Will Heightened Alternative Energy Interests Affect the Electronic Test and Measurement Equipment Marketplace?

U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign promise to develop alternative energy sources includes a goal of 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars – cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon – on the road by 2015 and ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, with a 25 percent goal by 2025. Solar, wind and fuel cell systems consumed an estimated $800 million in semiconductors in 2008, a figure that could rise to nearly $2 billion by 2012, according to a report from The Information Network. Some of the anticipated growth will come as the result of the recently passed economic stimulus package that calls for spending approximately $43 billion on alternative energy including about $4.3 billion on smart electric grids.

Hybrid cars, Semiconductors, Smart electric Grids, Photovoltaics all require electronic test and measurement equipment during development, production, deployment and maintenance. This will create additional demand for items such as Power Quality Analyzers, Oscilloscopes, Multi-meters, DC Power Sources and DC Loads, Solar Array Simulators, ESD Simulators, Spectrum Analyzers and various other electronic testing devices.

Another trend that complements the alternate energy industry is the design of T&M equipment that is more energy efficient. Some Test and measurement manufacturers are taking a greener approach to their products.An example is the Kikusui PLZ6000R a DC electronic load that regenerates load power to the AC line. Regular electronic loads consume load power by having semiconductor devices convert it into heat. By contrast, the PLZ6000R converts load power into reusable electric power, rather than converting it into heat as is typically done, and feeds this power to the AC line, thereby substantially reducing the amount of waste energy. The PLZ6000R is an environment-friendly electronic load that can contribute significantly to energy saving efforts.

Other examples are the VSP series DC power supplies from B&K Precision, like the VSP2050, these VSP Power Supplies achieve an energy conversion efficiency of 80%.

Protek power supplies include DC sources for Lab, Service, Industrial, or Educational applications and they are designed with an energy saving circuit for cooler, more reliable and efficient operation at all output levels.

Hioki’s Clamp on Power HiTester, a clamp-style power meter, received “Excellent Product Award” from Energy Conservation Center and “Excellent Energy- Saving Product Award” from the Japan Machinery Federation.

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Mike is a finance industry executive with expertise in test, IT and avionics equipment acquisition, resale, residual valuation, leasing, renting and consignment.
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