September 13, 2011 Issue:
Thorium reactor technology holds promise but, early on, was back-burnered by the nuclear industry partly because governments needed nuclear reactors that would produce weapons-grade plutonium, something thorium reactors can't do. But the technology now is much closer to prime time, as you will see in our news story running in this issue.
As always, send your energy efficiency news to us at [email protected]. -- Leland Teschler, Editor
At least one potential competitor was not allowed to compete in the recently concluded 100 mpg Automotive X-Prize competition. Charles Stevens, an inventor and entrepreneur, was ready to enter a car powered by thorium. After all, a single gram of thorium has as much energy as 7,500 gallons of gasoline. But Stevens says X-Prize officials figured there were several issues associated with a thorium-powered car that would be problematic. Among other things, "They insisted on providing fuel for all competitors to head off any possibility of putting additives in gasoline or diesel fuel, but they weren't sure how they would provide our thorium," he says. READ MORE
Energy Efficiency Expo September 20-21 in Nashville
Energy Efficiency Expo 2011 is a trade fair showcasing products and services to help organizations reduce their energy consumption and become more energy-efficient. The event is designed to address the needs of managers and engineers who are responsible for facilities, manufacturing and industrial operations, equipment and machinery, as well as product and system designers. Numerous educational sessions will run concurrently with the exhibition, allowing attendees to obtain more in-depth information on specific areas of energy efficiency. www.energyefficiencyexpo2011.com
Pundits claim the primary rationale for companies to go into cloud computing is to cut IT support costs. But cloud computing has an energy efficiency angle as well: At least in theory, concentrating enterprise data in a few heavily used data centers makes operations more energy efficient. It is easy to see why this is so from the fact that power consumption in a data center doesn't scale linearly with its computing load. READ MORE
Cable boxes guzzle energy while nobody's looking
LEDs go for a spin in POV displays
New standards for the Smart Grid
Energy myths: Getting smarter about smart meters
Letters to EE&T: CFL performance is in the design
Energy figures: CFL sales slide
Want to be a factor in the solid-state lighting business? Forget about making light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Real success will only come to companies able to excel in the optics, electronics, and overall development that will let fixtures fit into applications like a glove. That was the message recently from GE Lighting, one of the largest LED white lighting suppliers. It doesn't make LEDs and doesn't think it needs to. READ MORE
LM3530 White LED Driver, Now at Digi-Key
National Semiconductor's LM3530 current mode boost converter supplies the power and controls the current in up to 11 white LEDs. The 839 mA current limit and 2.7 V to 5.5 V input voltage range, makes the device a versatile power source ideal for operation in portable applications. The LED current is adjustable from 0mA to 29.5 mA via an I2C compatible interface. The 127 different current steps and eight different maximum LED current levels give over 1000 LED current levels. www.digikey.com
You can say one thing for outdoor sodium lamps and the ugly yellow light they generate: The light doesn't suppress the generation of melatonin in humans and animals. The same can't be said, however, for the light generated by white LEDs. At least so say researchers writing in a recent edition of the Journal of Environmental Management. The team describes their research examining to what degree different kinds of light bulbs suppress melatonin production and lead to light pollution at night. READ MORE
The VYB Series of high-efficiency 4:1 input dc-dc converters provide output power ranging from 10 to 20 W. Packaged in a 2 × 1-in. footprint, the converters are suitable for battery-driven applications where charging and discharging conditions require an ultrawide input range.
Available in 3.3, 5, 12, or 15-Vdc single output models and ±5, ±12, or ±15-Vdc dual output models, the converters accept input voltages of 9 to 36 Vdc or 18 to 75 Vdc. Outputs are fully regulated to within ±0.5% over all line-input conditions and ±1.0% for all load conditions. Input to output isolation of 1,500 Vdc is provided across the range. Operating temperature range is –40 to 85°C.
Single-output 15 and 20-W models offer an output trim that allows adjustment within ±10% of nominal output. Additional features include short-circuit, overcurrent, and overvoltage protection.
Low-maintenance LF1E Lumifa LED light strips are for use in freezer or refrigerated display cases with temperatures as low as –40°C. They can also be used in testing chambers where temperatures are below freezing.
The strips providing uniform lighting while producing low levels of heat, thereby saving energy. The lights operate on 24-Vdc voltage and retain 70% of their initial luminance at 40,000 hr.
The Series is available in cool white (temperature: 5,000 K) or warm white (3,000 K), four lengths with a maximum length of 1,450 mm (4.75 ft), and three types: no lens, condensing lens, and dual lens.
Thomas provides OEM pump and compressor innovations for environmental applications with oil-less technology offerings including WOB-L® and articulated piston, diaphragm, rotary, linear, and liquid pumps.