Energy, Power

Cold neutrons uncover atomic dynamics that give thermoelectric materials low-heat conductivity. Shown is the evolution of atomic lattice oscillation waves upon heating the tin sulfide crystal, as measured with neutron scattering. Courtesy: Duke University
Energy, Power September 23, 2020

Atomic dynamics help turn heat into electricity

An atomic mechanism that makes some thermoelectric materials efficient near high-temperature phase transition could help unlock better options for technologies reliant on transforming heat into electricity.

By Ken Kingery
The electron microscope image shows the air (darkest gray) sandwiched between the gold backing at the bottom and the semiconductor at the top, supported on gold beams. Credit: Dejiu Fan, Optoelectronic Components and Materials Group, University of Michigan
Energy, Power September 23, 2020

Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat

Heat-harnessing solar cells that reflect 99% of the energy they can’t convert to electricity could help bring down the price of storing renewable energy as heat and improve overall energy efficiency.

By Kate McAlpine
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology
Arc Flash September 22, 2020

Your questions answered: Arc flash mitigation

Reducing arc flash to electrical personnel is an evolutionary process. Learn more in this Q&A

By Zia Salami and Tracy Wagoner
Courtesy: Incremotion Associates
Business of Engineering September 16, 2020

Advanced motor and generator designer, Daniel B. Jones, dies 

Dan Jones, Incremotion Associates, dies at 84 after more than 60 years in the motion control industry, with decades of service to associations and involvement in more than 100 motor designs, including one for a NASA mission to Mars.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Charlotte Evans, Natelson Research Group/Rice University
Electrical September 11, 2020

Electricity generated by temperature differences

Electricity generated by temperature differences doesn’t appear to be affected measurably by grain boundaries placed in its way in nanoscale gold wires.

By Mike Williams
Courtesy: EASA
Motors, Drives September 8, 2020

How to field test 3-phase squirrel cage motors

Maintenance of critical machines depends on the diagnostic electrical testing of installed 3-phase squirrel cage motors, interpretation of results and key points of physical inspection

By Thomas H. Bishop, P.E.
Courtesy: ECIA
Electrical August 24, 2020

Electronics market steady in first half of 2020

Revenues in the electronic components market for the first half of 2020 are better than expected in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are supply chain concerns.

By Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA)
Researchers have developed new electrode designs for lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries that use graphene-coated nanoparticles to optimize battery performance. Courtesy: Northwestern University
Energy, Power August 19, 2020

How nanomaterials are improving battery design

Graphene coating enables new electrode designs with potential for electric vehicles

By Mark Heiden
At left, a copper current collector with a laser-induced silicon oxide coating created at Rice University. At right, a scanning electron microscope image of the coating created by lasing adhesive tape on the copper collector. Courtesy: Tour Group/Rice University
Energy, Power July 15, 2020

Adhesive tape improves lithium batteries’ performance, lifespan

Rice University researchers turned adhesive tape into a silicon oxide film improve lithium metal technology and make them last longer.

By Mike Williams
Courtesy: North Carolina State University
Energy Efficiency July 11, 2020

Computational model developed to build better capacitors

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a computational model that shows how changes in the nanostructure of materials affect their conductivity, which could help improve energy storage devices for many electronic devices.

By Matt Shipman