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Efficiency: The First Fuel

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    Guest Blog : How the IoT — and the smartphone — are enabling the smart home

    January 23, 2017

     

     

     

    A smart home in San Diego, California combines the best of modern architecture with the best in smart home technology.

    By Ajinder Singh

    Providing a comfortable space for its occupants is only the minimum requirement for a habitable building, whether it be a primitive shelter, or modern steel and glass structure.

    A building should be more than just a “container” for its occupants.

    The Energy Imperative

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      Time to revisit power consumption in home appliances

      By Majeed Ahmad | January 19, 2017

      A single-package solution simplifies inverter design and lowers power consumption. Image courtesy of Rohm Semiconductor

      The notion of smart home has been making headlines for many years, but it’s actually the energy efficiency part where homes are making the most tangible gains through what designers call inverterization of appliance designs.

      Take the case of home appliances like air conditioners and ceiling fans.

      The Energy Imperative

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        Chipmakers warming up to 48V datacenter movement

        By Majeed Ahmad | January 19, 2017

        The single-stage conversion from 48V voltage bus to the point-of-load (PoL) in cloud server racks offers significant reductions in distribution and conversion power losses. (Image source: Maxim Integrated)

        With the emergence of 48V datacenter architecture on the server rails, is there a greener cloud on the horizon in 2017? A lot depends on the availability of chips that can efficiently facilitate the 48V single conversion to the point-of-load (PoL) while providing the projected 16x reduction in distribution loss and 30 percent lower conversion loss.

        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.