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August 31st, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on August 31st, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing:

MTC launches high-temperature bimorph range

Morgan Technical Ceramics is extending its electro ceramics portfolio, with the launch of a new range of high temperature piezoelectric bimorph components, suitable for sensor and actuator applications in the fields of aerospace, automotive, medical and general industry. Manufactured in the company’s facility in Ruabon, North Wales, the new bimorph components are two-layered PZT devices, which feature a specially-formulated core created from high-temperature conductive epoxy glue. Some components in the range are also reinforced with a central metal alloy vein, to make them more mechanically stable. All of MTCs’ innovative components can operate in continuous temperatures of up to 180°C, which represents half the Curie temperature of the piezoelectric materials. PZT bimorphs can be used in a range of applications including oil viscosity monitoring, machine and equipment monitoring, automotive engines, feedback sensors and high-temperature accelerometers. Components from the range are currently being used in the maritime industry for oil viscosity measurement in ship yards, and can effectively work as both an actuator and sensor.

Glass construction: “Engineered Transparency” conference at Glasstec 2012

There will be a new edition of the professional conference for glass construction, “Engineered Transparency,” held in conjunction with Glasstec 2012. The conference with a scientific theme takes place Oct. 25-26, 2012, at the Congress Center East/Ost at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center. It offers a unique opportunity to experience top-quality presentations on the current developments in glass construction and façade and solar technology in connection with the leading international trade fair on glass production, processing and products. “Engineered Transparency” is directed particularly at an audience from the areas of research and development as well as construction and implementation. The target audience includes scientists, structural engineers, planners/architects/designers, construction experts and employees of construction authorities. The conference is being organised jointly by Messe Düsseldorf and the technical universities of Dresden and Darmstadt. Main points in the area “Glass Constructions” are stress and stability, laminates and composites as well as concave and bent glass. As far as façades are concerned, the specific topics discussed will be the building shell and its structure, as well as energy and sustainability. Projects and case studies will be introduced.

Toyota develops fuel-cell-bus emergency power supply system

Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a power supply system that uses electricity generated within a fuel cell bus to supply electrical power to devices such as home electrical appliances. An FC bus equipped with the new power supply system has two electrical outlets (ac 100V, 1.5 kW) inside the cabin that can supply a maximum output of 3 kW and potentially power home appliances continuously for more than 100 hours. As part of the emergency power-supply training section of the comprehensive disaster-control training to be conducted by Aichi Prefecture and Toyota City on Sept. 2, 2012, the system is to power approximately 20 information display monitors inside a disaster control headquarters tent. Toyota is also developing a vehicle-to-home system for supplying electricity from an FC bus to a building’s existing electrical wiring with the goal of providing a maximum output of 9.8 kW for 50 hours. With a full tank of hydrogen, an FC bus with the V2H system could be used to power the lights inside an average school gymnasium (with a power consumption of approximately 100 kWh) for approximately five days. Toyota plans to test this V2H system for FC buses in 2013 and 2014 as part of the Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project.

New mobile ductless fume hoods

Air Science USA has introduced its new mobile ductless fume hood. The mobile EDU is excellent for classroom demonstrations and industrial training. It is totally self-contained and provides all around visibility. The EDU is easily moved from laboratory to laboratory. The ductless design allows easy installation and the base is mounted on large heavy duty wheels for ease of transport. The height is 77.5″, which allows it to easily pass through a standard door. The multilayered EDU filter has been independently tested to have 99.9% filtration efficiency for chemicals normally found in a typical chemistry curriculum. These units exceed OSHA, ANSI, BSI and AFNOR safety standards.

$20 million CIGS partnership established in US

(PV Magazine) Under a new $20 million partnership, Ceres Technologies will supply CIGS manufacturing equipment to the US Photovoltaic Consortium, which is headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Albany NanoTech Complex. Specifically, the company will help to establish an advanced manufacturing development facility at CNSE and provide two vacuum thin-film deposition tools to manufacture copper indium gallium selenide thin film solar cells. The partnership is part of the DOE’s goal to reduce the cost of installed solar energy systems from $5 to under $1/W over the next decade. “These CIGS-based solar cells represent the next generation of solar photovoltaics, offering improved performance at a reduced cost to manufacture and install,” read a statement released by New York state Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo on August 29 announcing the partnership.

Bosch to close silicon thin film works in Germany

(PV Magazine) At the end of this year, Bosch Solar Energy AG has announced it will close its 30 MW silicon thin film module plant down in Erfurt, Germany. Spokesperson for the electronics giant, Heide Traemann, told PV Magazine that 130 employees will be affected by the decision. She added that in attempt to avoid redundancies, Bosch will try to either relocate the employees internally or help them find new employers in the region. In the future, Bosch has said it will concentrate on crystalline photovoltaics in Arnstadt and CIGS development in Brandenburg. The company said these business areas offer the greatest potential for the group. The reasons attributed to the Erfurt closure are the current photovoltaic price pressures and global overcapacity. The company also referred to the photovoltaic tariff cuts recently applied to large solar parks in Germany. Referring to recent media reports that Bosch could completely pull out of the photovoltaics industry, Traemann said production is still in full swing in Arnstadt. In line with its competitors, the company is looking to significantly reduce production costs. However, it will continue to produce and sell its modules worldwide.


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