Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Transportation

Stay updated on the innovations in transportation technologies. Explore the articles and technical briefs on electrification and autonomous driving that have impacted transportation design and engineering.

News : Energy
Microscopy Technique Reveals Lithium-Ion Battery Functionality

As industries and consumers seek improved battery power sources, a new microscopy technique developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers is providing a novel perspective on how lithium-ion batteries function.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Synthetic Fuel Research Underway

Purdue University researchers have developed a facility aimed at learning precisely how coal and biomass are broken down in reactors called gasifiers as part of a project to strengthen the scientific foundations of the synthetic fuel economy.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
New, Inexpensive Catalyst Boosts Oxygen Production for Home Energy Systems

The era of personalized energy systems — in which individual homes and small businesses produce their own energy for heating, cooling, and powering cars — took another step toward forward as MIT scientists have discovered a powerful new catalyst that is a key element...

Products : Transportation
High Efficiency Power Manager

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) introduces the LTC4098-3.6, an autonomous high efficiency power manager, ideal diode controller, and battery charger for 1-cell Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries used in portable devices.

News : Transportation
Bio-Based Process for Producing Fuel Additive

A new bio-based method for producing a much-used fuel additive and industrial chemical, which is currently made from petroleum products, has been developed by an Iowa State University researcher.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Road Surface Purifies Air by Removing Nitrogen Oxides

Road surfaces can make a big contribution to local air purity. This conclusion can be drawn from the first test results on a road surface of air-purifying concrete, which reduces the concentration of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 25 to 45 percent.

News : Electronics & Computers
Paving the Way for Electromobility

Fraunhofer researchers are engineering wheel hub motors, which are integrated into a car's wheels, and could become the accepted drive concept for electric vehicles. The scientists are testing these and several other components on the "Frecc0," their demonstration vehicle.

Features : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Revolution in Fasteners Helps Bridge the Gap 
to Greener Vehicles

With auto sales down as much as 40 percent, it can feel to some like the industry is coming apart. But a "revolution in fasteners" may soon help bridge the gap to greener vehicles, while increasing sales and lowering recall and warranty rates.

Articles : Energy
Power Conversion for Reduced Cost, Volume, and Weight - and Increased Efficiency

Industry and consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of efficacious use of metered power, as costs and cost trends increase. Making the right choices for power converter design can produce rapid investment payback in applications such as for LED...

Products : Energy
Large Cell Ultracapacitors

Maxwell Technologies Inc. (San Diego, CA) has introduced its new K2 series large cell BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors. About the size of a soda can, the K2 series BOOSTCAP cells operate at 2.7 volts and incorporate design and construction enhancements for high performance, durability, and a long operating lifetime.

News : Electronics & Computers
System Provides Hybrid Electric Autos With Power to Spare

A new PHEV traction drive power electronics system provides more power than typical freestanding portable generators, and can be used in emergency situations such as power outages and roadside breakdowns or leisure occasions such as camping.

News : Electronics & Computers
Enhanced Lithium Ion Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratories will use $4.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to modify and enhance its existing Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory (BATLab), with the goal of developing low-cost batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Features : Government
Development of a Centrifugal Hydrogen Pipeline Gas Compressor
DOE has prepared a Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan to provide hydrogen as a viable fuel for transportation after 2020, and commissioned Concepts NREC (CN) with the project of developing a centrifugal hydrogen pipeline gas compressor. Phase I of this project has...
News : Energy
Oil Refineries Could Improve Energy Efficiency With New Method

Chemical plants spend from 50 to 70 percent of their energy in "separations," which are usually distillation steps required to separate a raw material into various products. An energy-efficient Purdue University method rearranges the distillation sequence needed to separate crude...

Briefs : Energy
Fuel-Cell Water Separator
NASA Glenn Research Center has designed, built, and tested an innovative fuel-cell water separator that not only removes liquid water from a fuel cell’s exhaust ports, but does so with no moving parts or other power-consuming components. The separator employs the potential and kinetic energies already present in the...
News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Recovering Raw Materials for Green Technologies

Engineering researchers from the University of Leeds have discovered how to recover significant quantities of rare-earth oxides, present in titanium dioxide minerals. Rare-earth oxides are useful in many applications, such as the manufacture of wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, and hybrid...

News : Electronics & Computers
Batteries Made From Ordinary Paper

Using nanotechnology, Stanford scientists are producing ultra-lightweight, bendable batteries and supercapacitors in the form of everyday paper. Coating a sheet of paper with ink made of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires makes a highly conductive storage device.

News : Energy
New Nano-Material Could Revolutionize Solar Panels and Batteries

Tel Aviv University researchers have found a novel way to control the atoms and molecules of peptides so that they "grow" to resemble small forests of grass. These "peptide forests" repel dust and water — a perfect self-cleaning coating for windows or solar panels which, when...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
First Night Flight Using Solar Energy On the Horizon

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA - the first airplane designed to fly day and night without fuel - left the ground yesterday for the first time. Recent results from ground tests had verified the prototype's controllability, acceleration, braking paths, and engine power.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell UAV Sets Record

The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger - a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV) - flew for 26 hours and 1 minute carrying a 5-pound payload, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight. The test flight took place November 16-17.

News : Energy
Electrochemical Energy Storage Technologies and the Automotive Industry

A lecture from Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division covers some promising materials research efforts that are expected to lead to improved battery technology. Mark Verbrugge, the director of the Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Lab at General...

News : Transportation
Hitting the Theoretical Roof of Converting Waste Heat to Electricity

The need to get rid of excess heat creates a major source of inefficiency in everything from computer processor chips to car engines. According to Peter Hagelstein, an associate professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, existing solid-state devices to convert heat into...

News : Electronics & Computers
Japan Wins Australia's Global Green Challenge

The "Tokai Challenger" solar car from Japan's Tokai University won the 3,000 kilometer Global Green Challenge race down the center of Australia. The Tokai Challenger maintained an average speed of over 100 kilometers per hour, or about 62 miles per hour, besting the winner of the previous four races...

News : Energy
New Material Could Boost Data Storage, Save Energy

North Carolina State University engineers have developed a new material that would allow a fingernail-size computer chip to store the equivalent of 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, far exceeding the storage capacities of today’s computer memory systems.

News : Electronics & Computers
Battery Battle

A new type of redox flow battery from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) offers an advantage for electric cars. If the rechargeable batteries are low, the discharged electrolyte fluid can simply be exchanged at the gas station for recharged fluid – as easy as refilling the gas tank.

News : Energy
Lowering Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cost

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new ceramic material that could help expand the applications for solid oxide fuel cells – devices that generate electricity directly from a wide range of liquid or gaseous fuels without the need to separate hydrogen.

News : Energy
Hydrogen Storage Competition

DOE has launched the H-Prize competition, offering a $1 million award to an individual or team that creates the most advanced materials for hydrogen storage in vehicles.

News : Transportation
Mobile Ridesharing Device Reduces Traffic, Pollution

In spite of rising energy prices, many car drivers in large cities still ride alone. Fraunhofer's OpenRide mobile ridesharing service aims to save them money, while helping the environment by reducing the amount of traffic.

News : Energy
"Chemical Fuel Tank" Gives Hydrogen Storage New Hope

Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of Alabama researchers have come up with a new method for recycling hydrogen-containing fuel materials, which could open the door to economically viable hydrogen-based vehicles. The researchers worked within DOE’s Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center...