U.S. oil and natural gas proved reserves decrease in 2015 due to lower prices

 

U.S. crude oil proved reserves declined 4.7 billion barrels (11.8%) from their year-end 2014 level to 35.2 billion barrels at year-end 2015, according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2015, released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. natural gas proved reserves decreased 64.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), a 16.6% decline, reducing the U.S. total to 324.3 Tcf at year-end 2015.

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Steel Alloys: The Year in Review For Vanadium, Chromium And Molybdenum

 

It was a mixed year for commodities in 2016. Overarching trends included debt reduction by the major public mining companies, adjustment to China’s slowing economy, and market reactions to the growing public sentiment against ‘business as usual’ – the European referendum vote and the presidential election in the USA.

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PTV Group Receives Partner Innovation Award at GE’s Minds + Machines 2016

PTV Group Receives Partner Innovation Award at GE’s Minds + Machines 2016

Karlsruhe, Germany/Arlington, Virginia – December 8, 2016 – PTV Group, a technology company that plans and optimizes everything that moves people and goods worldwide, was given the highly esteemed “Current, powered by GE Partner Innovation Award” at GE’s fifth annual Minds + Machines 2016 event.

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3D solutions to energy savings in silicon power transistor

Figure.

Trench gate IGBT schematic indicating the mesa width (S), gate length (Lg), and the oxide thickness in the MOSFET (tox), cell pitch (W), and the trench depth (DT).

 

(Tokyo, 6 December) Tokyo Tech researchers demonstrate operation energy-savings in a low price silicon power transistor structure by scaling down in all three dimensions.

In electronics, lower power consumption leads to operation cost savings, environmental benefits and the convenience advantages from longer running devices. While progress in energy efficiencies has been reported with alternative materials such as SiC and GaN, energy-savings in the standard inexpensive and widely used silicon devices are still keenly sought. K Tsutsui at Tokyo Institute of Technology and colleagues in Japan have now shown that by scaling down size parameters in all three dimensions their device they can achieve significant energy savings.

Tsutsui and colleagues studied silicon insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), a fast-operating switch that features in a number of every day appliances. While the efficiency of IGBTs is good, reducing the ON resistance, or the voltage from collector to emitter required for saturation (Vce(sat)), could help increase the energy efficiency of these devices further.

Previous investigations have highlighted that increases in the “injection enhancement (IE) effect”, which give rise to more charge carriers, leads to a reduction in Vce(sat). Although this has been achieved by reducing the mesa width in the device structure, the mesa resistance was thereby increased as well. Reducing the mesa height could help counter the increased resistance but is prone to impeding the (IE) effect. Instead the researchers reduced the mesa width, gate length, and the oxide thickness in the MOSFET to increase the IE effect and so reduce Vce(sat) from 1.70 to 1.26 V. With these alterations the researchers also used a reduced gate voltage, which has advantages for CMOS integration.

They conclude, “It was experimentally confirmed for the first time that significant Vce(sat) reduction can be achieved by scaling the IGBT both in the lateral and vertical dimensions with a decrease in the gate voltage.”

Background

Insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs)

These are three terminal devices used as switches or rectifiers. With simple gate-drive characteristics and high-current and low-saturation-voltage capabilities they combine the benefits of two other types of transistors – metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) and bipolar transistors.

3D scaling of IGBTs

The researchers reduced the mesa width, gate length, and the oxide thickness in the MOSFET by a factor of 1/k, and compared devices with values of 1 and 3 for k. Because the fabrication of narrow mesas can cause problems they also reduced the trench depth by 1/k. Although this has a slightly negative effect on the IE effect, it has considerable benefits for fabrication ease and cost and the dependence of (Vce(sat)) on the trench depth was deemed to be small. The gate voltage was also decreased by a factor of 1/k, while the cell pitch was maintained at 16 ?m.

Reference

K. Kakushima1, T. Hoshii1, K. Tsutsui1, A. Nakajima2, S. Nishizawa2, H. Wakabayashi1, I. Muneta1, K. Sato3, T. Matsudai4, W. Saito4, T. Saraya5, K. Itou5, M. Fukui5, S. Suzuki5, M. Kobayashi5, T. Takakura5, T. Hiramoto5, A. Ogura6, Y. Numasawa6, I. Omura7, H. Ohashi1, and H. Iwai1, Experimental verification of a 3D scaling principle for low Vce(sat) IGBT,  Technical Digest of IEDM2016, Session 10.6, (2016),   http://ieee-iedm.org/

 

1.      Tokyo Inst. of Technology, Yokohama, Japan

2.      Nat. Inst. Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan

3.      Mitusbishi Electric, Fukuoka, Japan

4.      Toshiba Corp., Tokyo, Japan

5.      The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

6.      Meiji University, Kawasaki, Japan

7.   Kyushu Inst. of Technology, Kitakyushu, Japan

*corresponding author e-mail ktsutsui@ep.titech.ac.jp

Figure.

Trench gate IGBT schematic indicating the mesa width (S), gate length (Lg), and the oxide thickness in the MOSFET (tox), cell pitch (W), and the trench depth (DT).

 

ENGINEERS BEGIN NEXT PHASE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGIES TRIALS IN FLYING TESTBED

 

As part of collaborative efforts across the UK to assess how autonomous air vehicles could be integrated in UK airspace, scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have begun another tranche of ground-breaking unmanned aircraft technology trials using a Jetstream 31 as a ‘flying testbed’ which flies itself whilst having pilots on board who could take control at any time. The trials are being conducted from the Company’s military aircraft engineering and manufacturing facility in Warton, Lancashire, UK.

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