September 22, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 36

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

Designfax weekly eMagazine

Subscribe Today!
image of Designfax newsletter

Archives

View Archives

Partners

Manufacturing Center
Product Spotlight

Modern Applications News
Metalworking Ideas For
Today's Job Shops

Tooling and Production
Strategies for large
metalworking plants

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.


U.S. distributed solar prices fell 10% to 20% in 2014, with trends continuing into 2015

The installed price of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States continues to fall precipitously. This is according to the latest edition of "Tracking the Sun," an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Installed prices for residential and small non-residential systems completed in 2014 were $0.40-per-watt (W) lower, and prices for large non-residential systems were $0.70/W lower, than in the prior year. "This marked the fifth consecutive year of significant price reductions for distributed PV systems in the U.S.," says Galen Barbose of Berkeley Lab's Electricity Markets and Policy Group, the report's lead author. Within the first six months of 2015, installed prices within a number of large state markets fell by an additional $0.20 to $0.50/W, or 6% to 13%, maintaining the steady pace of solar price declines in recent years.

The continued decline in PV system pricing is especially noteworthy given the relatively stable price of PV modules since 2012. The report attributes recent system price declines, instead, to reductions in solar "soft" costs. These include such things as marketing and customer acquisition, system design, installation labor, and permitting and inspections. Attention in the industry has focused on soft costs, and the report suggests that these efforts are partly responsible for recent price declines.

The report also highlights the tremendous variability in PV system pricing. Among residential systems installed in 2014, for example, 20% sold for less than $3.50/W, while another 20% sold for more than $5.30/W. Similar variability exists among non-residential systems as well. As Berkeley Lab's Naim Darghouth, another of the report's authors explains, "This variability reflects a host of factors: differences in system design and component selection, market and regulatory conditions, and installer characteristics, to name a few."

Comparing across installers in a number of large state markets, the report finds substantial heterogeneity in pricing, and suggests that "low-price leaders" in these states can serve as a benchmark for installed price reductions that could be achieved more broadly. In Arizona, for example, 20% of residential installers had median prices at or below $3.00/W in 2014, compared to the median price of $4.30/W across all U.S. residential systems in 2014.

The report examines various other drivers for PV system prices, such as system size, the state in which the system is installed, whether it is owned by the site host or a third party, whether it is installed in new construction or on existing buildings, whether the site host is a for-profit commercial or tax-exempt entity, the module efficiency level, whether the system uses a microinverter or a standard string inverter, and whether the system is installed on a rooftop or is ground-mounted, either with or without tracking.

To varying degrees, these many factors are all found to impact PV system prices. As Barbose stresses, "The fact that such variability exists underscores the need for caution and specificity when referring to the installed price of PV, as clearly there is no single ‘price' that uniformly and without qualification characterizes the U.S. market, or even particular market segments, as a whole."


The report, "Tracking the Sun VIII: The Installed Price of Residential and Non-Residential Photovoltaic Systems in the United States," is the eighth edition in Berkeley Lab's "Tracking the Sun" report series. It is based on data collected from more than 400,000 residential and non-residential PV systems installed between 1998 and 2014 across 42 states, representing more than 80% of all distributed PV capacity installed in the United States. The report is produced in conjunction with a number of other related and ongoing research activities at Berkeley Lab and at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that collectively analyze trends in PV system pricing.

The latest edition of Tracking the Sun, along with a summary slide deck and data file, may be downloaded at trackingthesun.lbl.gov.

The research was supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Published September 2015

Rate this article

[U.S. distributed solar prices fell 10% to 20% in 2014, with trends continuing into 2015]

Very interesting, with information I can use
Interesting, with information I may use
Interesting, but not applicable to my operation
Not interesting or inaccurate

E-mail Address (required):

Comments:


Type the number:



Copyright © 2015 by Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction Prohibited.
View our terms of use and privacy policy