Capacitors Embracing the Green Revolution

One of the pressing concerns of our age is environmental crisis. With the progressing technological evolution, the need for energy conservation and harvesting has increased. Harvesting energy is not an easy task, and most of the time, generating energy creates pollution in the environment. To deal with it, the international community has changed its approach so that it is now focused on identifying the areas where energy is being wasted and rectifying those issues instead of producing more energy.

The low power factor is one of those aforementioned issues. Power factor is a measure of lag in current with respect to voltage. Its value varies from zero to one.  This lag creates a component of electrical power that is not being used and keeps oscillating between generation and consumer ends. This circulation of power dissipates energy in the form of heat and also creates extra load on the generation end. A power factor issue arises due to the presence of inductive loads, such as electric motors, fans, etc. Now the power companies have started to penalize industries that have high inductive loads and a very low power factor.

The industries are taking initiatives to increase their power factor. There are two methods of a power factor correction. One is using active circuit elements, such as a buck converter or a boost converter. This method is very expensive and has a large payback period. The other method is passive power factor correction using capacitors. In this method, pre-calculated value capacitor banks are connected to the inductive system. The capacitors nullify the effect of an inductive load and bring the power factor closer to one. In case of industries, this reduces the wasted power dramatically and the energy strain on generation end decreases.

Due to long distance transmission of electrical power and with the presence of several transformers in between, the shape of a pure sine wave gets distorted by high frequency noise components. Nearly all of the electrical appliances are designed to operate specifically with pure sine wave voltage. These noise components reduce the efficiency of appliances and waste a component of power. Capacitors are used to absorb these high frequency components partially and improve the efficiency of the overall system.

supercapacitors

An interesting development in the field of power engineering is the creation of supercapacitors. Supercapacitors can be considered to be a hybrid of electrochemical cells and capacitors. These capacitors have very high value of capacitance (around 3000 Farads) and have very high energy densities. These capacitors cannot be used for conventional capacitor applications. They can provide very large values of currents for a small amount of time. This is the property of supercapacitors that has been exploited by engineers in the field of automobile engineering and generation of electricity by non-conventional means. Continue reading

Thermoelectric effect and modules

Thermoelectric devices are seen very often in various appliances. Small refrigerators, semiconductor chip coolers, medical chillers. Thermoelectric effect works in both directions – it can generate temperature difference when current flows or it can generate current when temperature difference is applied.

thermoelectric cooler

About thermoelectric effect

It is known for more than 100 years. There are several scientists who discovered this effect in one or another way. Probably you’ve heard Peltier effect. Jean Charles Athanase Peltier discovered that if you apply electrical current to junction of two materials it gets cold or hot (depending on current direction). Continue reading

Fractal antenna technology

A Fractal receiver is a receiver that can be damaged up into lesser parts. Fractal just means a part of, so in this scenario they are referring to a receiver that can have feelers added or aloof. By liability the Fractal receiver is next a notion called the self-similarity expect module. This typically means that you can detach or add in peer parts. If you ever took a lobby in Fractal Geometry, you’d learn the mathematical reasoning behind this. The mathematics behind this stunt is governed by the Mandelbrot Set.

fractal-receiver-300x284

Benoit Mandelbrot is the father of fresh day Fractal Geometry. These antennas activate by elate out rare electromagnetic signals that face a certain zone or size depending on how many Fractals the receiver itself has. Fractal Antennas aren’t outsized or awkward by any way. In detail they are very small and have legal world application in cellular phones or microwave ovens and other small electronic method. This receiver is rare in that it can activate at countless different frequencies at the same time. Continue reading

The Science Behind Hybrid Cars

Probably no one is surprised with gasoline prices going up. By paying same amount of money you get less and less mileage everyday. Eventually you reach a point when you start thinking of some radical changes. Changing petroleum fuel in to another form of energy like electricity is a great choice, but radical move is impossible without radical infrastructure changes. If you choose an electricity driven vehicle you will face charging problem. Charging stations aren’t wide spread enough. And battery technology is till in progress to reach high energy density for acceptable price. We believe that future is for electric cars, but now we need some sort of middle point where we still could use what’s around us and be one step to future. Companies like Lexus (www.lexus.co.uk) has been intensively working on hybrid car technologies over a decade. They have reached really good results on efficiency, decreasing emissions and comfort of driving.

lexus_hybrid

Hybrid cars usually have two types of motors – internal combustion and electric. Both in combination they increase fuel efficiency, lower CO2 emission. Some technical data can be found at http://www.lexus.co.uk/hybrid/index.tmex. Generally speaking there are two types of hybrid cars – Full Hybrid and Mild Hybrid. Continue reading

Intrinsically safe mobile devices for extreme conditions

Probably many of you heard of military grade devices that are meant to withstand wide temperature range, high accelerations, mud and dirt. They must be reliable and work when most needed. But what situation is with other extreme conditions – potentially explosive areas? You will be surprised how many of those areas are around us. Take oil platforms, gas trucks, coal mines, oil tankers, aviation fuel fillers and many other machine facilities that may generate explosive gases or dust. Workers cannot use regular phones or other devices in such areas, because there is always a risk of small sparks that could cause an explosion. Not to use at all is not an option – you may need to do measurements, calculate data and to other tasks where device is simply needed. This is where intrinsically safe equipment is used. There is even a special European Directive called ATEX (Atmospheres Explosibles) that regulates the use of equipment in hazardous areas. For instance lets take a multimeter Fluke 28 II EX. It can be used in explosive environments.

It is extremely protected multimeter which is certified for use in explosive environment. Multimeter is reliable sealed in IP67 rated case from water, dust and can survive drops from 3 meter high. Its ruggedness allows safe operation in any chemical, gas and dust environments. Anyway, using intrinsically safe multimeter still doesn’t guarantee that there will be no sparks. Measuring procedure is also very important. Just try to measure battery voltage with any multimeter and you will see sparks when touching leads to contacts. But this is different area of expertise where people have to be trained. Same situation is with mobile phones. We always carry cell phones with us. And for a moment did wee think that it would be better to turn it off when fueling car? They are not protected from falling, they are not shielded. It can cause sparks if dropped accidentally. And definitely have seen how small sparks can ignite gas lighter. There is more information about intrinsically safe devices in intrinsic safe mobile phone blog.