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August News in Brief

01 August, 2011

♦  Protean Electric, a motor developer based in Surrey, UK, has teamed up with the Millbrook vehicle testing ground to demonstrate how a standard diesel delivery can be turned into a hybrid electric vehicle that uses 65% less fuel. They have retrofitted the rear wheels of a Vauxhall Vivaro van with two in-wheel motors and added a 21kWh battery pack to give a battery-only range of 90km. The motors, with built-in electronics, deliver up to 1.65kNm peak (1kNm continuous) of torque assist, and add regenerative braking. In hybrid mode, the van has achieved 114 miles per gallon.

♦  The global market for “energy harvesters” – devices that capture ambient energy and convert it into electricity to power items such as wireless sensors – will grow from around $700m this year to $4.4bn by 2021, predicts the market analyst, IDTechEx. The market will be split between four main technologies – solar cells, electrodynamos, piezoelectrics and thermoelectrics. In 2011, 1.6 million harvesters, worth $13.75m, will be used to power wireless sensors. But a lack of standards for wireless sensing is holding back the market, says IDTechEx.

♦  US-based Roboteq has announced “the world’s first dual-channel, high-current brushless motor controller”. The “intelligent” HBL2350 device can drive two brushless DC motors up to 75A each at up to 50V. It incorporates a Basic language interpreter capable of executing more than 50,000 instructions per second, avoiding the need for a PLC. Potential uses include automatic guided vehicles and small electric vehicles.

♦  The compressor manufacturer Boge is equipping all of its screw compressors, and many of its piston compressors, with IE3 premium efficiency motors as standard. From January 2015, these motors will be mandatory on all compressors sold in the EU.

♦  AutoDesk has announced three AutoCad products designed to run on the new Apple Mac OSX Lion operating system. It says that reaction to its first Mac product, AutoCad for Mac, released last year, has been “overwhelmingly positive”. It has now added 2012 Mac versions of AutoCad LT and the free AutoCad WS, which provides basic tools for viewing, editing and sharing designs. This will allow users to collaborate on designs across different platforms – desktop, mobile and Web.

♦  US-based Bison Gear has announced an IP69K-rated stainless-steel gearmotor for environments exposed to high-pressure, high-temperature water sprays. All of the SaniMotor’s electrical components are encapsulated in epoxy resin, allowing use up to 40°C. There are two frame sizes (34F and 49F) and seven gear ratios, for output speeds from 8–345 rpm, and torque ratings from 0.8–56.5Nm.

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