Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a supercapacitor design made out of silicon -- instead of activated carbon like most commercial supercapacitors -- allowing it to be built on a standard silicon chip along with other circuitry, and thus paving the way for integrated on-chip energy storage. The researchers used porous silicon coated with an atomically thin layer of graphene to create supercapacitors with energy densities significantly better than commercial supercapacitors. (See the full paper, "Surface Engineered Porous Silicon for Stable, High Performance Electrochemical Supercapacitors.")
This graph shows the power and energy density of graphene-coated porous silicon supercapacitors compared with that of capacitors made from porous silicon alone and of activated carbon.
(Source: Vanderbilt University.)
Development stage company ClearSign Combustion has developed an air pollution control technology that uses a computer-controlled electric field to improve performance characteristics of industrial combustion systems anywhere there is a flame. The Electrodynamic Combustion Control technology uses electric fields to allow the control of the electrically charged molecules that are a natural product of the combustion process, enabling control of the flame shape and the transfer of heat, and suppression of the formation of pollutants at the flame source. (See figure and video below.)
ClearSign Combustion's Electrodynamic Combustion Control technology consists of a standard computer PC controller running software using the company's algorithms, a power amplifier to create the needed high voltage, and electrodes placed inside the combustion chamber.
(Courtesy ClearSign Combustion.)
A study of inductive wireless charging of electric vehicles by automaker Volvo and other companies has concluded that the technology is practical and safe. The study evaluated inductive charging for both cars and buses, and demonstrated that the technology could fully charge a Volvo C30 Electric in about 2.5 hours.
New product announcements include a single-chip battery gauge with integrated protection from Texas Instruments. The bq27741-G1 uses the company's Impedance Track algorithm for fuel gauging and is packaged in a 1.9 x 2.7 x 0.6-mm 15-ball CSP.
Integrated Device Technology has introduced the WPC 1.1-certified IDTP9025 single-chip wireless power receiver IC. The device includes an on-board synchronous full-bridge rectifier with 5V LDO output and provides over-voltage, over-current, and over-temperature protection.
ON Semiconductor has announced two AEC-qualified power management ICs. The NCV8876 is an automotive-grade start-stop non-synchronous boost controller with an automatic enable below 7.3 V. The NCV896530 is a 2.1-MHz low-voltage, dual-output buck converter with synchronous rectification.
New half-bridge power modules from International Rectifier extend the company's µIPM family of devices. The IRSM808-105MH and IRSM807-105MH are optimized for high-efficiency appliance and light industrial applications using motor power up to 300 W. The company also introduced the IRAM630-1562F three-phase inverter with integrated PFC, aimed at energy-efficient appliance and light industrial motor drive applications.
Finally, Linear Technology announced a diode bridge controller that replaces two diode bridge rectifiers with low-loss N-channel MOSFET bridges in PoE powered devices. The LT4321 uses less than 800 µA quiescent operating current and works with 2- and 4-pair PoE applications.