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EE&T News
The latest news in energy efficiency
January 23, 2012

What do you call 8,000 Volts?
Video: Testing EV batteries
Plumbing for power
DOE says wave energy holds a lot of potential
Coming to a track near you: Electric race cars
GaN LEDs grow on silicon substrate
Energy shorts

What do you call 8,000 Volts?

No, it's not a high-stress spec for grid equipment. It's the number of EVs recalled by GM for battery refurbishments. The Volt got a clean bill-of-health from safety organizations. For some insights on EV battery testing in general, check out our recent trip for EngineeringTV.com to third-party testing organization Intertek where test engineers explained some of the life tests they perform on EV batteries of all kinds.
-- Leland Teschler, Editor

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Video: Testing EV batteries

Engineering TV recently visited third-party testing firm Intertek for a look at how EV batteries get tested. What we found was interesting in light of the saftey issues with the Chevy Volt batteries.

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Plumbing for power

The engineering team at Nextreme Thermal Solutions, Durham, N.C., have developed a new way to convert small temperature differences into electricity using sold-state-thin-film technology. This new technology, dubbed Thermobility, will let engineers develop wireless and battery-free sensors powered by electricity harvested from plumbing and HVAC systems. These sensors could monitor temperature, humidity, and airflow, while taking advantage of the hot and cold temperature differences commonly found in air plenums.

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DOE says wave energy holds a lot of potential

The DOE thinks that water power, including conventional hydropower and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15% of U.S. electricity by 2030. This is the conclusion to be had from a couple of recently released DOE reports which are said to represent the most rigorous analysis undertaken to date to accurately define the magnitude and location of America's ocean energy resources.

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Coming to a track near you: Electric race cars

The American Le Mans Series, International Motor Sports Association and Quimera, a company that works on sustainability projects, recently announced plans for developing a racing series around electric vehicles. The announcement has already elicited a lot of feedback from race fans, many of whom claim the relatively silent electric racers would take a lot of the fun out of the vehicle racing experience. LeMans Series organizers say by 2013 the group will be ready to launch an international Electric Vehicle (EV) series, the first clean technology professional motorsport championship. Quimera has already built a prototype for the race series being planned.

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GaN LEDs grow on silicon substrate

Researchers at Osram Opto Semiconductors say they have manufactured high-performance blue and white LED prototypes by growing light-emitting gallium-nitride layers on silicon wafers. The feat is noteworthy in that most LEDs are grown on sapphire substrates, rather than on silicon, because of compatibility issues between the silicon and the gallium. Silicon is a much less expensive substrate than sapphire and thus is more desirable for high-volume LED work.

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Energy shorts


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