EE&T News: July 26, 2010

EE&T News: July 26, 2010

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July 26, 2010 Issue:

• With this kind of heat, thank goodness for A/C
• Good-bye to A/C compressors?
• A white roof in your future
• Pulling the plug on hybrid myths
• How to get more energy from piezo sensors
• Energy Shorts
• Hybrid bearings for wind-turbine generators

With this kind of heat, thank goodness for A/C

As the U.S. east coast and midwest get bathed in a heat wave, public attention has naturally turned to the science of air conditioning. There are some interesting developments emerging from research labs, one of which we profile in this issue. We'll have more on this area in future issues. Meanwhile, send your energy efficiency news to us at [email protected] -- Leland Teschler, Editor Read More


Good-bye to A/C compressors?

Researchers at the University of Maryland are developing a new "thermally elastic" metal alloy for use in advanced refrigeration and air conditioning systems. The idea is to use the material as a solid coolant to take the place of fluids used in conventional refrigeration and air conditioning compressors. This eliminates the need for a compressor and makes the whole AC process more efficient. READ MORE Read More


A white roof in your future

White roofs reflect far more of the sun's heat than do darker ones, so buildings with white roofs will need less air conditioning in the summer months. Moreover, the heat absorbed by a black roof both heats the space below it, and is also carried into the air — raising the ambient temperature of cities in what is known as the urban heat island effect. READ MORE Read More

Pulling the plug on hybrid myths

Forest Jehlik, a vehicle systems engineer at the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne Laboratory, recently discussedd six myths surrounding plug-in hybrid electric cars and trucks. Among them: Can researchers measure fuel economy for a plug-in hybrid as easily as they do for gas-powered cars? Not quite. Establishing how many miles a plug-in hybrid vehicle travels on a gallon of gas is a complex task. It really depends on the driving and charging habits of the vehicle's owner. READ MORE Read More

How to get more energy from piezo sensors

If you are engaged in an energy harvesting project that involves piezo sensors powered by vibrations, you might want to check out the most recent issue of Applied Physics Letters. In it researchers from the University of Lyon in France describe a scheme for boosting the output of off-the-shelf piezo sensors by a factor of 20 when applied in energy harvesting. If used with special low-loss sensors, the improvement could be a factor of 40. READ MORE Read More

Energy Shorts

Microsoft’s Bill Gates discovers opposed-piston engines

Highly efficient power supply debuts

Opportunity knocks - on a keyboard

DoE gives lighting designers a new software tool

A driver IC for dimmable LEDs

How to build a low-loss stepper motor

Got a smart grid idea? GE can fund it

Read More


Hybrid bearings for wind-turbine generators

XL hybrid bearings are designed specifically for wind-turbine generators. Engineered to provide insulation against electric currents, they virtually eliminate the risk of premature bearing failures. The bearings also maximize lubricant effectiveness for long-term performance — even under poor lubrication conditions.
The bearing’s deep-groove design integrates bearing steel rings and bearing-grade silicon nitride (ceramic) rolling elements, making them lighter, harder, less dense, and more durable than all-steel bearing counterparts.
Benefits include higher reliability and increased sustainability, reduced life-cycle and operation costs, reduced maintenance, and the capability to upgrade into existing wind-turbine design envelopes without the need for redesign.
SKF USA Inc. Read More


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