Electronics & Software

Energy

Your destination for advances in renewable energy, energy storage technologies, and trends in portable solar power, energy harvesting, wind power, and alternative energy. Design engineers will find the latest applications and multimedia resources including videos, white papers, webinars, and technical briefs.

Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week : Energy
Will Carbon Fibers Find a New Place in Vehicles?

In a Tech Briefs article last week, Virginia Tech professor Greg Liu spoke about his team’s newly developed porous carbon fibers, and how the material may someday change how vehicles are built and powered.

5 Ws : Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of 3D-Printing Piezoelectric Materials

Who

Piezoelectric materials are used in everything from cellphones and wearables, to robotics, energy harvesting, and tactile sensors.

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Using Infrared and X-Ray Imaging

Additive manufacturing is poised to liven the pace and scale of manufacturing. Deploying a range of techniques that use 3-D models to print objects layer by layer, it can generate a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electronics Withstand Extreme Heat

Most electronics only function within a certain temperature range but blending two organic materials together creates electronics that withstand extreme heat. The new plastic material could reliably conduct...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facility Focus: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Since 1967, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) has been the United States’ premier particle physics laboratory, working on the world's most advanced particle accelerators...

Blog : Transportation
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Tesla uses batteries to store energy underneath the car seats. What if we could store energy everywhere on the vehicle?
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Briefs : Energy
Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals

From airplane wings, to overhead power lines, to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic...

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Jyotirmoy Mandal, Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY

Mandal, along with Professors Yuan Yang and Nanfang Yu, built upon earlier work demonstrating that many simple plastics and polymers are excellent heat radiators that could be used for passive radiative daytime cooling (PRDC). Their challenge...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Plasma Generator Using Spiral Conductors

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a patented SansEC sensor technology for use in many different areas, including tall structures and wind turbines. The SansEC technology is a proven wireless sensing platform capable of measuring the electrical impedance of physical matter in proximity to the...

Articles : Aerospace
Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) — located in Aiken, SC — is the applied research and development laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending

When choosing materials to make something, tradeoffs need to be made among properties such as thickness, stiffness, and weight. A new material called nanocardboard was...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Li-ion Cell Calorimeter

Lithium-ion batteries are an integral part of energy storage systems used in NASA's Exploration program, as well as many modern terrestrial industries. NASA Johnson wanted a better way to measure total and fractional heat response of specific types of Li-ion cells when driven into a thermal runaway condition.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Ancient Pigment Can Boost Energy Efficiency

Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty. Previous studies have shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it then...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) has been a leader in human space exploration for more than half a century. Established in 1961 in Houston, TX as the Manned Spacecraft Center, the center...

Briefs : Energy
Microscopy Technique Works at Extreme Heat

A stainless steel alloy — alloy 709 — has potential for elevated-temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures. It is exceptionally strong and resistant to damage when exposed to...

Briefs : Automotive
Device Measures Laser Power in Real Time

Lasers play roles in many manufacturing processes, from welding car parts to crafting engine components with 3D printers. To control these tasks, manufacturers must ensure that their lasers fire at...

Briefs : Materials
Composite Material Cools Itself Down Under Extreme Temperatures

A material, inspired by nature, can regulate its own temperature and could be used to treat burns and help space capsules withstand atmospheric forces. The research used a network of multiple microchannels with active flowing fluids (fluidics) as a method and proof-of-concept to...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ricocheting Radio Waves Monitor the Tiniest Movements

Infrared motion detectors can cover only a limited amount of space, a person has to be within the detector's line of sight to be detected, and lights can go off when a person remains...

Blog : Energy
Answering Your Questions: Will Solar Panel Efficiency Improve?
Don’t hold your breath, says Jeff Crystal from Voltaic Systems.
INSIDER : Materials
New fuel cell concept brings biological design to better electricity generation

Fuel cells generate electricity directly from hydrogen and oxygen and produce only water vapor as emissions. But most fuel cells are too expensive, inefficient,...

On-Demand Webinars : Energy
The Latest Technologies for Energy Harvesting

This 60-minute Webinar on energy harvesting is part of the Technical Webinar Series from the editors of Tech Briefs Media. Three experts will look at the latest technologies related to this important subject area.

Briefs : Energy
Ducted Fuel Injection for Soot Reduction

Typical direct-injection engines, such as diesel engines, can produce soot due to fuel-rich combustion conditions. Filters and catalytic converters are currently used to reduce soot and harmful...

Briefs : Energy
High-Power-Density Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

NASA's Glenn Research Center has developed a novel solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with five times the specific power density of currently available SOFCs. This highly efficient SOFC can operate on a...

Technology Leaders

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

CNC Machining: How to Reduce Costs and Accelerate Production

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Advanced Quality Planning and Production Part Approval Process...

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

How to Avoid PCB Re-spins when IC’s Change or are Obsoleted

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

Non-Contact Strain and Displacements Measurements in the Automotive Industry