Advances in adapting the technology and better methods for predicting wind conditions have fanned significant growth of the use of wind turbines for electricity in the last 40 years.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Advances in adapting the technology for cold climates and offshore use and better methods for predicting wind conditions have fanned significant growth of the use of wind turbines for electricity in the last 40 years. A new report takes stock of where the field is now and what lies ahead. A
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Date:
08/13/2019
Community-Driven Data Science to Advance Microbiome Research
The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC), a new initiative aimed at empowering microbiome research, is gearing up its pilot phase after receiving $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Spearheaded by Lawrence
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Date:
08/13/2019
Mapping the Energetic Landscape of Solar Cells

Artistic representation of an energetic landscape that determines the movement of photo-induced positive (h+) and negative (e-) charges in photovoltaic devices.

A new spectroscopic method now makes it possible to measure and visualise the energetic landscape inside solar cells based on organic materials. It was developed by a research team led by Prof. Dr Yana Vaynzof, a physicist at Heidelberg University. This novel visualisation technique enables scientists to study
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Date:
08/13/2019
Timing is Everything

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Microchip CSA 100 MEMs oscillator

Timing is Everything MEMS technology is well-suited to meet the demands of these emerging automotive applications By: Microchip Technologies Automotive-grade MEMS oscillators meet complex demands of emerging automotive applications by offering
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Date:
08/10/2019
A Charging Infrastructure for Wide-Scale EV Adoption

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Figure 1: EV Charging Station

A Charging Infrastructure for Wide-Scale EV Adoption To ensure that electric vehicles (EVs) have the same freedom to roam as today’s fossil-fuel cars, infrastructure challenges need to be addressed   By: Alessandro
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Date:
08/10/2019
High isolation, regulated DC/DC converters in compact package
The core characteristic of the TRI line is a sophisticated reinforced isolation system which is able to withstand high test voltages (9000 VDC for 1s and 5000 VAC for 60s) and working voltages (1000 VACrms). Complementing this isolation characteristic is a high Common
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Date:
08/09/2019
Neural Networks Will Help Manufacture Carbon Nanotubes

This is a scheme of the proposed method.

Thin films made of carbon nanotubes hold a lot of promise for advanced optoelectronics, energy and medicine, however with their manufacturing process subject to close supervision and stringent standardization requirements, they are unlikely to become ubiquitous anytime soon. "A major hindrance
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Date:
08/08/2019
PSDcast â€

Cone Drive’s Global Director of Strategic Markets, Jacob Randall

In this episode of the PSDcast, we’re chatting with Cone Drive about the company’s role in keeping one of the world's largest operational solar power plants going.
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Date:
08/08/2019
Graphite Intercalation Compounds to Prolong Battery Life

Optical micrographs showing transition of stage-2 GIC to stage-1 HOPG GIC. Reflected light. The stage-2 areas are greenish-white. The stage-1 areas are blue. The red-colored areas are the mixed stage. Note, the greenish tint of graphite surface on panels (a,b) is the artifact of the digital processing; the actual color is almost white. The white shapeless feature on the right of the micrographs is an air bubble. Acquired with the SPI-3 HOPG sample.

The beginning of this project dates back to 2012-2013, when team leader Ayrat Dimiev was working at Rice University, Houston, TX, USA, with Professor James Tour. Together with Natnael Behabtu, at that time a PhD student of Professor Matteo Pasquali, they discovered a phenomenon that could be observed in optical
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Date:
08/08/2019
Ionic Thermal Up-Diffusion Boosts Energy Harvesting

(a) Schematic illustration of the ion concentration profiles with asymmetric transmembrane temperature differences. (b) Electric power under different temperature differences. (c) At small transmembrane concentration intensities, both positive and negative temperature differences contribute to the electric power. At high transmembrane concentration intensities, a negative temperature difference promotes the power extraction and a positive temperature difference hinders the electric power.

Salinity gradient energy is recognized as a promising candidate for the substitution of the traditional fossil fuels. Recently, nanofluidic salinity gradient energy harvesting via ion channels or membranes has drawn increasing concerns due to the advances in materials science and nanotechnology, which could
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Date:
08/06/2019
Ion Heating by Plasma Oscillations for Fusion Energy

Plasma oscillations driven by high-energy particles in a plasma in LHD.

A research team of fusion scientists succeeded in proving that ions can be heated by plasma oscillations driven by high-energy particles. This has been confirmed by performing a large-scale simulation with a newly developed hybrid-simulation program that links calculations for plasma oscillations, high-energy
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Date:
08/06/2019
SwRI Concepts Advance in NREL Energy Storage Competition

Pumped storage hydropower uses dual-reservoir "storage" systems to improve the availability of energy by pumping and releasing water between the reservoirs to generate electricity to meet peak demands. To accelerate pumped storage hydropower implementation, SwRI is developing different strategies for efficiently building the reservoirs, illustrated here with an upper reservoir sited atop a mesa and a lower reservoir created by damming canyons below.

SAN ANTONIO -- The FAST Commissioning for Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) prize competition selected two Southwest Research Institute PSH concepts among nine winners advancing to the next stage of the competition. The FAST prize -- which stands for "Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time Commissioning
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Date:
08/06/2019
Is it Safe to use an Electric fan for Cooling?

This is Associate Professor Ollie Jay at work in the climatic chamber at the University of Sydney.

The safety and effectiveness of electric fans in heatwaves depend on the climate and basing public health advice on common weather metrics could be misleading, according to a new study from the University of Sydney. The research calls into question current guidelines from most public health authorities,
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Date:
08/05/2019
LEDs with High-Efficiency Quantum Dot Technology
Mouser Electronics, Inc., is now stocking Osconiq S 3030 QD LEDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors. Utilizing Quantum Dot (QD) tunable light conversion technology, these mid-power LEDs are designed for area lighting and downlight applications that benefit from high efficacy and excellent color rendering. This
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Date:
08/02/2019
From Greenhouse Gas to Fuel

From left to right: Former UD postdoctoral associate Qi Lu, current assistant professor Bingjun Xu, and current postdoctoral associate Xiaoxia Chang recently revealed a new approach that utilizes a series of catalytic reactions to electrochemically reduce carbon dioxide to methane.

A growing number of scientists are looking for fast, cost-effective ways to convert carbon dioxide gas into valuable chemicals and fuels. Now, an international team of researchers has revealed a new approach that utilizes a series of catalytic reactions to electrochemically reduce carbon dioxide to
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Date:
08/02/2019
Battery Production at Record Speed

Precise edges at new record speed: new process considerably increases production capacity of battery electrodes. (Photo: Ralf Diehm, KIT)

With a new coating process, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced electrodes for lithium-ion batteries at record speed. At the same time, the new process improves the quality of electrodes and reduces production costs. When producing electrodes for batteries, electrode
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Date:
08/01/2019