EE&T News: March 28, 2011

EE&T News: March 28, 2011

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March 28, 2011 Issue:

• Get ready for EE&T's second annual tech day
• No pistons, no crank - wave disk engine is super efficient
• A 20 MW wind turbine? Yup, it's practical
• Wanted: Batteries for solar and wind power
• Wind turbines will sport biggest direct drive generators ever
• Energy shorts
• Featured video: Form factors for SSLs

Get ready for EE&T's second annual tech day

Plans are coming together for EE&T's second annual one-day educational conference on May 26 in Santa Clara, Calif. Attendees will hear presentations from the Calif. Energy Commission, Energy Star test lab CSA, and electric vehicle system builder Nuvation, among many others. Check it out at And as always, send your energy efficient news to us at [email protected]. -- Leland Teschler, Editor


No pistons, no crank - wave disk engine is super efficient

Those attending the DoE's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit a few weeks back got to see something called a wave-disk generator, or WDG, said to use about 60% of the fuel it burns for propulsion, which compares favorably to the 15% of fuel directed toward propulsion from conventional internal combustion engines. The wave disk engine is the product of a Michigan State University research team led by Norbert Mueller, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. The researchers have been working on the idea for the past three years and aim to produce a vehicle-size engine/generator. READ MORE


A 20 MW wind turbine? Yup, it's practical

A new report from the EU-funded UpWind project concluded that it is feasible to construct wind turbines to 20 MW, though doing so would involve more than just a simple scaling up of today's wind turbine components. The dimensions on 20-MW turbines would be gigantic -- rotor diameters would be around 200 m, compared to some 120 m on today's 5 MW turbines. READ MORE


Wanted: Batteries for solar and wind power

It's going to take reliable, durable, safe, and, most importantly, less expensive batteries before wind and solar power can be viable, according to report from researchers at the Energy Dept.'s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The researchers examined four stationary batteries considered the most promising and outline what technological advances are needed to make each economically feasible. One is Vanadium redox flow: A rechargeable battery that stores electrical energy is two tanks of electrolytes. When energy is needed, liquid is pumped from one tank to another. When energy needs to be stored, this process is reversed. It could provide backup energy for up to 12 hr and would work with wind or solar power in neighborhoods or industrial sites. READ MORE

Wind turbines will sport biggest direct drive generators ever

Two prototype prototype wind turbines are scheduled to be installed over the next two years demonstrating what is said to be the largest direct-drive permanent magnet wind turbine drive yet devised. The generators, developed by Converteam in Europe, are going into wind turbines from Alstom that also feature the world's longest turbine blades and 6 MW power output. READ MORE


Energy shorts

Sulfur thwarts fuel-efficient diesels
Brayton cycle steam turbines could be more power dense
Super-bright green LEDs
Power supply works with wind turbine generators
Bus converters hit 98% efficiency
Software analyzes drivetrains
ICs for PV microinverters, power optimizers

Featured video: Form factors for SSLs

In this video from last year's EE&T Tech Day, NXP Corp.'s Michael Pena talks about changes in form factors for solid-state lighting that designers need to be aware of. Run time, 7:30


Today, the pressure to increase sales by bringing high-performing products to market quickly and within budget is intense. At Norgren we understand this pressure and constantly innovate to provide world class products and services, bringing real value to our customers and helping differentiate them from the competition. Applying the best engineering, innovation and technical know-how to generate value for our customers is what we know as “Engineering Advantage”


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