University Joins Research Project to Develop Heat-resistant Electrical Systems for Vehicles

The University of Arkansas announces it will help lead an $18.5 million dollar engineering research center to develop new electrical systems for vehicles that are more powerful, efficient and heat-resistant. The university houses a 7,000-square-foot testing facility that will assist the team.

“Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems center, or P.O.E.T.S., will focus on improving current thermal and electrical limits in vehicle designs to make cars more fuel efficient and extend the range of electric cars,” according to University of Arkansas News.

“P.O.E.T.S. has assembled a great team of engineers and scientists poised to have a substantial impact on power electronics technology, transportation systems, the workforce and the economy,” Alan Mantooth, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas, said.

Other project partners include Stanford University, Howard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil.

The team plans to produce new technologies such as next-generation power converters, three-dimensional thermal circuits for cooling, and algorithms for automatically coordinating the technologies.

The research group’s goal is to increase the power density in vehicles by 10 to 100 times.

“That would translate into billions of liters of fuel saved and nearly double an electric car’s range. Today’s technologies are at their thermal limit. A systems approach is the only way we’ll push beyond the current state of the art,” Andrew Alleyne, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said.

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Penn State Engineers Developed New Heat-Resistant Polymer

A group of Penn State engineers have produced lightweight, flexible dielectric polymers that are heat resistant and easily manufactured. Because of its resistance to heat, the new polymer is ideal for use in power electronics in both aerospace and automotive industries, as well as in high temperature applications.

“Ceramics are usually the choice for energy storage dielectrics for high temperature applications, but they are heavy, weight is a consideration and they are often also brittle. Polymers have a low working temperature and so you need to add a cooling system, increasing the volume so system efficiency decreases and so does reliability,” Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State, said.

“Dielectrics are poor electric conductors that can store electricity when exposed to an electric field. They are capable of discharging energy rapidly, thus assisting engine start-ups or transforming a battery’s direct current to the alternating current required for operating motors,” according to

The newly produced polymer can withstand temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit and is easily manufactured by combining the polymer with nanosheets. After curing the combination with heat or light, the material remains flexible and measures only 2 nm thick and 400 nm in size. The combined material offers high heat resistance, high bendability and high voltage capability.

“Our next step is to try to make this material in large scale and put it into a real application. Theoretically, there is no exact scalability limit,” Wang concluded.

The team’s research has been published in a recent issue of Nature and a patent has been filed to protect their work.

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Air Force Inquires About New Thermal Management Solutions for Future Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force is looking into new thermal management techniques to cool the electronics in future fighter aircraft.

“Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, issued a broad agency announcement Friday (BAA-AFRL-RQKP-2015-0002) for the Hybrid-Cycle Power and Thermal Management System (PTMS) project,” according to Military & Aerospace Electronics.

“The Air Force Research Lab’s Power and Control Division, Mechanical & Thermal Systems Branch are asking industry for electronics cooling ways to blend air-cycle cooling, vapor-cycle cooling, chilled fuel, and other thermal energy storage mechanisms to keep electronics cool on future jet fighters,” according to researchers.

Future aircrafts will require advanced capabilities, such as high-powered lasers, low-observability and electronic attack, to operate in harsh environments. These new systems will require 10 times more power than the fighter aircraft in the industry today.

With the large increase in power required, thermal management becomes an even bigger challenge. The air force is looking into conventional air cycle systems and vapor cycle systems to produce thermal management solutions and better cool electronics on board fighter aircraft. Researchers also plan to use heat sinks to help cool the aircraft’s electronics.

There is a possibility that this project could be worth $24 million dollars and involve up to six companies by 2019.

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Composite Metal Heat Spreaders in Handheld Electronics Design

Registration is Now Open for the Free Webinar, “Composite Metal Heat Spreaders in Handheld Electronics Design,” presented by Materion.

Composite metal solutions provide design opportunities for improved heat spreading and mechanical rigidity in space-constrained consumer devices. Utilizing composites in the design of structural components allows existing device features, such as frames and EMI shields, to dissipate thermal loads from high power heat sources without the need for secondary heat spreaders. Design considerations and materials performance properties are discussed with an eye toward cooler, stiffer devices.

Learn more about Thermal Live 2015 and register now.


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First Hybrid Temperature Chamber Introduced to Industry

TotalTemp Technologies, Inc. introduces a hybrid benchtop chamber for thermal testing that combines both convection and thermal conduction in one unit. It is the first hybrid temperature chamber on the market.

The HBC-SD49 Hybrid Benchtop Chamber improves thermal testing and offers a fast and efficient design. The chamber’s floor successfully functions as a hot/cold plate.

“The Hybrid Benchtop Chamber demonstrates a significant improvement in thermal test performance. The fully featured Synergy Nano Temperature Controller is capable of controlling platform temperature and air temperature independently or together. The controller is capable of advanced temperature control algorithms can allow even better performance by monitoring DUT temperature and allowing air and platform temperatures to be carefully controlled while verifying that required DUT temperatures are achieved,” the company added.

Other features of the chamber include advanced thermal uniformity, ability to improve thermal gradients, a temperature range of -100 to +150 degrees Celsius, high accuracy and performance rates, fast speed, and more.

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Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub Gets New Digs And Million Dollar Grant

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a nonprofit organization that helps new entrepreneurs turn ideas into sellable products, was recently given a million dollar grant to renovate and purchase a century-old building.

The nonprofit helps new businesses launching in Arkansas and so has an eye on the future of Arkansas. It is hoped they will help businesses in Arkansas be more competitive, provide jobs,and  help the economy.

Training in computer programming and other skills help entrepreneurs connect with investors. Besides offering this type of training, the Hub provides equipment such as 3-D printers, and wood and metal shops so fledgeling business owners  and innovators can create prototypes.

What I think is most exciting is the new after school program they provide. Here teen artists learnh ow to sell products. Essentially it’s a place where dreams can become reality. Original Source:

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The Role Of Our House Air Conditioner And Heater

With regards to maximizing our comfort in our own properties – anything we visit terrific lengths to attain – the correct functioning of our air conditioner and heater is paramount to our achievement. Figuring out, and making sure, the maximum efficiency of those systems initial depends upon understanding their operation.

We all realize that our home air conditioner and heater are employed to adjust our interior temperature. The air conditioner lowers the temperature inside the household so that we’re comfy in warmer climate; in contrast, the heater is utilised to elevate the temperature inside the residence so that we are comfy in colder weather. But the air conditioner and heater also play roles in moderating humidity within the residence subsequently affecting our comfort level.

Humidity is defined by the degree of moisture inside the air. Humidity can vastly affect our comfort level; as a point of reference, the human body positively responds to a relative humidity level among 20% and 60%. When the outdoors temperature is involving 20°F and 70°F, the humidity level within in our properties is generally within this comfort level. But in extra intense temperatures, the humidity level – together with the temperature – inside our houses should be modified to maximize comfort.

When employing the air conditioner and heater, humidity levels may also adjust accordingly. Even so, when the humidity level drops as well low, these inside the dwelling will typically complain of dryness of the skin, irritation of their throat and eyes, and overall discomfort. Making sure you have a good air conditioner with heater for Little Rock area residents is a good idea.
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A lot of people, in an effort to maximize comfort, will use a humidifier together with their air conditioner and heater. A humidifier will hold the humidity level constant within the property.

The modern day air conditioner and heater permits us to become fully comfy irrespective of what the temperature outside. The humidifier, added to these conveniences, can take your comfort for the subsequent level.