January 06, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 01

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.


Batteries expert: Supercapacitors have potential to destroy lithium-ion battery market

As tracked by market research company IDTechEx and further explained in the recently updated report, "Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors: Supercapacitors 2014-2024," supercapacitors are improving faster than lithium-ion batteries in most respects.

A gradual increase in the supercapacitor component market and decrease of the battery component market is in line with IDTechEx forecasting that the global market value for supercapacitors will be $6.5 billion by 2024.

Elon Musk of Tesla once said that he thought supercapacitors are the future. Now he is planning the mother of all lithium-ion battery factories. Nevertheless, it is still probable that supercapacitors will hammer lithium-ion battery sales. Nanotune Technologies' CEO Kuang Tsei Huang demonstrated supercapacitors recently with 35 Wh/kg, saying that 500 Wh/kg may be achievable - two to four times the energy density of the best Li-ion batteries. Yunasko and many others have demonstrated 35 Wh/kg, with the intermediate supercabatteries, matching lead-acid and NiCd batteries. Maxwell Technologies expects tripling current energy density with pure supercapacitors. Graphene supercapacitor developers target 200 Wh/kg.

"Supercapacitors need not match lithium-ion battery energy density to replace much of that battery market," says Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx. "They have replaced maybe one percent of that market already with only one hundredth of the energy density, because they last longer than the [transit] bus, for example, that they are in. They are safer and have 10 times the power density. Even across batteries, they mean less battery is needed.

"They have replaced Li-ion batteries in most Chinese buses, despite greater up-front price. Supercapacitor sales are under 3 percent of lithium-ion battery sales today, partly replacing them and partly doing things batteries can never do.

"Supercapacitor sales will be over 10 percent of Li-ion sales in 10 years as they grab more Li-ion business, despite such batteries improving by a factor of two in energy density. For that, production supercapacitors or supercabatteries (notably lithium-ion capacitors) must reach around 40 Wh/kg with all other parameters acceptable, possibly even conceding some power density and life but being greener. If that happens, few will dispute that in the next decade at around 100 Wh/kg, with acceptable other parameters, supercapacitors or supercabatteries could grab 50 percent of the lithium-ion market -- reaching tens of billions of dollars in yearly sales."

Source: IDTechEx, Cambridge, UK

Published July 2014

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