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Power & Energy

135 posts
PG&E provides electric service for approximately 16-million people in northern and central California. (Image credit: PG&E)   Several days ago, California’s electric utility provider PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) announced it would proactively cut power during days of strong winds and extreme fire danger in an effort prevent wildfires, as it’s widely believed overhead power lines were responsible for sparking last year’s deadly Camp fire. The intentional out ...
Hunstable Electric Turbine claims the same range on smaller batteries! (Image credit: HET)   Linear Labs, a family-founded company, run by father-and-son, Fred Hunstable and Brad Hunstable, have developed “a new class of electric motor” called the Hunstable Electric Turbine (HET). The duo promises their HET will, for the same size, weight, volume, and exact amount of input energy into the motor, always deliver two to three times torque output of any electric motor in the world. ...
Researchers discovered uranium ditelluride exhibits a rare phenomenon known as re-entrant superconductivity, making it a promising material for use in quantum computers. (Image credit: University of Maryland)   Researchers from the University of Maryland, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), the National MagLab (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory), and the University of Oxford have observed an unusual phenomenon known as re-entrant superconductivity in uranium ditell ...
There are two broad types of DC Power supplies: linear and switched-mode. Both designs use different techniques to achieve the same result: convert AC power to DC power. Depending on the application, each power supply type enjoys a few advantages. This article will briefly go through the difference between linear and switched-mode power supplies.   Linear power supply A large transformer (as per power needs) is used in a linear supply to reduce voltage from the AC line to a lower AC volta ...
The researchers were able to synthesize a forbidden compound of cerium and hydrogen (CeH9), which demonstrates superconductivity at low pressures. (Image credit: MIPT)   Researchers from the US, Russia, and China have seemingly done the impossible by synthesizing a ‘forbidden,’ or ‘impossible’ compound, known as cerium superhydride (CeH9), that exhibits superconductivity at low pressure. Superconductors are capable of conducting an electrical current with little to ...
When most people think about the composition of batteries used in modern electric vehicles such as those produced by Tesla, or the batteries that keep our smartphones powered up, the word Lithium comes to mind. In fact, these batteries are so prevalent in modern life, that the word “lithium-ion” has become a household term. What most do not know, is that lithium-ion batteries are comprised of several metals, or at least the oxides of several metals including cobalt, nickel, and lithi ...
Researchers from Australia National University (ANU) have set a new record for solar cell efficiency, reaching a rate of 21.6%, the highest amount ever recorded for a perovskite solar cell measuring 1cm². This means that 21.6% of sunlight converts into energy when it hits the cells. It’s an impressive boost in efficiency for solar cells when taking into account that solar panels being installed on rooftops in Australia have an efficiency rate of 17-18%. The results were independently ...
The Powerhouse Brattørkaia has an eye-catching design. (Image credit: Ivar Kvaal/courtesy Snøhetta)   A new landmark building recently opened in Trondheim, Norway and it may be a leap forward in renewable energy. Snøhetta’s Powerhouse Brattørkaia is a new sustainable office building that’s been dubbed as the most “energy-positive” building in the world. By using numerous solar panels, it produces more than double the amount of electricity it cons ...
Typically, car batteries can last for up to five to six years, which would then need to be replaced, but sometimes sooner, if they get worn out quickly and easily. Engineers working for Tesla are aiming to change that. They claim to have developed batteries that could power a vehicle for up to a million miles, which can be run for over a decade.   Tesla’s new battery could be equipped into existing electric vehicles, giving them a boost in battery power. (Image Credit: Tesla)  ...
It’s often said that supercapacitors are the future of energy storage, but for that statement to become reality, supercapacitor performance needs to increase greatly, and that is just what researchers at MIT have been working on. In a newly released study, researchers from MIT and a few other institutions have developed a novel class of liquids that could revolutionize how supercapacitors perform by increasing capacity by four or five times, improve reliability, and could reduce the risk o ...
  Previous blogs:   Experimenting with MOSFETS: Total Gate Charge Experimenting with MOSFETs: Transfer Characteristic   Introduction   More experimenting with MOSFETs. In the last blog I looked at the transfer characteristics but it wasn't very easy to see from the graph I plotted where the threshold was. The threshold is measured at a drain current of 250uA and that is down in the noise for the current probe I was using. So this is a different approach to finding the ...
By 2050, nearly half of the world’s electricity will be supplied by solar and wind, effectively putting an end to energy created by coal and gas. Owners of EVs will also be able to hook up their automobile to a power grid, transferring energy back and forth between cars and houses, allowing car owners to carry renewable energy wherever they go.   However, it requires storage battery systems. Switching from a system that supplies energy through power plants running on fossil fuels to ...
This is a short follow-up to Experimenting with MOSFETS: Total Gate Charge where I looked at 'total gate charge' for an IRF730, an n-channel power MOSFET.   Since I still had the test board wired up, I thought it might be interesting to see if could get a quick plot of the transfer characteristic - the way that the drain current varies with gate voltage.   I've taken the previous circuit, bypassed the constant current generator in the drain and then plotted the drain current against ...
Introduction   More experimenting, this time with MOSFETs.   If you've ever designed with a MOSFET, I'm sure you've seen the kind of curves that are usually present in the datasheet showing the relationship between the total gate charge and the gate voltage. Here's one such graph from a datasheet for a Vishay IRF730 device:   They always have the same sort of shape to the curve, though the position of the plateau, halfway up, varies in both voltage and the amount of charge to ...
On July 18th, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo granted contracts for two offshore wind projects based off Long Island, expecting to reach 1,200 megawatts in capacity. The deal is the largest for offshore wind power in U.S. history, and it’s a vital part of the plan to get all power emissions-free by 2040. Equinor ASA and a joint venture between Denmark’s Orsted A/S and Massachusetts Eversource Energy were awarded the opportunity to construct the farms, creating enough energy t ...