It consists of two peizo-electric elements, separated by an elastomer. A sinusoidal voltage is delivered to the peizo-electric elements. The elastomer forms an orifice that allows a fluid to enter and exit the device as the motion of the piezo-electric elements expands and contracts the volume between them. The result is a strong jet of fluid exiting the orifice – creating vortices that entrain additional fluid downstream of the device. The jet of fluid is used to help remove heat from electronic systems, such as Avionics boxes. The result is better Avionics computing.
The jets were originally developed at GE Global Research as way to control the flow around various aerodynamic structures, thus improving the aero performance. The physics and form factor of the fluidic device appeared to be advantageous to thermal management of electronics. Initial testing confirmed the hypothesis. Since that time, DCJs have been shown to improve the performance of LED lighting, laptop computers, and other consumer electronics.
Another area of impact is in aerospace, where the capability of Avionics computing is limited by the ability to remove heat from the electrical devices. The highest thermal resistance for most Avionics systems is convection of heat from the outside of the chassis to the ambient environment. With DCJs, the convection thermal resistance can be reduced by a factor of 3 or more. There are three potential benefits:
- More computing capability – can operate more processors or increase processor speed
- Better device reliability – by operating at a lower device temperature
- Use in harsher environments – can operate in a higher ambient temperature
The designer can use the increased thermal capability to concentrate on one of these benefits, or spread it out to two or three – depending on the application requirements.
The GE team has designed ruggedized packaging and a ruggedized electronic driver for Avionics applications. In the coming year the team will complete reliability demonstration testing and execute the integration of DCJ’s into some GE Avionics products.
GE is commercializing DCJ technology by licensing it to qualified manufacturers in the thermal management industry. For more information on licensing DCJ or utilizing it in your next generation products, contact GE Idea Works.
Check out the video below by Engineering TV to learn more about how this technology can be used in avionics.
Christine Furstoss, Technology Director for Manufacturing and Materials Technologies was interviewed on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West” by Emily Chang. The discussion centered around using 3D print technology for making jet engine parts. Check out the interview below or click here to view it via Bloomberg.com
I am so excited to be back this year to share another way GE researchers are taking part in the holiday cheer.
In the past, we’ve utilized GE technology to redesign Santa’s Sleigh and have asked our additive manufacturing researchers to design and print 3D printed Christmas tree ornaments.
With the craze around 3D printing this year, GE has decided to make today, December 3 (or D3) the first ever 3D printing day. GE engineers believe that working together with other innovators around the world will accelerate the growth of this emerging industry. So, instead of working solo (minus the help of us elves) to celebrate technology this holiday season, GE has teamed up with GRABCAD, Makerbot, 3D Systems, Autodesk, celebrities and more to celebrate this revolutionary technology that is changing the way we manufacture.
So what is 3D Printing Day all about?
It’s a way to celebrate 3D printing within the twitter sphere, giving away 3D printed gifts designed by celebrities from Boston Red Sox pitcher, Craig Breslow to filmmaker David O’Reilly. To participate in today’s fun, all you have to do select a gift prototype on the 3D Printing Day website and tweet your selected gift wish including the hashtag, #3DPrintMyGift. But wait! Before you begin tweeting, read on to see which engineers from the GE Research labs are participating in 3D Printing Day so you can be sure to go for a gift designed by the smartest celebs around.
Meet the GE 3D Printing Day Team
Juan Pablo Cilia, our manufacturing engineer was paired with Craig Breslow (otherwise known as the smartest man in baseball) and designed a baseball charm, which is the logo of his charity, Strike 3 Foundation.
Our Edison Engineer Justin Gambone teamed up with the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and designed a 3D printed replica of the early 20th century “Serpent and Fruit” match case shown below. GE Engineer Mark Cheverton art directed the awesome penholder pictured below. You can bet we plan on mounting this to the sleigh, so Santa can check off his list (and check it twice) in style!
Finally, GE researchers worked with GRABCAD to launch a design contest and crowdsource a new 3D design for Santa’s Sleigh. This team of 3D experts reviewed more than 50 entries and selected the winning design (featured below), which will be turned into an ornament and given out to 200 lucky people today on twitter! Will you be one of them?
The GE Research team had a blast working on these designs and will be helping out in New York City all day long today to bring these gifts to life. I am so glad that the North Pole now has WIFI… you can bet I’ll be tweeting to see if @generalelectric will #3DPrintMyGift! Don’t forget to check out the 3D Printing Day site to join in!
Thomas the Elf
Every so often, an opportunity arises that forces you to pause and reflect. For me, this opportunity most recently was at the September 2013 National Academy of Engineers Frontiers of Engineering (NAE FOE) Symposium hosted by DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. This forum invites technologists from across the US from industry, government, and academia to engage on four main topics. This year’s group included 45% from academia, 45% from industry, and 10% from government. The technical program covered four topics: Cognitive Manufacturing; Designing & Analyzing Societal Networks; Energy; and Flexible Electronics. Although I could blog on any one of these technical topics, I thought it would be of interest to share my key reflections from attending this unique event.
Reflection #1: Actively engage with the brilliant minds around you, no matter where they sit on the planet.
NAE FOE brought together world-class experts in multiple disciplines to tackle hard problems. For those who work at GE Global Research, this sounds very familiar. The symposium reiterated for me the power and beauty of intellectual diversity that we enjoy each day at GE Global Research. However, this world-class resource (GE Global Research) doesn’t just fall into your lap because you come to work. The power of GE Global Research avails itself to you when you actively engage with the community around you. This happens when you leave your desk, walk down the hall or across campus, or reach out virtually around the globe, and engage with a colleague from a different technical background. It requires effort – it won’t happen unless you make it happen. The beauty of intellectual diversity is the relationships that you craft along the way as you tackle the world’s toughest challenges.
Reflection #2: You can’t be afraid to get dirty in technology.
Dr. Steve Skerlos, of University of Michigan, had this great quote during the Symposium: “You have to fully immerse yourself in a technology and get dirty before you can clean it up.” As I look back on my own career at GE Global Research, the times that I’ve been able to have the greatest impact for the Company is when I dove in head first and wrestled, wrangled, and grappled with a given technology and product line. You have to learn the product inside and out, including the system in which the product operates, to make the biggest impact. If you want to make a big splash, then you can’t be afraid to get dirty in technology.
Reflection #3: The common denominator for success is passion.
I got to hear at least 12 different speakers from across academia, industry, and government in the 4 topic areas mentioned in my introduction. The speakers came from various technical backgrounds and from a large spectrum on experience. Some spoke on shaping policy, while others spoke on shaping technology and products. But the one common denominator for all speakers was passion. When you are passionate about the technology and products you are working on, you are driven to find solutions. The most successful people I’ve met at GE have passion intertwined with their technical DNA. They take an idea, cultivate it, champion it, fight for it, and turn it into a differentiating technology for the Company. So my advice to early career technologists? Embrace the challenges you face. Find your passion. And in the end, let your actions and success speak for you that you made it your technology.
Follow me on Twitter at @EricRuggieroGE!
As children, many of us grow up wanting to make some sort of lasting positive impact on society. Often times, even as professional scientists and researchers, we get frustrated thinking that developing meaningful technology should is super complex and requires a world-renowned expert in a given area.
I recently came across this article in the BBC about a mechanic from Brazil who is revolutionizing lighting for the less fortunate around the world. His home-inspired idea was to use roof-mounted water bottles filled with a little bleach to allow electricity-free lighting during the day. This is going to be in over a million homes around the world next year – changing lives and improving the quality of life, with not such a complex idea.
I’m Jigar Shah and I am in the Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP) at GE Global Research. As part of our program, we had to come up with a project relevant to the work we’re doing across the company to self-manage over a 6-month period, called B-course. Given this unique opportunity to work on just about anything, I wanted to make the most of this to do something with wide impact that would improve quality of life, just like that mechanic from Brazil.
Last year, my parent’s 50-gallon water heater stopped working prematurely. Despite the presence of newer more efficient technologies, my parents did what most people would do and immediately called the plumber and purchased another 50-gallon water heater, much to my objections.
My Parent’s water heater. The dial at the bottom keeps it at a constant temperature 24/7, when consumption actually varies.
After a little digging, I found that hot water heating is the second largest component of residential energy consumption behind air heating and cooling. It’s the second highest tab we pick up on our energy bills when there are tons of efficient water heating technologies out there that have much lower operational costs.
Unfortunately, these efficient water heating technologies often involve relatively high upfront installation costs or infrastructure modifications which may not be affordable or feasible, especially in an emergency replacement like in my parent’s situation. This makes tank-based water heaters the de-facto standard.
Thinking about how tank-based water heaters worked, I found it just silly that they maintain the same temperature all the time, even when we’re not using hot water. How wasteful!
I decided this wasn’t quite right. I focused my project on improving the steep operational costs for residential water heating by taking into account user hot water consumption and cost to ensure wide adoption.
There was a bit of a hurdle, though. Given my controls engineering background, I knew relatively nothing about water heaters. It turns out that a class on thermodynamics that I took in the Edison program gave me the ability to come up to speed quickly and determine an approach. This was a bit ironic since I walked out of that first class naively thinking I would never encounter thermodynamics again!
Very shortly after, my colleagues and manager introduced me to technology leaders across the research center that supported the project and I reached out to a team at GE Home and Business Solutions – Appliances that informed me something similar to my initial idea already existed. Working together, we came up with an innovative alternative that could have a lasting impact and made my project a success.
I had the opportunity to present my project’s innovation to our leaders and generate some excitement. I’m working hard to patent the technology and working with teams across GE to move it towards actual product implementation.
The moral of the story: If something around you doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it. Challenge it and try to come up with something better, even if you don’t have expertise in that area.
I’ll end my blog post with my favorite tagline that summarizes much of the work we do at GE Global Research to make a difference in the world we live in: GE Imagination at Work.
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