Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a way to both transmit and store electricity in a single copper wire by -- in effect -- creating a supercapacitor on the outside of the wire. This was achieved by growing nanowhiskers on the outer surface of the wire (see image below), which was then encased by a second layer of polymer-covered nanowhiskers to form a second electrode.
Suitable for DC applications, the technique could be useful for automotive electronics and devices that are battery powered. The researchers believe the technology can also be used with other materials, such as fibers. For more, see "New NanoTech May Provide Power Storage in Cables, Clothes."
Researchers used nanowhiskers grown on the surface of a copper wire to create a supercapacitor-encased wire that can both transmit and store electricity.
(Source: University of Central Florida)
Engineers at the University of Utah have designed a thin, inexpensive transparent layer made of plastic or glass that can sort and concentrate sunlight and potentially be able to boost efficiency of solar cells by as much as 50%. The 50 x 10-mm rectangular "polychromat" (see image below) uses 3-micrometer-wide grooves to sort incoming light and can be integrated into the cover glass of solar panels, as well as used in cellphones and other devices. For more see "Boosting Solar Cell Efficiency."
A thin rectangular plastic or glass layer -- or "polychromat" -- developed by engineers at the University of Utah sorts sunlight into colors that can be absorbed by solar cells to increase their efficiency without increasing the cost.
(Source: Dan Hixson, University of Utah)
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have successfully developed SiC devices with a blocking voltage of 10 kV in a dc/dc converter for medium-voltage applications (see image below). According to the researchers, this advance makes possible entirely new power electronic system structures for renewable power generation applications. For more see "Fraunhofer ISE Follows New Paths with High Voltage Silicon Carbide Power Devices."
A 30-kW medium-voltage dc/dc converter, developed at Fraunhofer ISE, contains 10-kV SiC devices.
(Source: Fraunhofer ISE)
In product news, Texas Instruments has added the ability to create and export a power supply PCB layout from the company's WEBENCH Power Designer tool. WEBENCH PCB Export lets users create their power supply designs in WEBENCH and then directly export them to popular CAD tools from Altium, Cadence Design Systems, Cadsoft Computer, Mentor Graphics, and RS Components.
A family of energy-harvesting PMICs from Spansion is designed to extend battery life or eliminate batteries completely in a multitude of IoT devices. The MB39C811 is an ultralow-power buck PMIC with dual input for solar and vibration energy applications, while the MB39C831 is an ultralow-voltage boost PMIC for solar or thermal designs.
Micrel has announced a dual-output, integrated power-management solution for single-cell alkaline or NiMH battery applications. The MIC23099 operates from 0.85 V to 1.6 V, has an adjustable output from 1.8 to 3.3 V, and features a switching frequency ranging from 80 kHz to 1 MHz.
Intersil has announced 3-A synchronous buck regulators with integrated high-side and low-side MOSFETs. The ISL85003/3A buck regulators support an input range of 4.5 to 18 V and feature an adjustable output from 0.8 V.
International Rectifier has introduced an LED flyback control IC. The IRS29831 integrates an LED driver controller and a 700-V MOSFET optimized for single-stage flyback and buck-boost topologies.
New low-noise 1.5-W µModule dc/dc converters from Linear Technology offer 2kVAC galvanic isolation. The LTM8057 and LTM8058 (with low-noise linear post regulator) operate from 3.1 to 31 V and are housed in a 9 x 11.25 x 4.92-mm BGA package.
Murata has announced highly efficient combined three-phase PFC and dc/dc converters for data center applications. The complementary products are a 5-kW PFC converter (MPA9535) with three-phase AC input and a matching high input voltage 1,200 Watt DC-DC converter (MPA9512).
Dialog Semiconductor has expanded its Rapid Charge mobile device adapter solutions portfolio with a digital PWM ac/dc controller. The iW1788 supports MediaTek's Pump Express Plus fast charge protocol and is designed for applications with up to 15 W output power.
Finally, B+K Precision has extended its line of programmable power supplies with two models building off the model 9115. The model 9116 extends the voltage rating to 150 V at 30 A, while the 9115-AT adds automotive power test waveforms that comply with DIN 40839 and ISO 16750-2 standards.