October 27, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 40

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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All about slip rings: How they work and their uses

Rotary Systems has put together a really nice basic primer on slip rings -- electrical collectors that carry a current from a stationary wire into a rotating device. Common uses are for power, proximity switches, strain gauges, video, and Ethernet signal transmission. This introduction also covers how to specify, assembly types, and interface requirements. Rotary Systems also manufactures rotary unions for fluid applications.
Read the overview.


Seifert thermoelectric coolers from AutomationDirect

Automation-Direct has added new high-quality and efficient stainless steel Seifert 340 BTU/H thermoelectric coolers with 120-V and 230-V power options. Thermoelectric coolers from Seifert use the Peltier Effect to create a temperature difference between the internal and ambient heat sinks, making internal air cooler while dissipating heat into the external environment. Fans assist the convective heat transfer from the heat sinks, which are optimized for maximum flow.
Learn more.


EMI shielding honeycomb air vent panel design

Learn from the engineering experts at Parker how honeycomb air vent panels are used to help cool electronics with airflow while maintaining electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. Topics include: design features, cell size and thickness, platings and coatings, and a stacked design called OMNI CELL construction. These vents can be incorporated into enclosures where EMI radiation and susceptibility is a concern or where heat dissipation is necessary. Lots of good info.
Read the Parker blog.


What is 3D-MID? Molded parts with integrated electronics from HARTING

3D-MID (three-dimensional mechatronic integrated devices) technology combines electronic and mechanical functionalities into a single, 3D component. It replaces the traditional printed circuit board and opens up many new opportunities. It takes injection-molded parts and uses laser-direct structuring to etch areas of conductor structures, which are filled with a copper plating process to create very precise electronic circuits. HARTING, the technology's developer, says it's "Like a PCB, but 3D." Tons of possibilities.
View the video.


Loss-free conversion of 3D/CAD data

CT CoreTech-nologie has further developed its state-of-the-art CAD converter 3D_Evolution and is now introducing native interfaces for reading Solidedge and writing Nx and Solidworks files. It supports a wide range of formats such as Catia, Nx, Creo, Solidworks, Solidedge, Inventor, Step, and Jt, facilitating smooth interoperability between different systems and collaboration for engineers and designers in development environments with different CAD systems.
Learn more.


Top 5 reasons for solder joint failure

Solder joint reliability is often a pain point in the design of an electronic system. According to Tyler Ferris at ANSYS, a wide variety of factors affect joint reliability, and any one of them can drastically reduce joint lifetime. Properly identifying and mitigating potential causes during the design and manufacturing process can prevent costly and difficult-to-solve problems later in a product lifecycle.
Read this informative ANSYS blog.


Advanced overtemp detection for EV battery packs

Littelfuse has introduced TTape, a ground-breaking over-temperature detection platform designed to transform the management of Li-ion battery systems. TTape helps vehicle systems monitor and manage premature cell aging effectively while reducing the risks associated with thermal runaway incidents. This solution is ideally suited for a wide range of applications, including automotive EV/HEVs, commercial vehicles, and energy storage systems.
Learn more.


Benchtop ionizer for hands-free static elimination

EXAIR's Varistat Benchtop Ionizer is the latest solution for neutralizing static on charged surfaces in industrial settings. Using ionizing technology, the Varistat provides a hands-free solution that requires no compressed air. Easily mounted on benchtops or machines, it is manually adjustable and perfect for processes needing comprehensive coverage such as part assembly, web cleaning, printing, and more.
Learn more.


LED light bars from AutomationDirect

Automation-Direct adds CCEA TRACK-ALPHA-PRO series LED light bars to expand their offering of industrial LED fixtures. Their rugged industrial-grade anodized aluminum construction makes TRACKALPHA-PRO ideal for use with medium to large-size industrial machine tools and for use in wet environments. These 120 VAC-rated, high-power LED lights provide intense, uniform lighting, with up to a 4,600-lumen output (100 lumens per watt). They come with a standard bracket mount that allows for angle adjustments. Optional TACLIP mounts (sold separately) provide for extra sturdy, vibration-resistant installations.
Learn more.


World's first metalens fisheye camera

2Pi Optics has begun commercial-ization of the first fisheye camera based on the company's proprietary metalens technology -- a breakthrough for electronics design engineers and product managers striving to miniaturize the tiny digital cameras used in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), AR/VR, UAVs, robotics, and other industrial applications. This camera can operate at different wavelengths -- from visible, to near IR, to longer IR -- and is claimed to "outperform conventional refractive, wide-FOV optics in all areas: size, weight, performance, and cost."
Learn more.


Orbex offers two fiber optic rotary joint solutions

Orbex Group announces its 700 Series of fiber optic rotary joint (FORJ) assemblies, supporting either single or multi-mode operation ideal for high-speed digital transmission over long distances. Wavelengths available are 1,310 or 1,550 nm. Applications include marine cable reels, wind turbines, robotics, and high-def video transmission. Both options feature an outer diameter of 7 mm for installation in tight spaces. Construction includes a stainless steel housing.
Learn more.


Mini tunnel magneto-resistance effect sensors

Littelfuse has released its highly anticipated 54100 and 54140 mini Tunnel Magneto-Resistance (TMR) effect sensors, offering unmatched sensitivity and power efficiency. The key differentiator is their remarkable sensitivity and 100x improvement in power efficiency compared to Hall Effect sensors. They are well suited for applications in position and limit sensing, RPM measurement, brushless DC motor commutation, and more in various markets including appliances, home and building automation, and the industrial sectors.
Learn more.


Panasonic solar and EV components available from Newark

Newark has added Panasonic Industry's solar inverters and EV charging system components to their power portfolio. These best-in-class products help designers meet the growing global demand for sustainable and renewable energy mobility systems. Offerings include film capacitors, power inductors, anti-surge thick film chip resistors, graphite thermal interface materials, power relays, capacitors, and wireless modules.
Learn more.


Standard parts with signal feedback included

JW Winco standard parts are becoming even more functional -- multifunctional, to be precise. From smart stop bolts that report whether workpieces are precisely positioned in the machining process to cabinet handles with signal lights and fluid level indicators with electronic REED contact signals, intelligent standard parts from JW Winco ensure greater safety, higher efficiency, and increased stability. Many more very useful options available for a wide range of applications.
Learn more.


Create smarter control systems with relays

Control relays play a pivotal role in the world of automation and control systems. These versatile devices are designed to help you manage electrical circuits, making them indispensable for a wide range of applications. Learn the distinctive benefits of relays, including reliability and durability, versatility, ease of use, and costs. Check out the relays AA Electric has in stock too.
Learn more.


Discovery about new battery overturns decades of false assumptions

New findings at Oregon State University have overturned a scientific dogma that stood for decades by showing that potassium can work with graphite in a potassium-ion battery -- a discovery that could pose a challenge and sustainable alternative to the widely used lithium-ion battery.

Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in devices all over the world, ranging from cell phones to laptop computers and electric cars. But there may soon be a new type of battery based on materials that are far more abundant and less costly.

A potassium-ion battery has been shown to be possible, but the last time this possibility was explored was when Herbert Hoover was president, the Great Depression was in full swing, and the Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping was the big news story of the year: 1932.

This graphic outlines the electrical capacity of a newly developed potassium-ion battery. [Graphic courtesy: Oregon State University]

 

 

"For decades, people have assumed that potassium couldn't work with graphite or other bulk carbon anodes in a battery," said Xiulei (David) Ji, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Oregon State University.

"That assumption is incorrect," Ji said. "It's really shocking that no one ever reported on this issue for 83 years."

The Journal of the American Chemical Society published the findings from this discovery, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and done in collaboration with OSU researchers Zelang Jian and Wei Luo. A patent is also pending on the new technology.

The findings are of considerable importance, researchers say, because they open some new alternatives to batteries that can work with well-established and inexpensive graphite as the anode, or high-energy reservoir of electrons. Lithium can do that, as the charge carrier whose ions migrate into the graphite and create an electrical current.

Aside from its ability to work well with a carbon anode, however, lithium is quite rare, found in only 0.0017 percent, by weight, of the Earth's crust. Because of that, it's comparatively expensive, and it's difficult to recycle. Researchers have yet to duplicate its performance with less costly and more readily available materials, such as sodium, magnesium, or potassium.

"The cost-related problems with lithium are sufficient that you won't really gain much with economies of scale," Ji said. "With most products, as you make more of them, the cost goes down. With lithium, the reverse may be true in the near future. So we have to find alternatives."

That alternative, he said, may be potassium, which is 880 times more abundant in the Earth's crust than lithium. The new findings show that it can work effectively with graphite or soft carbon in the anode of an electrochemical battery. Right now, batteries based on this approach don't have performance that equals those of lithium-ion batteries, but improvements in technology should narrow the gap, he said.

"It's safe to say that the energy density of a potassium-ion battery may never exceed that of lithium-ion batteries," he said. "But they may provide a long cycling life, a high power density, a lot lower cost, and be ready to take advantage of the existing manufacturing processes of carbon anode materials."

Electrical energy storage in batteries is essential not only for consumer products such as cell phones and computers, but also in transportation, industry power backup, micro-grid storage, and for the wider use of renewable energy.

OSU officials say they are seeking support for further research and to help commercialize the new technology through the OSU Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development.

Source: Oregon State University

Published October 2015

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