Highlights from Interbike 2014

Efficiency

Panigale batch hits the chassis assembly area.

For motorcycle lovers, this is where dreams are made. Ducati's resident historian Livio Lodi takes us on a tour of the Ducati Factory near Bologna, Italy, talking us through the production of the 1199 Panigale superbike from start to finish, and showing us the techniques Ducati has used to vastly improve its efficiency, output and reliability.  Read More

Researchers are claiming a record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a new graphene-based sola...

In 2012, researchers from the University of Florida reported a record efficiency of 8.6 percent for a prototype solar cell consisting of a wafer of silicon coated with a layer of graphene doped with trifluoromethanesulfonyl-amide (TFSA). Now another team is claiming a new record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a graphene-based solar cell by ditching the silicon all together.  Read More

The FrogPad2, seen here in basic silver, will come with interchangeable covers

Anyone who uses the keypad of a smartphone is by definition a typist. A great many of those people, however, have never learned touch-typing. Therefore, they don't really need that low, wide QWERTY keyboard, do they? The folks at FrogPad realized that, when they first introduced their compact iFrog one-handed Bluetooth keyboard. Now they're about to release its successor, the FrogPad2.  Read More

Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to...

Earlier this year Volkswagen announced production of its 261 mpg hyper-efficient XL1, but with an estimated $145,000 price tag it’s unlikely the hybrid will become a common fixture on most streets. The company’s Twin Up! hybrid concept, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday, could however become a more reasonable option for the masses.  Read More

Spectrolab has achieved a new world record efficiency for a multi-junction solar cell (Pho...

Spectrolab has set a new solar cell efficiency record of 38.8 percent for a ground-based multi-junction solar cell. The new world record doesn't exactly smash the previous mark of 37.8 percent, which was also set by Spectrolab, but is welcome news in a field where every percentage point counts.  Read More

Aluminum studs on top of a PV panel could boost the efficiency of any solar cell design (I...

A team of researchers at Imperial College London has found that attaching an array of cylindrical aluminum studs on top of a solar cell can dramatically improve the amount of light trapped inside its absorbing layer, leading to electrical current gains as high as 22 percent.  Read More

STMicrosystem's new stereo digital audio amplifier

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good.  Read More

Research at UNSW increases the conversion efficiency of solar cells made using lower-cost,...

While we wait for affordable multi-junction solar cells that are pushing past the 40 percent conversion efficiency mark to make it out of the lab and onto our roofs, we have to make do with standard commercial silicon cells that currently max out at around 19 percent. A team from the University of New South Wales in Australia has found a way to improve the quality of low-grade silicon, enabling higher efficiency solar cells to be produced from cheaper, low-grade silicon.  Read More

New VLC rolling-chassis on display at The Henry Ford Museum

The team at Edison2 has not been idle since winning the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize with its Very Light Car (VLC) back in 2010. An electric version of the VLC was unveiled in 2011 and this month saw the new architecture that will form the basis of the company's consumer prototype unveiled at the The Henry Ford museum.  Read More

Spectrolab has achieved a record 37.8 percent efficiency with a new multi-junction solar c...

Spectrolab, a Boeing subsidiary known for the manufacture of solar cells for satellites and spacecraft, has in recent years turned its attention to terrestrial solar cells to tap into the expanding alternative energy market. Now the California-based company has claimed a new solar cell efficiency record of 37.8 percent for a ground-based multi-junction cell without solar concentration.  Read More

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