Basics of energy efficiency

Turn to this section of for tips on improving the efficiency of machines and systems. Recent topics include field-oriented motor controls, switched-reluctance motors, powering energy-efficient lamps, and making industrial pneumatics more the energy efficient. Also, hands-on video courses discuss compliance with efficiency standards.

LED lighting control

Engineering TV talks with two engineers at Texas Instruments about LED lighting control with 6 LoWPAN technology, and low-power ZigBee smart-energy radio hardware for wireless control of home appliances, HVAC, and lighting. View the episode at

Energy-saving calculators

A new tool from Rockwell Automation calculates potential savings from powering pumps and fans with variable-frequency drives. Users enter flow rates, operating hours, cost per kilowatt, and other info to see cost savings versus conventional control methods. The online calculator is available at, or engineers can download the free mobile app to iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android systems.

Cutting compressed-air costs

Many manufacturers don't realize that energy costs account for 75% of the expense of buying and running a compressor. Norgren's “Guide to saving energy in compressed air systems” pinpoints problems such as leakage, misuse, over-pressurization, and flow restrictions; and explains how to devise an action plan to boost efficiency. Download a copy at

Mobile apps offer electrical expertise

The PowerEdgeTM mobile app from Eaton lets users access electrical-power-management catalogs, technical data, videos, and training. The free app for iPhones and iPads reportedly helps improve the reliability, efficiency, and safety of electrical systems. Learn more at

Solar technology site

Mouser Electronics has launched of a new educational site, Electronic design engineers can learn about various aspects of solar technology, including micro inverters, photovoltaic wiring, connector systems, junction and combiner boxes, solar disconnect switches, and feed-in breaker circuits. It also details new applications and products from leading manufacturers.

Power transmission for wind turbines

Altra Wind Technology's new Web site,, covers power transmission and motion control in wind turbines. Sections include rotor, yaw, and blade-pitch brakes, shaft-locking devices, high-speed shaft couplings, and access hatch actuators. Each offers technical details to improve efficiency, productivity, safety, and reliability.

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