Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Forign tech investors

I have been reading the articles that show up on the S.A.R.T.A. website. For those who are not familiar, this is the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance. The big draw for me is the links to articles that give me a heads up on what is going on with the tech companies in the greater Sacramento area.

This is really helpful for me right now as I am looking for a job in the tech industry as an Electronic Engineering Technologist. Again, for those who don't know what that is, an EET kinda like a hybrid class between an electronics engineer and an electronics tech. I have a bachelors degree accredited by the same group that accredits classical engineering programs (EAC of ABET) but from a different committee within the group (TAC of ABET). Basically the focus is less on the theoretical and more on practical applications.

What I am noticing from a few of the articles is that there is a trend in local companies being bought by foreign investors. From this article we see that Solar Power Inc. is in the process of being bought out by a Chinese company, and from this article we see that Renesas, aka N.E.C., has sold it's manufacturing plant to a German company. Also it might be of interest to mention SMA, which is a German solar energy company that has its USA branch office in the local region.

I hope that all this foreign money turns into a nice healthy job market for me. I can't really see any downsides from this in the near future. It may be of note to mention that all this is happening in Roseville. Is Roseville going to be an important player in a future world, high tech, economy? All this may mean something important, but it would take someone with business experience to draw any meaningful conclusions.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Solar Converters are the new Plastics.

I have been courting this company, or at least trying to court this company that does work in green energy. Their field is specifically green energy. The products that they make are Photovoltaic Inverters. Basically that is a fancy term that means they make the things that take the electricity from the solar cells and then turns it into the good stuff that your wall spits out.

I really want to get in on the engineering side, but it looks like I am going to have to work my way up through the company from near the bottom. It seems the only entry level position is in customer service, but it looks like I could go lateral then vertical, if you know what I mean, and somehow come out on top as an engineer in 2 years or less. Sounds like an okay time frame to me.

Their devices play a large part in the energy efficiency of a solar power system. It does not matter how much energy you are getting from the solar panels, if there is a large loss in the system during power conversion then you aren’t as energy efficient as possible. This may not seem like a big deal, as you have a basically unlimited supply of energy from the sun. The benefit of having a most efficient power conversion ( I have heard of some power converters operating in the 95% efficient range) is that your solar panels can be smaller and therefore cheaper and able to fit on smaller roofs. I know that the panels themselves usually get all the press, but it is unfair to look at them as being the single most important part of the system.

So, you have stuck with me this long; I’ll let you in on the name of the company, SMA Solar Technology. They come from Germany. I guess America is a prime market for something.

Friday, April 1, 2011

LED lighting is the future!!

All joking aside about LEDs being the future, there really is a huge future in learning about LED lighting technology. Specifically, in my case as an electronics engineer. This may seen a little boring(it may get repetitive), but it could be the basis for a good small business. It would specialize in custom LED based lighting solutions. This could be for either architectural or entertainment lighting.

Right now I am researching different ways of efficiently driving(powering) LEDs. I found this lighting app note from Cree that looks like it might be useful.