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Category: Electrical Engineering

How to Select a Fuse

It’s easy to trivialize the need for a fuse and how to select one. We have all been annoyed or exasperated by a blown fuse. Sometimes we wish there was no such component needed for our circuits. With the advent of electrical distribution in the 1800s, fuses became an essential device in preventing fires. Electrical systems need them for the same reason. Electronic systems have the same fire concerns and they need fuses as well (Fig. 1). Fuses will also…

Protection for the Power Supply and its Load

Power protection is like insurance: You pay for it, yet hope you don’t need it. But it’s not a simple “purchase.” The first protection question is, “What am I seeking to protected, and against what event(s)?” The answer is two-fold: the supply and its components need protection from load faults, while the load needs protection against supply faults. The second question is, “What kinds of faults?” These can be excessive current or voltage, ranging from a short circuit and the…

Optimizing Flip-Chip IC Thermal Performance in Automotive Designs

The significant decreases in the size of power integrated circuits (ICs) have enabled system designers to achieve reductions in power-supply solution size and cost, which is critical to furthering the development of advanced systems in the automotive industry. However, one challenge that arises from this trend is impaired thermal performance. Without a thoughtful printed-circuit-board (PCB) layout to spread the heat, using smaller ICs in a design might result in a significant temperature rise. That’s particularly concerning for automotive applications and…

‘Superdiamond’ carbon-boron cages can trap and tap into different properties — ScienceDaily

A long-sought-after class of “superdiamond” carbon-based materials with tunable mechanical and electronic properties was predicted and synthesized by Carnegie’s Li Zhu and Timothy Strobel. Their work is published by Science Advances. Carbon is the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe and is fundamental to life as we know it. It is unrivaled in its ability to form stable structures, both alone and with other elements. A material’s properties are determined by how its atoms are bonded and the structural arrangements that…

Biomedical Robot Retrains Patients to Sit

Stretchable, flexible electronics are an attractive component for skin-attached sensors and monitors. A team at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) has developed these electronics mounted on a substrate that can stretch with the medical film in which they’re embedded. Connected to gold, skin-like electrodes through printed connectors, the patch monitor can transmit electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, respiratory rate, and motion activity data up to 15 meters for the data analysis/reduction algorithms that extract these parameters from the sensed…

Newer Motor Designs Combine Functionality

Sometimes one-size-fits-all is a good idea, but other times some research can yield a better solution. A generic beanie cap might fit anybody, but a dress shirt needs to be the right size. For technical projects, one always wants the right component for the task at hand, and this is especially important for motors. A motor must be rated for the environment, be able to handle the load, and run efficiently and reliably. Using the wrong motor will be inefficient…

Newer Motor Designs Combine Functionality

Sometimes one-size-fits-all is a good idea, but other times some research can yield a better solution. A generic beanie cap might fit anybody, but a dress shirt needs to be the right size. For technical projects, one always wants the right component for the task at hand, and this is especially important for motors. A motor must be rated for the environment, be able to handle the load, and run efficiently and reliably. Using the wrong motor will be inefficient…

Wearable AC – University of Missouri College of Engineering

Unlike similar products in use today or other related concepts, this breathable and waterproof device can deliver personal air conditioning to a human body through a process called passive cooling. Passive cooling does not utilize electricity, such as a fan or pump, which researchers believe allows for minimal discomfort to the user. “Our device can reflect sunlight away from the human body to minimize heat absorption, while simultaneously allowing the body to dissipate body heat, thereby allowing us to achieve…

E-Glove for Prosthetic Hand Senses Pressure, Temperature, Moisture—and Warms Itself

A conventional prosthetic hand may enable functions such as the ability to grip, but it lacks qualities of softness, warmth, appearance, and sensory perception, including detection of pressure, temperature, and hydration. To improve the cold, unfeeling hand, a team based at Purdue University in collaboration with researchers at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas developed a slip-on flexible electronic glove (e-glove) that adds both sensory capabilities as well as skin-like softness and even warmth. In the video…

More than Microchips—How the Semiconductor Industry Keeps Evolving

A conventional prosthetic hand may enable functions such as the ability to grip, but it lacks qualities of softness, warmth, appearance, and sensory perception, including detection of pressure, temperature, and hydration. To improve the cold, unfeeling hand, a team based at Purdue University in collaboration with researchers at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas developed a slip-on flexible electronic glove (e-glove) that adds both sensory capabilities as well as skin-like softness and even warmth. In the video…