Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a series of power generators that use the triboelectric effect to capture otherwise wasted mechanical energy -- such as from walking or vibration -- to produce small amounts of electricity for powering portable devices and sensors.
A special gap separation technique was used between the polymer sheet materials in the devices to reliably capture the charge produced from the triboelectrification (see figure below and video (2:41) below). According to the researchers, a square meter of the single-layer material can produce as much as 300 W, and a variety of practical applications are being studied.
This photo demonstrates the triboelectic effect, in which power is generated by sliding two materials together and then creating a gap between them. (Credit: Inertia Films)
Research firm Navigant Research reports that global sales of advanced batteries -- i.e., rechargeable batteries with a chemistry that has entered into the mass market within the last two decades -- totaled $10.8 billion in market value in 2012, a significant increase over 2011. According to the report -- "Advanced Battery Tracker 4Q13" -- the growth is from consumer electronics as well as new applications such as electric vehicles and stationary storage systems.
In power technology news, startup Transphorm and Fujitsu have agreed to integrate their GaN power module operations. According to the companies, a new Transphorm subsidiary company will be established in Japan that will take on all of Fujitsu's existing products and IP, and enable lower-cost high-volume production of GaN power devices.
In product news, XP Power has introduced a series of compact low-cost 6-W dc/dc converters. Available in standard 24-pin DIP plastic packages, the single- and dual-output JCE06 and JTE06 converters achieve a power density of 15 W per cubic inch and an efficiency of up to 84%.
CUI is offering a range of 3D models for its complete line of ac/dc power supplies and dc/dc converters. The 3D models are available in most CAD system formats.
A series of 1200-V field stop trench IGBTs from Fairchild targets hard-switching industrial applications. The FGH15T120SMD, FGH25T120SMD, and FGH40T120SMD have a VCE(sat) of 1.8 V and an Eoff value of under 30 µJ/A.
Ericsson has announced a third-generation 25-A digital PoL regulator that delivers 25% more output current in the same footprint as its second-generation 20-A module. The 1.01 x 0.543 x 0.323-in. BMR463-25A features dynamic loop compensation to improve stability.
Pico Electronics has introduced three-phase-input, power factor corrected encapsulated ac/dc isolated modules. The AC3 series of modules provide isolated output voltages from 5 to 300 VDC, with an output power up to 300 W.
Finally, Yokogawa has extended its GS610 source measure unit to include a battery simulator unit that simulates the internal resistance changes of batteries to assist in failure analysis. The new 7655 version of the GS610 can measure the current/voltage characteristics of a battery during charging/discharging and then simulate the battery's internal resistance changes by controlling the output voltage in real time.