This week, a new solar cell efficiency record and development of a rechargeable "molten-air" battery. New products include a 330-uF MLCC, a smart data concentrator EVM, and multi-megahertz GaN power FETs.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Soitec, CEA-Leti, and the Helmholtz Center Berlin have jointly announced the development of a solar cell that achieves 44.7 percent efficiency -- claimed to be a new world record on the path to a 50 percent efficiency roadmap. The solar cell uses a new structure comprising four solar subcells stacked on top of each other, each made from different III-V semiconductor materials that are able to absorb different wavelength ranges of the solar spectrum.
A solar cell with a record 44.7% efficiency for use in concentrator photovoltaics has been jointly announced by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti, and the Helmholtz Center Berlin.
(Source: Fraunhofer ISE)
External quantum efficiency of the four-junction solar cell.
(Source: Fraunhofer ISE)
A new class of high-energy rechargeable battery has been demonstrated by researchers at George Washington University. Called a molten-air battery, it is claimed to have one of the highest storage capacities of any battery type. The device requires high-temperature operation (700°-800°C) and uses a molten salt electrolyte to store energy using oxygen from the air as the cathode material.
Recent product news includes a 330-µF multilayer ceramic capacitor from Taiyo Yuden. The EIA 1210-size AMK325ABJ337MM is suited for power smoothing in a variety of devices.
Linear Technology announced a dual 13-A µModule regulator with a digital interface for remote power monitoring and control over PMBus. The LTM4676 has an output voltage range of 0.5V to 5.4V, a 1 percent maximum DC output error over temperature, and a 2.5 percent current readback accuracy (at a 10-A load).
A Smart Data Concentrator Evaluation Module from Texas Instruments is designed to enable robust automated meter reading, advanced metering infrastructure, and sensor network automation applications. The TMDSDC3359 is based on the AM3359 processor and has a Power Line Communication system-on-module and software to support smart grid developers.
Efficient Power Conversion has expanded its family of eGaN power FETs with devices that are capable of being used in hard switching applications above 10 MHz. The EPC8000 devices are available with on-resistance values from 125 mΩ through 530 mΩ, and blocking voltage capabilities of 40 V, 65 V, and 100 V.
Ericsson recently introduced a POL voltage regulator featuring digital dynamic loop compensation to reduce the need for external components to adjust control loop compensation parameters. The 12A BMR461 series features a 4.5V to 14V input and 0.5 to 5.25V output, and measures 0.48 x 0.48 x 0.315 inches.
Finally, Maxim Integrated has introduced a high-efficiency synchronous step-down DC/DC converter with with dual integrated MOSFETs and internal compensation. The MAX17503 operates over a 4.5V to 60V input and delivers up to 2.5A and 0.9V to 90%VIN output voltage.