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May News in Brief
Published:  01 May, 2011

♦  Power Efficiency Corporation has been granted a US patent for an algorithm covering an open-loop method for controlling motors and optimising their energy use. The method targets lightly-loaded, single-phase motors in particular. PEC is developing a product that integrates its single-phase technology with a motor to create an electronically controlled “super efficient” motor.

♦  The Chinese environmental technology specialist BYD is supplying more than 300 all-electric buses to the city of Shenzen in time for the 2011 International Universiade Games in August. After the games, the buses will continue operating in the city to create the world’s largest all-electric bus fleet. They use in-wheel motors and iron-phosphate batteries for an urban range of more than 250km. The batteries can achieve a 50% charge in 30 minutes. Built-in solar panels offset the buses’ air-conditioning loads.

♦  B&R and Maplesoft have formed a partnership that brings together B&R’s Automation Studio programming and development software with Maplesoft’s MapleSim physical modelling software, allowing models to be transferred to B&R controllers in a few steps. The result is “hardware-in-the-loop simulation” that emulates a machine’s behaviour in real time, in a safe testing environment.

♦  Autodesk has announced a free 3D modelling application that allows users to explore and create precise 3D models. The Windows-based Autodesk 123D software can be downloaded from a Web site dedicated to 3D design and modelling which Autodesk intends to expand into “a destination for individuals to make their designs and share them with the world”.

♦  Oxford Yasa Motors, Westfield Sportscars and Polenza Technology have formed an alliance to develop “the world’s first fully race-prepared electric vehicle” called the iRacer, which they plan to enter in the EV Cup, the world’s first dedicated electric race series that starts at the UK`s Silverstone circuit in August. They are also developing an electric sportscar for sale in South East Asia, using a Sevcon controller and a 200kW direct-drive, twin-motor Yasa drive system.

♦  PI (Profibus and Profinet International) is offering a tool for easy testing of IRT (isochronous real-time) functions, thus allowing comprehensive testing of Profinet IO device functions. The Spirta tool, which can be integrated as a supplementary module in the existing Profinet tester, is available as a free download for PI members from its Web site.

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