Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a metal-free flow battery that is claimed could significantly reduce the cost of power storage for renewable energy sources compared with traditional batteries. The grid-scale mega flow battery is based on the electrochemistry of organic molecules called quinones that are widely abundant in nature and inexpensive to maintain. The battery's energy storage capability is limited only by the size of its chemical storage tanks, which can be independently sized from the battery's electrochemical conversion system. (See photo below.) (For details, see the paper in Nature: "A metal-free organic–inorganic aqueous flow battery.")
A prototype flow battery developed at the Harvard School
of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
(Source: Harvard SEAS Communications)
A report from research firm Navigant Research forecasts that there will be more than 35 million electric vehicles on the roads worldwide by 2022. According to the report, "Electric Vehicle Market Forecasts," while EVs continue to command a premium purchase price, the operational cost savings over their lifetime make them cost competitive with traditional internal combustion vehicles.
In product news, ConvenientPower has introduced what it claims is the industry's first magnetic resonance wireless charging technology to charge Qi mobile phones at distances up to 18 mm. The company's WoW Z device is compatible with the voltage range of Qi chargers and has a charging efficiency of 65% at 18 mm.
Micrel has launched an 85-V half-bridge MOSFET driver featuring adaptive-dead-time and shoot-through protection. The MIC4605 operates from 5.5 to 16 V and is suited for demanding battery operated motor applications.
New 650-V "green mode" ac buck switches from Fairchild Semiconductor are aimed at home appliance, industrial, and smart-meter applications. The FSL306 and FSL336 offer burst-mode operation with a 250-µA operating current and power scalability from 0.5 to 3 W (FSL306).
Toshiba Electronics has enhanced its TB6865FG wireless power transmitter and TC7763WBG receiver chipset. The chipset now supports 5-W power transfer and is compatible with Qi version 1.1.
XP Power has introduced a 130-W model to its ECS series of ac/dc power supplies. The "green" single-output ECS130 is packaged in a 2 x 4 x 1.25-in. open-frame format and can be either convection or forced-air cooled.
Finally, a new high-capacity 12-V industrial battery from Yuasa Batteries has been added to the company's SWL family of valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries. The SWL4250 is suited for UPS and other high-discharge-rate applications.