January 09, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 01

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Filter fan kits with louvered sliding and hinged guards

Orion Fans has expanded the industry's lowest cost louvered filter fan kit to include sliding (LFGS Series, push/pull) and hinged (LFGH Series, flip-up) guard versions. Made up of a louvered sliding or hinged fan guard, filter, fan, metal guard, and hardware, the heavy-duty louvered filter fan kits simplify installation and reduce maintenance time and costs. They are easy to open, with no tools required to access the filter. Compared to regular grills or guards, the louvered filtered guards provide ingress protection as well as protecting fingers from fan blades. Standard filtering to 8 microns and specialty filters are available. Louvered guards feature UV protection. Filter fan kits are available with 120-, 172-, 180-, 200-, 225-, and 280-mm fans.
Click here to learn more.


Cartridge fuse for cooking appliances, photovoltaic systems

SCHURTER offers a robust, compact, and cost-effective cartridge fuse (part SHT) with increased breaking capacity and voltage ratings. The high breaking capacity up to 3,500 A at a nominal voltage of 250 VAC meets standards for commercial electric cooking appliances according to UL 197, while the 1,500 A at 500 VAC is suited for a broad range of industrial one- and three-phase systems such as photovoltaic systems and frequency converters for industrial automation. The fuse is also rated for DC applications up to 400 V.
Learn more about the SHT fuse.
Learn more about the SHT Pigtail fuse.


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.
Click here to learn more.


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.
Click here to learn more.


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.
Click here to learn more.


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.
Click here to learn more.


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.
Click here to learn more.


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.


Scientists design solar cell that pushes toward 50 percent efficiency

It's expensive, but the technology creates a highly efficient new type of solar cell.

Scientists at George Washington University have designed and constructed a prototype for a new solar cell that integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum. The new design converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 percent efficiency, giving it the potential to become the most efficient solar cell in the world.

Stacked solar cell. [Credit: Matthew Lumb]

 

 

The approach is different from the solar panels one might commonly see on rooftops or in fields. The new device uses concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels that employ lenses to concentrate sunlight onto tiny, micro-scale solar cells. Because of their small size -- less than 1 mm sq -- solar cells utilizing more sophisticated materials can be developed cost effectively.

The stacked cell acts almost like a sieve for sunlight, with the specialized materials in each layer absorbing the energy of a specific set of wavelengths. By the time the light is funneled through the stack, just under half of the available energy has been converted into electricity. By comparison, the most common solar cell today converts only a quarter of the available energy into electricity.

"Around 99 percent of the power contained in direct sunlight reaching the surface of Earth falls between wavelengths of 250 nm and 2,500 nm, but conventional materials for high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells cannot capture this entire spectral range," said Matthew Lumb, lead author of the study and a research scientist at the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science. "Our new device is able to unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are lost in conventional solar cells, and therefore provides a pathway to realizing the ultimate multi-junction solar cell."

While scientists have worked toward more efficient solar cells for years, this approach has two novel aspects. First, it uses a family of materials based on gallium antimonide (GaSb) substrates, which are usually found in applications for infra-red lasers and photodetectors. The novel GaSb-based solar cells are assembled into a stacked structure along with high-efficiency solar cells grown on conventional substrates that capture shorter wavelength solar photons. In addition, the stacking procedure uses a technique known as transfer-printing, which enables three-dimensional assembly of these tiny devices with a high degree of precision.

This particular solar cell is very expensive, however researchers believe it was important to show the upper limit of what is possible in terms of efficiency. Despite the current costs of the materials involved, the technique used to create the cells shows much promise. Eventually, a similar product may be brought to market, enabled by cost reductions from very high solar-concentration levels and technology to recycle the expensive growth substrates.

The research builds off of the advancements made by the MOSAIC Program, a $24 million research project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) that funds 11 separate teams across the United States, each seeking to develop technologies and concepts to revolutionize photovoltaic performance and reduce costs. The researchers note that funding for this type of research is essential for developing viable commercial technology in the future.

The study, "GaSb-based Solar Cells for Full Solar Spectrum Energy Harvesting," was published in Advanced Energy Materials on July 10.

Source: George Washington University

Published July 2017

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