Articles

Turbomachinery Solutions for Green and Renewable Energy

For more than two decades, nearly all renewable energy endeavors have incorporated the latest advances in turbomachinery design and turbomachinery manufacturing technology in an evolving effort to achieve and even surpass the economics of utility scale. Even mature turbomachines continue to be optimized for increments of better performance, efficiency, and energy conservation.

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Space-Inspired Trailers Encourage Exploration on Earth

Space Station living quarters inspire custom RVs. Garrett Finney moved the office coffeemaker into the full-size, cardboard mockup of the new trailer he was designing. The need for caffeine — and the threat of hot coffee accidentally dumped on a coworker — provided motivation and means for assessing the feasibility of a confined living space. Finney has what he calls a “nonstandard expertise in people in small spaces.” He developed it while part of a NASA team designing living quarters for the International Space Station (ISS).

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Small Form Factor Computers Go Ultra-low Power

Agrowing number of mobile, space constrained or harsh environment applications are being designed for the military, industrial automation/HMI, digital signage and medical markets that are driving the need for ever-lower power consumption. These embedded systems have been underserved by existing SFF platforms that have not been able to offer ultra-low power operation, many times below 3 Watts, in a slim profile design. OEM developers have also been challenged to find computing platforms that deliver a flexible and scalable solution in terms of performance and rugged reliability with state-of-the-art interface and graphics support that mimics the same functionality as today’s smart consumer devices.

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Carbon Nanotube Technology Promises a Revolution in Electrical Cabling

While carbon nanotube technology (CNT) has generated widespread interest for applications ranging from semiconductors to medical, one area that is a focus of research at TE Connectivity is high-performance electrical cables. TE has been actively researching CNT for wire and cable, including cooperative efforts with universities and industry leaders, and has prototype samples for evaluation. While there is still much progress to be made before CNT cables become main stream, we believe the technology is sufficiently advanced to meet specific niche applications such as satellites.

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Robotic Accuracy Improves Aerospace Manufacturing

Where accuracy is concerned, robots have traditionally relied on repeatability. In the past, robotic accuracy has not been developed to a level of maturity acceptable to standard production processes. Critical aerospace manufacturing techniques such as fastening and drilling were historically not held to tight tolerances. Typical tolerances for airframe assembly fastening were in the +0.030" range. The standard is set by the positional requirement for drilling of fastener holes, which is a key target application for robotics in manufacturing.

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A New Era in Automotive Design Requires a New Era in Simulation Tools

Automotive design is going through one of its most profound changes since the gasoline engine eclipsed steam power. Fuel prices and growing environmental concerns have made efficiency the biggest prerogative in vehicle design since the gas shocks of the early 1970s. President Obama’s 2011 agreement with 13 large automakers to increase the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards from 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks today, to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, will affect vehicle design priorities throughout the automotive industry.

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SAE World Congress Preview “Achieving Efficiency”

The 2013 SAE World Congress and Exhibition, taking place April 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit, represents an unparalleled opportunity to explore new technology through both technical sessions and the Innovators Only Exhibition. This year’s Host Company is Chrysler, and ZF will serve as Tier One Strategic Supplier for the event. Last year, more than 9,000 engineers, engineering managers, auto industry executives, and government officials from 45 different countries attended the SAE World Congress (sae.org/congress).

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