One of the things attendees at our up-coming Tech Day in Santa Clara, Calif., will hear about is the work in new-generation gallium nitride circuits underway at a company called Transphorm, notable because of its VC funding from Google. Check out the rest of the conference agenda here: eetweb.com And send your energy efficiency news to us at [email protected]. -- Leland Teschler, Editor
Feeling lucky? Would you tempt fate by climbing a metal ladder hooked to an energized 34.5 kV cable? You would if you were a maintenance technician at a wind turbine farm. It is common practice to send 34.5 kV power generated in a utility-scale wind turbine nacelle down to a transformer at the base of the turbine tower through a cable. The cable is usually attached by strain reliefs to the ladder technicians climb to get into the nacelle. The unsettling thing about this situation is that the strain reliefs might well not meet National Electrical Code requirements. READ MORE
So far, electric vehicle sales have not exactly set the world on fire. In the U.S., Nissan has to date sold 173 of its Leaf EVs, while GM has sold 928 Volts. One culprit catching a lot of the blame for the punk sales figures is EV batteries. Thankfully for the auto industry, better battery technology is on the way. Improved lithium-ion-based batteries are coming to electric vehicles, and it looks as though researchers are giving both lithium-phosphate and nickel-manganese-cobalt types a more serious look. READ MORE
The smart-phone apps we uncovered recently include one that determines building energy efficiency, another social app that encourages energy saving habits, an Android app that clculates energy savings, and a light bulb replacement app. READ MORE
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An Evolutionary Water Heater
Drivers for LED replacement bulbs can be broadly separated into two categories. The first is passively driven, containing only basic circuitry for limiting the LED current: typically a bridge rectifier and resistor/capacitor network. The second is actively driven and contains an LED driver circuit: typically a compact switching power supply that regulates LED current. Passive LED drivers can provide only limited amounts of current (at higher currents the required circuitry becomes impractically bulky). They also compensate for variations in the LED forward voltage drop caused by temperature and tolerances. READ MORE
austriamicrosystems' AS1119 drives 144 LEDs, Now at Digi-Key
austriamicrosystems' AS1119 drives 144 LEDs and requires only 9 mm2 PCB space, reduces external component count, reduces connector pin counts, and requires fewer PCB layers. Benefits for end users include up to 80 percent longer battery life, more colorful effects, and smoother running animations. The AS1119 is targeted for dot matrix displays in mobile phones, personal electronics, and toys. The AS1119 leads the industry by driving the most LEDs, each with an 8-bit dimming control and no external resistor required.
LED maker Cree, Inc. says it measured an industry-best efficacy record of 231 lumens/watt for a white power LED. This result is a significant advance beyond Cree's previous industry record. The catch is, this level of performance is not yet available in Cree's production LEDs. READ MORE
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.