Power Points

- December 11, 2012

Power Points looks at perspectives and issues related to power sourcing, distribution, consumption, and dissipation, ranging from microwatts to megawatts, and DC to kHz. We'll discuss supply design, topology, system architectures, test, protection, use, and even abuse with an emphasis on points which are relevant, interesting, and thought-provoking to the design engineer.

Bill Schweber is a degreed EE who has designed, used, and burned out his share of supplies including LDOs and switchers, and spanning low- and high-power units. Besides power issues, he is interested in analog design, signal integrity, real world I/O, the history of science and engineering, and the satisfaction of problem solving constrained by design tradeoffs.

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Wearables benefit from flexible TEG materials

  • 01.05.2018

Energy harvesting via a TEG driven by body heat is a good idea, but practical issues are hindering its use. A new materials approach may change that situation. Read More...

Is Tesla’s battery-capacity deal the new standard?

  • 12.04.2017

“Pay for more power” may be a reasonable way to establish realized battery capacity, but it can also have some serious downsides. Read More...

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They're still selling incandescent flashlights?

  • 10.02.2017

The typical consumer flashlight now has an ANSI/NEMA standard for defining performance across various parameters, so you can compare units with different light sources. Read More...

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Energy-storage options: abundant alternatives and tricky tradeoffs

  • 08.17.2017

Energy storage is a complementary function to its generation, and getting both to be well-matched in a given application is not easy. Read More...

Catenary feed seems like it can’t possibly work, yet it does

  • 07.18.2017

The dilemma is that I know the high-power catenary system works, yet my “gut” tells me such a high-speed sliding-contact carrying hundreds of amps can’t really work well. Read More...

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Merging power and data: good, bad, or both?

  • 04.25.2017

Putting significant power onto an interconnect system originally intended for data is doable but brings both technical challenges and limitations which may be too difficult to overcome. Read More...

(5)

Batteries safe for use in humans and fish

  • 02.24.2017

There are niche needs and opportunities for highly non-standard power cells, especially for use in living creatures that require biocompatible batteries. Read More...

Is make or buy still a choice for AC/DC supplies?

  • 02.02.2017

The classic make-versus-buy decision for line-operated external supplies is now heavily tilted toward buy due to the many regulatory demands and constraints on supply performance. Read More...

Proprietary AC/DC adapters: Good idea or nasty trick?

  • 12.19.2016

Those simple, often interchangeable AC/DC adapters are now neither in some cases; what's the impact on the end-user? Read More...

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Get ready for even smaller batteries

  • 10.25.2016

Button and coin cells are old news as pin cells power the latest tiny consumer products. Read More...

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