December 05, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 45

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Alternatives to screws for compact electronics

Aluminum and stainless steel microPEM TackSert pins from Penn-Engineering provide cost-effective alternatives to micro screws for attaching top panels to base panels or chassis in compact electronic assemblies. They will attach top panels of any material to a base or chassis manufactured from common cast metals (such as magnesium and aluminum) or plastics (such as ABS and printed circuit boards). The pins ultimately eliminate many of the costs and issues associated with screws and integrate unique design features, promoting reliable and effective performance.
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Two-way piloting solenoid valve

The Lee Company’s new 2-way Piloting Solenoid Valve draws on the design elements of the company's ultra-compact and field-proven 3-way valve and provides a simplified flow path for applications requiring only two ports. MultiSeal technology radically simplifies port layout, offers significant space savings, reduces machining costs, and provides superior reliability over traditional sealing methods. Available biased either normally open or closed, and with lead wires or integral electrical connector, the single-coil 2-way Piloting Solenoid Valve weighs only 0.14 lb and consumes just 7.8 W at 28 VDC.
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Solving water leak inspection challenges on vehicle assembly lines

About 3% of new vehicles leave the factory with leaks large enough to cause mold growth and damage to expensive electronic components. ON Semiconductor and RFMicron have developed the Moisture Intrusion Detection System that automatically inspects vehicles for leaks at the end of the assembly process using battery-free wireless sensors at specific vehicle points to verify if those spots are wet or dry.
Read the full article.


Easy wire connection to PCB without wire soldering

In the fast-growing LED/lighting market, lead wire is a major component used in connecting a board to a lighting module. The conventional method of manually soldering the wire to a board presents limitations that result in a complicated assembly process and an unstable connection. Yokowo’s new one-action Lead Socket Connector, however, eliminates wire soldering and allows users to easily plug the lead wire into the socket. A two-contact lock structure ensures a reliable connection. Applications for the Lead Socket Connector include LED lighting, LCD television backlights, tablets, PCs, and any device where a lead wire must be soldered onto a PCB.
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Thermoelectric alternative for beverage cooling

Laird's standard and custom thermoelectric cooling systems offer superior heat pumping capability with lower power consumption, noise, weight, and footprint compared to compressor-based systems. The 12-V or 24-V DC thermoelectric modules (TEMs) and thermoelectric assemblies (TEAs) offer reliability, design flexibility via vertical integration capabilities, and an overall lower cost of ownership. Thermoelectric coolers also operate at lower noise levels and provide a more environmentally friendly solution. This technology does not use ozone-depleting refrigerants, which must be phased out of new and existing equipment in the European Union by 2022.
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Compact LED driver with 5x power density

Seoul Semiconductor has developed an ultra-compact LED driver series with a power density five times higher than conventional LED drivers. Based on Seoul Semiconductor’s patented Acrich technology, the MicroDriver Series delivers more than 24 W of output power with a power density of 20 W/cubic in., compared to existing drivers at 3 to 5 W/cubic in. This MicroDriver is 80% smaller than conventional LED drivers, giving lighting designers the ability to develop ultra-thin and novel luminaires with flicker-free operation -- shrinking the size of light fixtures by as much as 20%. Ideal for wall sconces, vanity lights, downlights, and flush-mounted lighting fixture applications.
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Cool Tools: You'll FLIP over this inspection system

Who doesn't like a little flexibility these days? The L.S. Starrett Company has just introduced the HVR100-FLIP, an innovative large field-of-vision (FOV) Benchtop Vision Measurement System that can be used in either a vertical or horizontal orientation and features a high-resolution digital video camera and minimal optical distortion for accurate FOV measurements of up to 90 mm (3.65 in.). The changeable orientation lends itself to an extremely wide array of applications, from flat parts such as gaskets and seals to turned and threaded parts. Includes a 24-in. LCD touch-screen monitor, LED ring light, and motorized drive. Auto Part Recognition can be set to recognize and inspect a part in a few seconds.
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World's first solid-state 3D LiDAR IC receives two CES 2018 Innovation Awards

LiDAR laser surveying tech is now available to the masses. LeddarTech is the developer and owner of Leddar, a patented solid-state LiDAR sensing technology that constitutes a novel approach to light detection and ranging. Their product recently one two CES 2018 Innovation Awards in the categories of "Embedded Technologies" and "Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving." Up to now, this high-resolution 3D-mapping technology has been very expensive to incorporate into planes, autonomous cars, and drones. This advancement should help push forward large-scale production of automotive-grade LiDAR at an affordable price for mass-market vehicles.
Learn more about this exciting technology.


MEMS inertial accelerometers for drones and more

The Silicon Designs Model 1525 Series tactical-grade MEMS inertial accelerometer family is ideal for zero-to-medium frequency instrumentation applications that require high repeatability, low noise, and maximum stability, including tactical guidance systems, navigation and control systems (GN&C), AHRS, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), robotic controllers, flight control systems, and marine- and land-based navigation systems. They may also be used to support critical industrial test requirements, such as those common to agricultural, oil and gas drilling, photographic and meteorological drones, as well as seismic and inertial measurements.
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First 7-axis motion and pressure sensor

TDK has announced the availability of the InvenSense ICM-20789 MEMS 7-axis integrated inertial device, combining a 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, and an ultra low-noise MEMS capacitive barometric pressure sensor. The ICM-20789 features a single small footprint, with the industry’s lowest pressure noise of 0.4Pa RMS and excellent temperature stability with a temp coefficient of +/-0.5 Pa/°C. Applications include: drones and flying toys; smart watches, wearables, activity monitoring; motion-based gaming controllers; virtual reality headsets and controllers; and indoor and outdoor navigation.
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Energy Harvesting Applications Design Kit (limited release)

AVX has announced the limited release of its new Energy Harvesting Application Design Kit. The kit features a wide range of low-loss components hand-selected to provide engineers with ideal solutions for energy storage, blocking, IC support, output filtering, and external connections in thermoelectric generators, solar cells, piezoelectric devices, and micro wind turbines. Parts include MLCCs, supercapacitors, Schottky diodes, inductors, and connectors. The kit also comes with a booklet that provides users with a brief introduction to energy harvesting and additional information about the components it contains.
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New multi-turn sensors with a clutch

Novotechnik, U.S. introduces the ML Series of Multi-Turn Rotary Sensors. These sensors feature a unique friction clutch instead of the end-stops typically found on mechanical multi-turn sensors. The clutch produces a click sound to let users know they have reached end-of-range, and it permits continued turn past end-scale. Compare this feature to a device simply breaking as it is turned past its end-stops. Compact in size, ML Series sensors have a 1/2-in.-sq profile and include models with 6, 10, 25, 50, or 100 turns. Applications include forklifts, sliding gates, electric drive feedback, compactors, and medical devices.
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Multi-switch detection interface for automotive

Automotive body control modules (BCMs) are electronic control units that manage numerous vehicle comfort, convenience, and lighting functions, including door locks, windows, chimes, closure sensors, interior and exterior lighting, wipers, and turn signals. John Griffith, Automotive Systems Engineer, Texas Instruments, runs through the benefits -- including significant overall power savings -- of incorporating these devices into automotive designs.
Read the full article.


Cool Tools: Babysitter for equipment now includes thermal monitoring

Fluke has expanded the capabilities of its Condition Monitoring system to include thermal monitoring with the addition of the new Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor. Maintenance managers can now collect a more comprehensive variety of key-indicator data -- thermal imaging, voltage, current, temperature, and power -- on critical equipment to build a real-time picture of an asset’s condition. Alarms can be set to notify technicians via their mobile phones when specific measurement thresholds have been hit. Machine builders might suggest this system when they sell applicable units.
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Simplify thermal management, handle high surges

Littelfuse has introduced two new series of High Temperature Alternistor Triacs. With a maximum junction temperature of 150-deg C, the 16A QJxx16xHx Series and 25A QJxx25xHx Series are designed for use as AC switches, helping circuit designers address overheating challenges in AC power control applications with limited or no heat sinking. Applications include: heater control in coffeemakers; tankless water heaters and infrared heaters; AC solid-state relays; dimmers for incandescent and LED lighting; motor speed control in kitchen appliances and power tools; and compressor motor control in light industrial applications.
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Leap forward for rechargeables: Solid-state magnesium battery a big step closer

A team of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step toward making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe.

The electrolyte, which carries charge back and forth between the battery's cathode and anode, is a liquid in all commercial batteries, which makes them potentially flammable, especially in lithium-ion batteries. A solid-state conductor, which has the potential to become an electrolyte, would be far more fire-resistant.

Argonne scientist Baris Key, shown on left at work in his nuclear magnetic resonance lab, worked with researchers at Berkeley Lab on the discovery of the fastest ever magnesium-ion solid-state conductor. [Credit: Argonne National Laboratory]

 

 

 

 

Researchers at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Argonne National Laboratory were working on a magnesium battery, which offers higher energy density than lithium, but were stymied by the dearth of good options for a liquid electrolyte, most of which tend to be corrosive against other parts of the battery. "Magnesium is such a new technology, it doesn't have any good liquid electrolytes," said Gerbrand Ceder, a Berkeley Lab Senior Faculty Scientist. "We thought, why not leapfrog and make a solid-state electrolyte?"

The material they came up with, magnesium scandium selenide spinel, has magnesium mobility comparable to solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries. Their findings were reported in Nature Communications in a paper titled, "High magnesium mobility in ternary spinel chalcogenides." JCESR, a DOE Innovation Hub, sponsored the study, and the lead authors are Pieremanuele Canepa and Shou-Hang Bo, postdoctoral fellows at Berkeley Lab.

"With the help of a concerted effort bringing together computational materials science methodologies, synthesis, and a variety of characterization techniques, we have identified a new class of solid conductors that can transport magnesium ions at unprecedented speed," Canepa said.

Collaboration with MIT and Argonne
The research team also included scientists at MIT, who provided computational resources, and Argonne, who provided key experimental confirmation of the magnesium scandium selenide spinel material to document its structure and function.

Co-author Baris Key, a research chemist at Argonne, conducted nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy experiments. These tests were among the first steps to experimentally prove that magnesium ions could move through the material as rapidly as the theoretical studies had predicted.

"It was crucial to confirm the fast magnesium hopping experimentally. It is not often that the theory and the experiment agree closely with each other," Key said. "The solid-state NMR experiments for this chemistry were very challenging and would not be possible without dedicated resources and a funding source such as JCESR. As we've shown in this study, an in-depth understanding of short- and long-range structure and ion dynamics will be the key for magnesium-ion battery research."

NMR is akin to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is routinely used in medical settings, where it shows hydrogen atoms of water in human muscles, nerves, fatty tissue, and other biological substances. But researchers can also tune NMR frequency to detect other elements, including the lithium or magnesium ions that are found in battery materials.

The NMR data from the magnesium scandium selenide material, however, involved material of unknown structure with complex properties, making them challenging to interpret.

Canepa noted the challenges of testing materials that are so new. "Protocols are basically non-existent," he said. "These findings were only possible by combining a multi-technique approach (solid-state NMR and synchrotron measurements at Argonne) in addition to conventional electrochemical characterization."

Trying to do the impossible
The team plans to do further work to use the conductor in a battery. "This probably has a long way to go before you can make a battery out of it, but it's the first demonstration you can make solid-state materials with really good magnesium mobility through it," Ceder said. "Magnesium is thought to move slowly in most solids, so nobody thought this would be possible."

Additionally, the research identified two related fundamental phenomena that could significantly affect the development of magnesium solid electrolytes in the near future, namely, the role of anti-site defects and the interplay of electronic and magnesium conductivity, both published recently in Chemistry of Materials.

Bo, now an assistant professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said the discovery could have a dramatic effect on the energy landscape. "This work brought together a great team of scientists from various scientific disciplines, and took the first stab at the formidable challenge of building a solid-state magnesium battery," he said. "Although currently in its infancy, this emerging technology may have a transformative impact on energy storage in the near future."

Gopalakrishnan Sai Gautam, another co-author who was an affiliate at Berkeley Lab and is now at Princeton, said the team approach made possible by a DOE hub such as JCESR was critical. "The work shows the importance of using a variety of theoretical and experimental techniques in a highly collaborative environment to make important fundamental discoveries," he said.

Ceder was excited at the prospects for the finding but cautioned that work remains to be done. "There are enormous efforts in industry to make a solid-state battery. It's the holy grail because you would have the ultimate safe battery. But we still have work to do. This material shows a small amount of electron leakage, which has to be removed before it can be used in a battery."

Funding for the project was provided by the DOE Office of Science through the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a Department of Energy Innovation Hub. The Advanced Photon Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Argonne, added vital data to the study regarding the structure of the solid conductor. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Berkeley Lab, provided computing resources. Other co-authors on the paper are Juchaun Li of Berkeley Lab, William Richards and Yan Wang of MIT, and Tan Shi and Yaosen Tian of UC Berkeley.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Published December 2017

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