A research project led by The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (SINTEF) has shown that there is no danger to drivers or passengers from exposure to the electromagnetic fields in electric cars, contrary to the concerns of some EV owners. The researchers measured the intensity of EM fields in both electric- and gas-powered vehicles, with the highest values in EVs occurring near the floor (close to the battery) and when starting the cars.
In all cases, the maximum exposure was less than 20% of the limit recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and less than 2% at head height. For more, see "No danger from magnetic fields in electric cars."
The most comprehensive study yet to identify different sources of electromagnetic fields in electric cars has found no danger from exposure to such fields to drivers or passengers.
(Source: Trondheim kommune)
A doctoral researcher at Aalto University (Finland) working on finding economical and rapid methods for fabricating micro fuel cells has developed a lightweight micro fuel cell that generates energy from hydrogen, ethanol, and methanol. Measuring about 14 x 14 x 1 mm, the device delivers 0.5 V when fueled with methanol or other alcohol, and 1 V when fueled with hydrogen (see image below).
According to the researcher, the micro fuel cell is lightweight enough that several stacked together -- enough to power a smartphone -- would still be only a fraction of the weight of a rechargeable battery. For more, see "The Phone of the Future May Be Powered by Alcohol."
A micro fuel cell that generates electrical energy from hydrogen, ethanol, and methanol measures about 14 x 14 x 1 mm.
(Source: Aalto University)
In product news, Agilent has introduced what is claimed as the industry's first power device analyzer for power circuit design. (See photo below.) The B1506A can evaluate all relevant power device parameters under a wide range of operating conditions, including IV parameters, as well as three-terminal FET capacitances, gate charge and power loss, at up to 1500 A and 3 kV.
The Agilent B1506A Power Device Analyzer is a complete solution that can help identify substandard devices under actual circuit operating conditions, including a wide voltage and current range (3 kV and 1500 A) and a wide temperature measurement range (-50°C to +250°C).
New smart meter ICs from STMicroelectronics are designed to reduce errors during low-current operation. The STPM32, STPM33, and STPM34 feature an integrated voltage regulator, temperature-compensated voltage reference and SPI/UART host connection.
Analog Devices has introduced a fully integrated, high-efficiency power solution for multicell lithium ion battery applications. The ADP5080 can connect directly to the battery. It integrates two keep-alive LDO regulators that can deliver 400 and 300 mA; five synchronous buck regulators delivering 0.8, 1.15, 1.5, 2, and 3A, respectively; a configurable four-switch buck boost regulator; and a high-voltage LDO regulator.
Diodes Inc. has announced a single-phase synchronous buck PWM controller aimed at high-current desktop PC applications. The AP3585 operates from a supply of 4.5 to 13.2 V and provides output from as low as 0.6 V up to 80% of VIN.
Texas Instruments has introduced single- and dual-channel automotive gate drivers offering ultra-low propagation delay. The AEC-Q100-qualified UCC275xx-Q1 family features propagation delays of less than 15 ns.
Artesyn Embedded Technologies has added two families of high-performance isolated DC-DC converters for RF power amplifiers. The AVE family is a half-brick format including a 28-Vdc output and either 450W at up to 16A output or 350W at 12.5A output, while the AGF family is in a standard full-brick format with aluminum baseplate structure and power levels of 600, 700, or 800 W with up to 28.6A output.
Alpha and Omega Semiconductor has introduced a 1350-V IGBT with low saturation voltage. The TO-247-packaged AOK20B135D1 AlphaIGBT offers a typical VCE(sat) of 1.57 V, a continuous collector current of 20 A at 100°C (40 A at 25°C), and diode forward voltage of 1.46 V typical.
Finally, New metalized polypropylene-film DC-link caps from Vishay Intertechnology are optimized for industrial power applications, including renewable energy inverters, motor drives, and power supplies. The MKP1848C series offers a capacitance range of 1 to 500 µF, voltage ratings from 500 to 1200 V, and a capacitance density of up to 1 µF/cm3.