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The Battery Chronicles

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    Smart energy storage will define the future of everything: the grid, automobiles and gadgets

    By Patrick Mannion | January 15, 2017

    Vionx Energy field engineer Michael McNeely stands in the engineering house, monitoring vanadium redox flow battery tests. (Bruce Gellerman/WBUR)

    Vionx Energy field engineer Michael McNeely stands in the engineering house, monitoring vanadium redox flow battery tests. (Bruce Gellerman/WBUR)

    From smartphones to automobiles and the electric grid, energy storage is becoming more critical. For mobile devices, the need is clear for safe, longer-lasting, energy-dense chemistries. For automobiles, the move to hybrid, electric, and autonomous vehicles has increased the bounty to be had for denser and lighter storage.

    Internet of Things

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      The Internet Of Things 2017: one analyst’s outlook

      January 13, 2017

      The full impact of major technological shifts play out over years, if not decades.
      When the Internet spilled over from its roots in research into the business realm, people were certain – and concerned – that Internet commercialization would inevitably change the nature of the Internet itself.

      Years on, people had it all wrong. Commerce did not change the Internet – the Internet in fact, completely upended and changed the world of commerce – and it continues to do so at an accelerating rate – throughout the world.

      The Energy Imperative

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        China powers up $360 billion renewable energy future

        We’ve all seen the images from Beijing, millions of residents chocking on dirty yellow smog. It’s the result of China’s dependency on coal as a primary fuel – something the current government plans to attack in a bold energy initiative focused on solar, wind and other renewable sources.

        The goal is to curb greenhouse gases, a plan that will create 13 million jobs and pump $350 billion into China’s economy between now and 2020 according to the New York Times.

        Beyond Silicon

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          Silicon carbide on the road to automotive electrification

          By Majeed Ahmad | January 2, 2017

           

          Higher voltages and currents increase power density while reducing switching losses. Image courtesy of Infineon Technologies.

          The automotive industry has long been focusing on the higher efficiency of the combustion engine and electrification of the drivetrain in hybrid and fully electric vehicles to meet CO2 emission goals. Now we finally see a tipping point with a greater availability of silicon carbide (SiC) chips that offer extremely low power losses and higher temperature resistance.

          Efficiency: The First Fuel

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            Edison’s revenge? Why DC-only distribution makes sense for energy savings

            By Patrick Mannion | January 2, 2017

            The drive for energy conservation, the DC basis of modern electronic systems, and the development of renewable energy sources have converged to challenge the 100-year-old assumption that AC alone is the single best means of distributing electricity.

            Instead, a combination of AC for the main grid and DC for micro and nano grids is shaping up to be a more energy-efficient path, if industries and engineers come together to define the necessary standards and implement them effectively.

            Efficiency: The First Fuel

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              The rise of energy-efficient microcontrollers

              By Majeed Ahmad | January 2, 2017

              The humble microcontroller — also the workhorse of embedded design — has long been battling the dilemma of how to raise the performance bar while conserving energy. A new generation of MCUs is finally turning a corner on energy-efficiency challenges while offering greater processing horsepower for high-end embedded designs.

              Case in point is ST Micro’s STM32H743 microcontroller that boasts the ARM® Cortex®-M7 core running at 400MHz.

              The Battery Chronicles

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                How to profit from ‘The Year of The Battery’

                December 30, 2016

                Battery manufacturers – and would-be competitors – are experimenting with all manner of alternatives these days – from nanotechnology to Prussian Blue dye (used to color fabric, paints, etc.) to make cheaper, more powerful, longer lasting storage devices.

                The same forces are attracting massive investments in lithium battery technology, a market which is expected to grow from $17.5 billion in 2013 to $76.4 billion in 2020.

                The Battery Chronicles

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                  Supercapacitor battery charges in seconds, lasts a week

                  December 30, 2016

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                  Breakthroughs in battery technology are becoming increasingly common these days, a manifestation of years of multi-billion dollar R&D investments focused on advanced materials science in hot pursuit of a compact, renewable energy sources by the world’s automobile and electronics makers.

                  The latest advance is a battery that charges in seconds and holds a charge for a week, a University of Central Florida development that could one day replace lithium-ion batteries.The new battery is highly flexible and measures a fraction of the size of a lithium-ion battery.