Here is what we are hearing:
(cnn.com) Energy Secretary Steven Chu will resign from President Barack Obama’s Cabinet in coming weeks, he told Energy Department staff in a letter on Friday. Chu, who turns 65 this month, was a leading advocate in the Obama administration for alternative energy development, making him a target of the fossil fuel industry and its conservative supporters in Congress. He was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and headed the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab before becoming energy secretary in 2009. Chu also taught at the University of California. “I informed the president of my decision a few days after the election that Jean and I were eager to return to California,” Chu said in the letter. “I would like to return to an academic life of teaching and research, but will still work to advance the missions that we have been working on together for the last four years.” He said he would stay on through an upcoming government energy research summit at the end of February, adding: “I may stay beyond that time so that I can leave the department in the hands of the new secretary.”
￼The Brilliant Mix LED color mixing concept from Osram Opto Semiconductors is now even easier to control thanks to a new universal controller from Elec-Con technology. The controller is available in a standard version—with or without a sensor—and in a customized version. It can be adapted to current building systems standards, such as DALI, KNX, and EIB. The controller concept has been developed as part of the LED Light for you network. Warm white light with high efficiency and a high color-rendering index are right at the top of the wish list for anyone looking for a feel-good factor in general illumination. The Brilliant Mix concept from Osram Opto Semiconductors shows how this can be achieved with semiconductor light sources. It provides efficiency of 110 lumen per watt and an excellent color-rendering index of more than 90. The basis for this concept is high-power Oslon LEDs in white and amber and also in bluish white and blue. The clever combination of LEDs of different colors results in white light in a spectrum from 2700 K (warm white) to 6500 K (cold white)
Raytheon officially opened a new UK-leading silicon carbide manufacturing “foundry” facility, developed through several years’ research into advanced manufacturing processes and materials science. The application of silicon carbide in electronic systems will place the UK in a leading position to develop next-generation, high-efficiency, smaller, low-weight power conversion products used in harsh environments across the automotive, aerospace, geothermal explorations, oil and gas, and clean energy sectors. Raytheon’s ability to process silicon carbide utilizes high-temperature annealing and high-temperature/high-voltage ion implantation. The components provide unique properties in electronics: silicon carbide has the ability to operate at higher voltages and greater temperatures than pure silicon, and at a third of the weight and volume—improving operational performance and reducing system operating costs. Raytheon is the first company to have successfully tested silicon carbide circuit devices at temperatures up to 400°C.
3M launched its Embedded Capacitance Material (ECM) C2006 at DesignCon 2013. The ultrathin laminate material is now available for high-volume manufacturing. With a capacitance density of approximately 20 nF per square inch, the material offers one of the highest capacitance densities currently available on the market in a halogen-free product. ECM C2006 boosts design engineers’ ability to improve power integrity and reduce electromagnetic interference in small devices—such as microphones, sensors, IC packaging and interposers—where space limitations require the highest capacitance density feasible to achieve the desired performance. The material’s high capacitance density helps designers achieve hi-fidelity signals, high signal-to-noise ratio in radio frequencies and higher speed digital signals in a variety of high-performance applications. The capacitor consists of a very thin layer of ceramic-filled epoxy sandwiched between two layers of copper foil.
(AOL Energy) Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), a rocket engine maker based in California, celebrated another milestone in its effort to conserve energy and reduce waste with the commissioning of United Technology Corp.’s first operational large (400kW) fuel cell in the San Fernando Valley. The fuel cell is designed to reduce PWR’s carbon footprint – the reduction in green house gas and nitrogen dioxide emissions is equivalent to removing 120 cars from local highways. The fuel cell, a PureCell system, is about the size of a school bus, and is supplying power to the grid at the company’s De Soto Avenue campus. It is built by UTC Power, a subsidiary of PWR’s parent company, United Technologies Corp. The PWR fuel cell cost about $3 million installed and qualifies for incentives under the State’s Self Generation Incentive Program, as well as the federal investment tax credit which, when combined, can reduce the project cost by up to 60 percent.
On February 7 and 8, Allied Mineral Technical Services Inc., an affiliate of Allied Mineral Products, will present two papers at the Eastern States Blast Furnace and Coke Oven Association annual winter meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa. Jimmy Barrett, senior technical advisor, will be presenting maintenance, repair and beaching of blast furnace subs. Floris van Laar, director of technology and Bob Hansen, manager of refractory technology and construction services, will present on blast furnace taphole maintenance and repairs. Registration is still open. Please Allied Mineral for this informative event and feel free to ask our experts!
AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement with Ceram Research Ltd, the international materials development company, for Ceram to develop its inorganic-based Controlled Release Technology in a feasibility study for the delivery of selected AstraZeneca compounds. “This technology, if successfully implemented, could provide AstraZeneca with an alternative formulation approach for delivering these compounds,” says Ceram CEO Tony Kinsella. CRT is just one of the development projects that Ceram’s team of materials experts is currently working on; others include multi-element substituted hydroxyapatite for orthopedic device coating applications. With Healthcare as one of its largest markets, the materials development business has ambitious plans to continue its growth in the US and Europe. Kinsella continues, “Our work is focused on commercial development of materials for industrial applications—exactly what a recent news item on the BBC said was lacking in Britain. We have, for example, recently helped Greatbatch Medical to gain FDA (510K) approval of a coating implant submission. We have also worked with GlaxoSmithKline in the proving of its Sensodyne toothpaste—a product that has seen substantial annual growth over the last decade, creating significant incomes for both GSK and the UK.”