A new piezoceramic material manufactured using nanotechnology improves ignition-system performance. The "nano-fiber-in-nano-pore" technology uses metallic nano-fibers to increase voltage output, power-output efficiency, and effective surface area of piezoelectric ceramics.
A piezo high-voltage power supply offers efficiency as high as 85-90%.
In ignition systems, the materials' enhanced electrical characteristics allow engineers to use the material three ways to improve ignition performance:
As a high-voltage transformer charging a high-voltage capacitor to deliver a single spark
As a high-voltage igniter delivering a series of high-voltage sparks in a frequency range from 0.1 Hz to 100 kHz
As a high-voltage discharger producing a stable and continuous discharge across a gap.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.