May 09, 2023 Volume 19 Issue 18

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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AI development kit for multi-camera products

The QCS6490 Vision-AI Development Kit from Avnet enables engineering teams to rapidly prototype hardware, application software, and AI enablement for multi-camera, high-performance, Edge AI-enabled custom embedded products. The kit facilitates design with the new, energy-efficient MSC SM2S-QCS6490 SMARC compute module based on the Qualcomm QCS6490 processor. Provides support for up to four MIPI CSI cameras and concurrent Mini DisplayPort and MIPI DSI displays.
Learn more.


High-temp cabinet cooler keeps incineration process in business

An EXAIR client company handles waste treatment on a large ship by operating an incinerator. The area where the incinerator is located gets very hot (over 120° F). This causes failures in the electronics package used to control the incineration process. Since compressed air is readily available, EXAIR's Model HT4225 Cabinet Cooler System is being used to keep the panel cool. It saved the customer from having to replace their control units due to the hot conditions in the incinerator room. Thermostat control is also available, conserving air and operating only when needed to minimize air consumption.
Learn about EXAIR's huge selection of Cabinet Coolers.


Compact snap-in capacitors for general-purpose applications

TDK's new EPCOS B43659 series of snap-in aluminum electrolytic capacitors is the next generation of ultra-compact, general-purpose components for voltages of 450 V (DC) featuring an extremely high CV product. It provides the same features and serves the same applications as the previous series but is much more compact. These RoHS-compliant capacitors can be used in a wide range of applications, such as switched-mode power supplies, frequency converters, UPS, medical equipment, and solar inverters.
Get all the specs.


Conductive Brush Ring overcomes current leakage in EV powertrains

SKF's new Conductive Brush Ring paves the way to greater reliability and longer life in high-performance electric vehicle powertrain systems. Using pure carbon fiber bristles, it provides a reliable electrical connection between an EV eAxle rotor shaft and its housing. When used in combination with SKF Hybrid ceramic ball bearings, it helps to alleviate parasitic current effects that can lead to premature failure in bearings and other components. Available in different configurations for wet (oil-lubricated) motor designs -- and soon for dry (sealed) applications.
Learn more.


Intro to reed switches, magnets, magnetic fields

This brief introductory video on the DigiKey site offers tips for engineers designing with reed switches. Dr. Stephen Day, Ph.D. from Coto Technology gives a solid overview on reed switches -- complete with real-world application examples -- and a detailed explanation of how they react to magnetic fields.
View the video.


Bi-color LEDs to light up your designs

Created with engineers and OEMs in mind, SpectraBright Series SMD RGB and Bi-Color LEDs from Visual Communi-cations Company (VCC) deliver efficiency, design flexibility, and control for devices in a range of industries, including mil-aero, automated guided vehicles, EV charging stations, industrial, telecom, IoT/smart home, and medical. These 50,000-hr bi-color and RGB options save money and space on the HMI, communicating two or three operating modes in a single component.
Learn more.


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.


New world record for tandem solar cell efficiency

Crystalline silicon solar cells dominate the global photovoltaic market with module efficiencies around 20 to 22%. However, the field of solar energy is wanting for innovative materials and approaches that yield even higher efficiencies in support of global renewable energy goals. Tandem solar cells that combine silicon and perovskite sub-cells are widely regarded as a promising, high-performing, and viable alternative to conventional crystalline solar cells.

Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have produced a perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell with a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 33.2% -- the highest tandem device efficiency in the world to date, surpassing that of Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin's (HZB) record of 32.5% PCE.

The work was undertaken at the Photovoltaics Laboratory (KPV-Lab) of the KAUST Solar Center. The tandem device was certified by the European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) and listed at the top of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Best Research-cell Efficiency Chart.

KAUST postdoctoral fellow Dr. Esma Ugur displays the perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell that she and team researchers in the KAUST Photovoltaics Laboratory developed. [Photo credit: KAUST]

 

 

 

 

Led by Dr. Stefaan De Wolf, professor of material science and engineering and interim associate director of the KAUST Solar Center, the team has steadily been perfecting the perovskite/silicon tandem cell concept since 2016 -- developing new materials, methods, and device structures, and tackling fundamental challenges, such as how to uniformly cover the micrometer-sized pyramidal surface of silicon cells with perovskite material.

The resulting tandem solar cell combines perovskite top cells on industrially compatible, two-sided, textured silicon bottom cells. The perovskite top layer absorbs blue light best, while the silicon foundation absorbs red light best. The combination of these materials maximizes the capture and conversion of sunlight into electricity more efficiently than the conventional single-junction silicon analogs.

The innovation is a significant breakthrough in the field of solar energy at a time when market predictions estimate the tandem perovskite/silicon technologies will comprise more than $10 billion of the global photovoltaic market share by 2032.

Close view of the perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell that researchers in the KAUST Photovoltaics Laboratory developed, recognized as the world's most efficient silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell at 33.2% PCE. [Photo credit: KAUST]

 

 

 

 

"This new record is the highest PCE of any two-junction solar cell under non-concentrated light, attesting the tremendous promise of perovskite/silicon tandems to deliver ultra-high-performance photovoltaic modules, which is critical to rapidly achieve renewable energy goals towards combatting climate change," De Wolf said.

The collective knowledge and skills of several lead researchers contributed to the recent achievement, in particular Dr. Esma Ugur, who specializes in optical spectroscopy and the analysis and visualization of cell defects; Dr. Erkan Aydin, an expert in the scalability and stability of ultra-efficient tandem solar cells; and Dr. Thomas Allen, who focuses on c-Si bottom cell development.

The team is currently exploring scalable methods to produce industrial-scale perovskite/silicon tandem cells with areas exceeding 240 cm2, as well as strategies to obtain highly stable tandem devices that will pass the critical industrial stability protocols.

Source: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Published May 2023

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