BYU-student-built electric car sets land speed record at Salt Flats – [via]
An electric car designed and built by BYU engineering students set a world land speed record for its weight class, averaging 155.8 mph over its two required qualifying runs, one of which was clocked at 175 mph.
The milestone marks the end of a seven-year quest of more than 130 students, led by Perry Carter, who just retired as an associate professor.
“This is a wonderful closure to 31 years of teaching at BYU and many projects,” Carter said after the record was certified. “But this is the one that takes the cake. I’m done.”
BYU-student-built electric car sets land speed record at Salt Flats - [Link]
For the last year I’ve been working on a prototype for a Solar Inverter that can be Grid Intertied. A solar inverter takes the 12V DC (or other voltages) from the solar panels and converts it to 120V AC which is the power that most of your household appliances use. A Grid-Intertied inverter allows you to feed that power back into power grid (your house power) to help power your household appliances.
My goal was to design a small inverter, about 100W, that could be used with one solar panel and could be grid intertied. My second prototype (pictured above) has achieved these design goals. So on these web pages I’m going to document the design of the hardware and the software of my solar inverter. I’m releasing these designs to public without restrictions. All I ask is that if you use any of my design that you credit me and add a link back to this website. I hope these designs will help further the work of other people in this area.
Solar Grid-Intertie Inverter - [Link]
System-level hardware designers pay careful attention to selecting the right analog signal path ICs for their specific applications. Each IC needs “clean” power but often, power management is the last part of a system design. As many designers know, power supply design affects the analog signal integrity which, ultimately, impacts overall system performance.
National Semiconductor’s broad portfolio of low-noise, low dropout (LDO) regulators preserve signal fidelity in the analog signal path over a wide range of input voltages and output currents. National’s portfolio of low-noise LDOs provide maximum Power Supply Rejection Ratio (PSRR) and low output voltage noise for low-power, space-constrained applications. In contrast to switching regulators which induce a voltage ripple and other high frequency voltage spikes in their output, an LDO’s PSRR filters out unwanted noise.
Low Dropout Regulators Deliver Quiet Power for Noise-Sensitive Circuits - [Link]
I needed to charge an iPad, but I couldn’t do it the “normal” way because it was stuck in a wall! I had mounted 2 iPads in walls at a customers house. I did this by cutting a big iPad sized hole in the wall, and then building a custom mounting dock for it. I also embedded an arduino bootloaded ATmega 328 in there along with a MAX3232 (RS232 to TTL) chip for controlling the iPad via RS232. Now all I had to do was keep it charged. I found Ladyada’s mintyboost resources a huge help.
Charging an iPad, iPhone, or iPod - [Link]
NiMH cells are gaining wide popularity in, amongst other places, digital cameras. The energy density in NiMH cells may be lower than that of lithium ion cells, but the fact that they are, in most equipment, interchangeable with disposable dry cells makes them very attractive power sources. The similar electrical and mechanical considerations of NiMH and to dry cells, translates into a wide supply of relatively low cost cells. Also, in case of an emergency, you can always revert back to dry cells if all your NiMH cells are discharged. NiMH should under ideal charging conditions charge for 14 hours at 10% of their rated hourly capacity.
A CPU based NiMH charger - [Link]
Meridith Perry, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (USA), has developed a novel method for powering electronic devices wirelessly. Christened ‘uBeam’, the method uses ultrasonic energy that is beamed from a mains-powered transmitter to a piezoelectric receiver plugged into the device to be powered.
Ms Perry came up with the idea for the uBeam system while still at university, when she forgot to take the charger for her laptop computer to a lecture and was left with a dead battery. She started thinking about ways to transmit energy wirelessly and ultimately came up with the idea of ultrasonic transmission. [via]
Novel ultrasound system provides wireless power - [Link]
Over 110 years ago, the legendary inventor Thomas Edison was granted a patent for the nickel-zinc (NiZn) battery, but a multitude of technical problems blocked the commercial success of this type of battery, and it vanished into distant memory. However, the situation started to change around 2000, when nickel-zinc battery technology again became a focus of intensive research due certain advantages over nickel-cadmium (NiCd) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries – in particular a higher cell voltage, which simplifies the use of primary batteries as direct power sources. The EU is also campaigning to prohibit the use of NiCd batteries due to their cadmium content. The first generation of NiZn rechargeable batteries is now available in AAA and AA formats from suppliers such as Conrad and Volkner (in Germany). [via]
Nickel-zinc batteries get a new lease on life - [Link]
Phase-Shifted Full-Bridge (PSFB) topology has been traditionally used in high input voltage (~400V), high power (>500W) converters that are usually not required to be packed in a small form factor such as the telecom industry standard 1/4th (2.28*1.45 inches) and 1/8th brick format (2.28*0.89 inches). The complexity of the topology, lack of easy-to-use controllers, its perceived benefits only at high input voltages and the use of an additional commutating inductor for resonant transitions are some of the reasons why PSFB topology has not been applied at standard telecom input range of 36V to 75V. The LM5046 is the industry’s first PSFB controller with integrated 100V primary drivers. Its high level of integration eases application of PSFB topology into small form factor power converters.
Using a Phase-Shifted Full-Bridge Topology in Small Form Factor Power Converters - [Link]
Paul Thede, owner/President of Race Tech Suspension can claim he is the fastest man in the world on an electric motorcycle after cresting the 200 mph mark when he set a new Land Speed Record of 206.080mph. Paul Thede crushed his previous record of 176.321 mph that he set in 2010 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Thede teamed up with Richard Hatfield from Lightning Motorcycles to accomplish this feat. “Breaking the 200 mph barrier on an electric-powered motorcycle is so special because it isn’t just another record; it’s a step towards furthering ‘green’ technology around the world,” Thede stated. He goes on to say, “It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. If you swung a leg over and opened her up, you’d become a believer too!”
Thede is no stranger to motorcycles. He is a former pro motocross racer, Pikes Peak Hill climb winner, and has set numerous land speed records at Bonneville. [via]
Electric motorcycle breaks 200 mph barrier - [Link]