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GaN on show at PCIM

Panasonic's GaN-based inverter for motors

Gallium nitride is the power semiconductor industry’s fastest maturing technology and potential applications ranging from medical devices to electric vehicle charging systems will be demonstrated by companies at PCIM (Power Conversion Intelligent Motion) exhibition which takes place next week (May 10th -12th) in Nuremberg, Germany. As GaN (gallium nitride) moves to mainstream production of high power semiconductor devices, Panasonic Automotive ...

Updated: Dyson aims motor expertise at hair drying

Dyson hair dryer Supersonic

Dyson has used its considerable motor and air-flow expertise to develop a hair dryer. Instead of the usual arrangement, the high-speed motor and fan are in the handle, and what would normally be the body of the dryer is now am annular nozzle  with a hole right through the middle – much like the firm’s eye-catching room and office fans. ...

Old zinc battery tech gets new life

PNNL

US researchers have stretched the operating life of aqueous zinc-manganese oxide batteries to over 5,000 cycles. The result is a rechargeable battery that cost only as much as a car battery but store more energy, according to the US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is grooming the technology for matching renewable energy sources to power grid loads. Aqueous zinc-manganese oxide ...

Sol Voltaics claims solar cell efficiency breakthrough with nanowires

solvoltaics-2-100657246-primary.idge

Photovoltaic (PV) module efficiencies of 27% for solar energy generation is the claim of Swedish advanced materials start-up Sol Voltaics using its nanowire technology. Solar power system developers have looked at using nanowires to improve conversion efficiency, but they are notoriously difficult to align due to their high aspect ratios and material characteristics. What Sol Voltaics has done is to ...

Facebook’s Open Compute Project wants servers to run cooler

16mar16CFD1

Using thermal simulation to improve the thermal design of the Open Compute Project’s Intel-based servers, writes Tom Gregory of 6SigmaET. The Open Compute Project Foundation is challenging itself to successfully scale computing infrastructure in a way that is both efficient and economical. Founded by Facebook, the foundation is fostering a fast-growing community of talented engineers around the world who are tasked ...

Molex invests in wireless charging without pads

0ssia

Connector maker Molex has made an investment in a firm developing wireless power technology. The US-based firm, Ossia has developed a wireless power technology for consumer applications which works without requiring the devices to be placed on a charging pad. This is another example of how connector companies are adapting to the changing market where wireless connectivity is becoming evermore commonplace. ...

Smart glass charges your mobile from sunlight 

vis5

Solar charging has often been seen as a novel, yet green, way to charge your smart device whilst on the move, offering modest charging capabilities so long as the solar panels remain in direct sunlight, writes Tom Wilson. However what if the same technology could be baked right into the glass of a smartphone display, or the face of a ...

Cree and Cisco tie up for PoE smart lighting

LTG-SmartCast-CR Series Troffer

Cree has joined Cisco’s Digital Ceiling ecosystem, offering Ethernet-powered smart lights. The Cisco partnership includes other light makers, plus hardware, middleware software and data analysis companies – Phillips and Microchip are among the members. Cisco sees a future for smart buildings where there are no mains power cables in a ceiling, only Ethernet cables connected with RJ45 plugs. These cables ...

Record organic solar cell efficiency

Heliatek 3 junction record organic solar cell

German organic solar cell from Heliatek is claiming a record conversion efficiency at 13.2% for multi-junction cell. “Heliatek as demonstrated continuous progress from 3% to more than 13% efficiency over the last 10 years. It supports its roadmap towards 15% efficient organic solar cells,” said the firm. Thanks to the low light and high temperature behaviour of the organic semiconductor, the ...

UK firms to develop Na-ion batteries

Faradion

Faradion of Sheffield and Caithness battery make AGM Batteries have agreed to commercialise sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries. Sodium is proposed as a cheaper alternative to relatively-rare lithium in rechargeable cells. “it is expected that sodium-ion batteries will also cost around 30% less to produce compared to conventional lithium ion technologies,” said Faradion, which has sodium ion intellectual property. One of the ...