Optimize controls development for electric drives
To make electric vehicles more robust, more economical, and less expensive, their drives use the latest semiconductor technology in combination with complex control systems. The new dSPACE MicroAutoBox III AC Motor Control Solution provides developers with a software connection that enables them to develop complex control algorithms for frequency converters and electric drives. Used in combination with the MicroAutoBox III prototyping system and the DS1553 Interface Module, test drives can be efficiently carried out in the vehicle. Typical applications include the development of drive controls and mechatronic components, such as steering systems or DC/DC converters for combining HV and LV vehicle electrical systems.
SlimLine variable-speed enclosure air conditioners
Seifert Systems has just introduced its SlimLine Vario Series of enclosure air conditioners that can be adjusted and set to provide only the cooling needed for a particular application. This results in a very uniform temperature level within the cabinet. Electrical components and the cooling are significantly less stressed, enabling higher safety and longer life cycle. In addition, the condensation inside the cabinet is minimized. The SlimLine Vario Series performance-to-size level makes it particularly suitable for special applications such as battery cooling. Units are designed for maintenance-free operation and are available with internal, external, or recessed mounting. Several models available for cooling capacities from 1,640 to 8,700 BTU/Hr.
Tiny MEMS temp and humidity sensor
Würth Elektronik has developed a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) temperature and humidity sensor that is only 2 x 2 x 0.9 mm in size. Alongside classical applications such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, building automation, and cooling systems, the WSEN-HIDS humidity sensor is also suitable for dataloggers and stationary and portable IoT applications. The sensor with integrated analog-digital converter can be connected to commonly used microcontrollers via an I2C or SPI interface.
6 new products for use in Li-ion batteries
Goodfellow has just announced the addition of six chemical compounds for use in Li-ion batteries. Each of these materials offers something different in terms of the variables associated with Li-ion batteries, such as energy density, potential safety, cost, recharging time, cycle life, scalability, etc. Learn about these and many other battery-related materials available.
Read the full article.
New standard set for automotive-grade lidar
The Vista-X90 is the newest addition to Cepton's Vista-X automotive-grade sensor family. Priced at less than a thousand bucks for high-volume automotive applications, it sets a new benchmark for high performance at low power in a compact form factor. It is ideally suited for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Weighing less than 900 g, the Vista-X90 achieves up to 200 m range at 10% reflectivity with an outstanding angular resolution of 0.13 degrees and state-of-the-art power consumption.
Rotary sensors for auto racing and other demanding applications
Novotechnik U.S. announces the SP2800 Auto-Sport Series of rotary sensors for angle measurement. These sensors were developed for auto racing and other demanding applications. Key specs for SP2800 Auto Sport include 20 models covering measurement ranges of 0 to 100, 130, 308, 345, or 350 degrees. There is also a redundant version with a 100-degree range. These ranges were specifically selected for sequential gearbox, steering angle, throttle, and suspension measurement applications. Repeatability is 0.01%. Linearity is to 0.3%, depending on model. A rubberized strain-relief boot is available for auto racing and other applications where extreme conditions are present.
Industry first: Pneumatic valve with embedded wireless
Emerson has introduced a wireless automatic recovery module (ARM) for its AVENTICS G3 electronic fieldbus platform that makes it easy for technicians to perform pneumatic valve system commissioning and diagnostics from a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop computer. The platform is ideal for pneumatic valve system applications in the automotive, food and beverage, tire, packaging, and metalworking industries. The wireless ARM module with built-in Wi-Fi generates error notifications for alarms, voltage levels, short circuits, module errors, open load errors, and distribution errors -- even when the valve system is located inside a machine or on a ceiling. It offers the visual benefits of a hard-wired human machine interface (HMI) at lower cost and with higher flexibility.
Enclosure sensors, heaters, door switches, and LED lighting
New STEGO enclosure products available from Automation-Direct include a temperature/ humidity sensor, a unique form-factor heater, enclosure door switches, and new LED lights. The compact "Smart Sensor" electronically measures temperature and humidity and converts the measured data into a standardized analog 4- to 20-mA signal. The 8-mm flat heater provides an evenly distributed temperature within enclosures, and the ultra-thin design makes it particularly suitable for high-density electronic applications. Enclosure door switches can be used to switch a light when opening a door or to activate a fan when closing a door. STEGO Varioline magnetic and screw-mount enclosure lights are compact, powerful LED lamps capable of fully illuminating even very large enclosures. The glare-free 360-degree rotatable LED tube has a service life of 60,000 hours.
Miniature copper pad thermocouple
The new, easy-to-install CPTC series Copper Pad Surface Thermocouple Sensor from Harold G. Schaevitz Industries (HGSI) delivers high-performance surface temperature measurements reliably and consistently for metal, glass, or PCB board surfaces. Designed for R&D, testing applications, manufacturing engineering, and production environments, the 2.1-mm x 2.4-mm CPTC Copper Pad Surface Thermocouple Sensor can be bonded to a surface using an epoxy resin or cyanoacrylate-based glue.
Cool Tools: Hexagon RS6 high-speed laser scanner
The arm-mounted RS6 laser scanner available from Exact Metrology is designed for high-speed and high-accuracy scanning. When compared to other scanners, the RS6 has a 3x faster frame rate, a 30% wider laser stripe, and excellent scanning performance on difficult surfaces. Its unique SHINE technology allows you to scan 99% of parts without touching the scanner exposure -- even on glossy surfaces. It scans up to 1.2 million points/sec with a scan rate of 300 Hz.
Rugged CAN keypad and rotary cursor controller
EAO has just introduced its new Series 09 Rugged CAN Keypad and Rotary Cursor Controller aimed at construction equipment, emergency vehicles, agricultural equipment, and the like. The products offer functional safety compliance and CANbus integration for use in harsh environments. The Rugged CAN Keypads are available in multicolor RGB 4-segment halo-ring illumination. Colors can be set for specific functions, animated with chasing/running or flashing sequences, and are easily programmable. The Rugged CAN Rotary Cursor Controller features full rotary function with 22 maintained positions and a push function. It also features LED symbol illumination on the pushbuttons and LED halo illumination on both pushbuttons and the rotary cursor.
Cool Tools: New Bosch thermal camera for industry
The Bosch GTC400C 12V Max Connected Thermal Camera is easy to use, determining temperatures in seconds and documenting the results with convenience. Featuring a large, illuminated color display, it delivers a 160 x 120 thermal graphic image accurate to +/- 3 C. It features simple operation: Just squeeze the trigger to shoot an image, and use the click wheel for the functions. The thermal graphic image features more than 19,000 measurement points for precision to show hot and cold spots, with the temperature at the center and an adjustable temp scale. The integrated visual camera records actual images, so the user can document the work area visually as well as thermally. This allows side-by-side comparison, picture-in-picture, and overlay of picture and thermal graphic. Nice long battery life.
Self-service fever scanner uses fist or wrist
FeverWarn is a new, non-contact device that determines if a user has a fever instantly -- simply by scanning the wrist or fist. The technology's creators at MachineSense, along with some university studies, say these hand areas are consistently some of the most reliable on the body for accurate temperature scanning. The FDA-compliant FeverWarn unit can be installed in front lobbies, security checkpoints, manufacturing entrances, school entrances, and any other place where the initial entryway is your first line of defense. A red or green light indicates pass or fail. Provides outputs for triggering auxiliary doors or gates.
Learn more about this exciting technology.
Thermally conductive elastomer for electric cars developed
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed a material that combines seemingly contradictory properties: It conducts heat well, but it is also electrically insulating. The company is already testing initial applications for charging sockets, control units, and batteries in electric cars.
Read the full article.
Cool Tools: Newly designed electronic digital micrometers
The L.S. Starrett Company has introduced more than 100 Electronic Digital Micrometers with new features for improved ergonomics, functionality, and productivity. They offer upgraded electronics, a longer battery life, an advanced locking mechanism, and a large, easy-to-read LCD display. The micrometers are available in a 0-1" (25-mm) model up to 24" (600 mm), and in 0-6" (152-mm) and 0-12" (304-mm) sets of individual micrometers. Some include IP67 protection. Industry 4.0 ready, these micrometers are equipped with an RS232 output, ideal for use with data-collection systems such as Starrett DataSure.
New kind of superconductivity discovered
Superconductivity is a phenomenon where an electric circuit loses its resistance and becomes extremely efficient under certain conditions. There are different ways in which this can happen that were thought to be incompatible. For the first time, researchers have discovered a bridge between two of these methods to achieve superconductivity. This new knowledge could lead to a more general understanding of the phenomena, and one day to real-world applications.
If you're like most people, there are three states of matter in your everyday life: solid, liquid, and gas. You might be familiar with a fourth state of matter called plasma, which is like a gas that got so hot all its constituent atoms came apart, leaving behind a super hot mess of subatomic particles.
But did you know about a so-called fifth state of matter at the complete opposite end of the thermometer? It's known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).
"A BEC is a unique state of matter as it is not made from particles, but rather waves," said Associate Professor Kozo Okazaki from the Institute for Solid State Physics at the University of Tokyo. "As they cool down to near absolute zero, the atoms of certain materials become smeared out over space. This smearing increases until the atoms -- now more like waves than particles -- overlap, becoming indistinguishable from one another.
"The resulting matter behaves like it's one single entity with new properties the preceding solid, liquid, or gas states lacked, such as superconduction. Until recently, superconducting BECs were purely theoretical, but we have now demonstrated this in the lab with a novel material based on iron and selenium (a nonmetallic element)."
Polarized light images show researchers how electrons, represented by red crosses, behave under different circumstances in their test samples. [Credit: © 2020 Okazaki et al.]
This is the first time a BEC has been experimentally verified to work as a superconductor; however, other manifestations of matter, or regimes, can also give rise to superconduction. The Bardeen-Cooper-Shrieffer (BCS) regime is an arrangement of matter such that when cooled to near absolute zero, the constituent atoms slow down and line up, which allows electrons to pass through more easily. This effectively brings the electrical resistance of such materials to zero.
Both BCS and BEC require freezing-cold conditions, and both involve atoms slowing down. But these regimes are otherwise quite different. For a long time, researchers have believed that a more general understanding of superconduction could be reached if these regimes could be found to overlap in some way.
"Demonstrating the superconductivity of BECs was a means to an end; we were really hoping to explore the overlap between BECs and BCSs," said Okazaki. "It was extremely challenging, but our unique apparatus and method of observation has verified it -- there is a smooth transition between these regimes. And this hints at a more general underlying theory behind superconduction. It is an exciting time to be working in this field."
Okazaki and his team used the method of ultra-low-temperature and high-energy-resolution laser-based photoemission spectroscopy to observe the way electrons behaved during a material's transition from BCS to BEC. Electrons behave differently in the two regimes, and the change between them helps fill some gaps in the bigger picture of superconduction.
Superconduction is not just a laboratory curiosity, though; superconducting devices such as electromagnets are used in applications already, such as the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator. However, as explained above, these require ultra-cold temperatures that prohibit the development of superconducting devices we might expect to see every day. So it's no surprise there is great interest in finding ways to form superconductors at higher temperatures, perhaps one day even at room temperature.
"With conclusive evidence of superconducting BECs, I think it will prompt other researchers to explore superconduction at higher and higher temperatures," said Okazaki. "It may sound like science fiction for now, but if superconduction can occur near room temperature, our ability to produce energy would greatly increase."
Source: University of Tokyo
Published November 2020
Rate this article