Carmaker Volvo has developed a concept for using lightweight energy storage components as body panels to replace the large, heavy batteries used in today's electric vehicles. Combining carbon fibers and a polymer resin to create an advanced nanomaterial and structural super supercapacitors, the material can be molded and formed to fit around a car's frame and is recharged via regenerative braking or a mains electrical grid. Currently the technology has been tested in the form of a boot lid and plenum cover in a Volvo S80 experimental car (see images and video below).
Body panel components created from a composite blend of carbon fibers
and polymer resin can store and charge more energy faster than
the conventional batteries currently used in electric vehicles.
(See full size image.)
(Source: Volvo Car Group)
This shows an installed plenum cover created from the carbon fiber
energy storage material developed by Volvo. It replaces three items
in a standard car -- the rally bar, traditional plenum cover and
the start-stop battery -- and saves more than 50 percent of
system weight. (See full size image.)
(Source: Volvo Car Group)
A report from Lux Research forecasts that emerging battery technologies used in the back-up and UPS markets will grow to almost $900 million in 2020 from $143 million in 2013. The report -- "Backup and UPS: Stable Growth in the Unstable Stationary Storage Markets" -- sees lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, and sodium-nickel-chloride batteries as all finding increasing use as replacements for incumbent lead-acid battery systems, with lithium-ion leading the way.
A report from Navigant Research forecasts that worldwide revenue from vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies -- which allow owners of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) to participate in ancillary services for the power grid -- will grow to $190.7 million in 2022 from less than $900,000 annually in 2013. The report -- "Vehicle to Grid Technologies" -- sees large corporations and government agencies, such as the DoD, driving the development of V2G in select markets, like the US, Western Europe, and Japan.
New product announcements include a single-chip automotive DC/DC converter with smart USB charger emulator from Maxim Integrated that allows reliable charging of portable devices from a vehicle battery. The MAX16984 integrates a low-EMI 5V automotive-grade DC-DC converter capable of driving up to 2.5A with dynamic voltage adjustment, a USB Battery Charging Specification v1.2-compliant charge emulator, and ESD diodes and USB over-voltage protection switches.
Linear Technology announced the LT8614 synchronous step-down switching regulator that reduces EMI/EMC emissions by more than 20 dB. The device has an input voltage range from 3.4 to 42V, up to 4A of continuous output, and quiescent current of under 2.5µA.
Power Integrations has demonstrated a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 smartphone charger reference design. Based on the company's family of ChiPhy AC/DC wall-charger interface ICs, DER-381 describes a constant-voltage/constant-current charger power supply capable of up to 24 W.
Dual MOSFETs from Alpha and Omega Semiconductor offer a common-drain configuration in DFN 5 x 6 and Micro-DFN 3.2 x 2 packages. The AON6810, AON6812, and AOC4810 offer an RSS of less than 10 Ω at 10V, and are suitable for battery pack applications where two n-channel MOSFETs are connected back-to-back.
International Rectifier has introduced rad-hard low-voltage, single- and dual-output DC/DC converter modules for satellite power systems requiring up to 15 years or more of mission life. Rated up to 30W, the LSO Series offers isolated output voltages from 1.5 to 15.0V with typical efficiencies of up to 81 percent.
Finally, a 100-W baseplate-cooled, high-performance ac-dc power supply series from CUI features a 17-mm profile in an encapsulated board mount package. The VBM-100 series is designed to meet the needs of ITE, telecom, and industrial applications where space limitations or noise restrictions limit the use of fans for cooling.