Ocean Optics Offers Tools for Improved Use of Photovoltaics

Spectrometer pioneer’s offerings ideal for monitoring solar panel manufacture and panel operating conditions

Now available from Ocean Optics is a complete line of optical-sensing systems and components that addresses the needs of the growing market for photovoltaic solar cells – from characterization of the thin films comprising such cells to measurement of the spectral output of solar simulators.

Ocean Optics Optical Sensing Tools for the Improved Use of Photovoltaics

Ocean Optics Optical Sensing Tools for the Improved Use of Photovoltaics

Photo: http://halmapr.com/oo/photovoltaics.jpg (803 KB)

Ocean Optics is the creator of the world’s first miniature fibre optic spectrometer. Its extensive line of low-cost, small-footprint modular spectrometers and accessories can be configured for millions of different UV-Vis-NIR applications. In particular, users can mix and match spectrometers and accessories to monitor photovoltaic thin films used in the manufacture and assembly of solar panels and to measure the spectral output of both the sun and radiant sources such as solar simulators.

For solar cell production, Ocean Optics spectrometers can be configured for thin film thickness measurement and endpoint detection – important quality control parameters that, if managed well, can help manufacturers reduce waste, eliminate off-specification product and increase yield.  For many manufacturers, small savings or improvements in processes can drive the difference between being successful versus merely surviving in such a competitive market.

Ocean Optics spectrometers, including the company’s flagship USB4000-series spectrometers and the new Jaz modular sensing suite (www.thejazclub.com), are also useful for monitoring the absolute and relative spectral irradiance of both the sun and artificial sunlight sources such as solar simulators. With the former, measurement of solar characteristics – the sun’s spectral output at various wavelengths and under varying conditions – can help solar system installers “tune” (or position) photovoltaic panels most effectively. With solar simulators, the value is in monitoring how reliably the simulators mimic the sun’s light in various environments. Indeed, the promise of simulators is in making it possible to test solar panels and other components inexpensively, so accurate output of such simulators is critical.

Fully integrated Ocean Optics spectrometer systems for most systems designed to measure photovoltaic thin films or the spectral output of solar simulators are available for well under $10,000. Applications Scientists are available for consultation on the optimum setup for each application.

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Labsphere Introduces Industry First Forward Flux Lamp Standards for Light Measurement System Calibration

The most accurate NIST-traceable calibration available

Manufacturers of LEDs, light fixtures and displays can now calibrate their spectral or luminous flux measurement systems quickly and accurately with Forward Flux Lamp Standards from Labsphere.  This entirely new technology, available only from Labsphere, provides an exceptional artifact for maintaining and verifying 2 integrating sphere spectrometer calibration with a highly reliable standard calibrated directly to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lumen.

Labsphere Introduces Forward Flux Lamp Standards for Light Measurement System Calibration

Labsphere Introduces Forward Flux Lamp Standards for Light Measurement System Calibration

Photo:  http://halmapr.com/labsphere/ffs.jpg (658 KB)

Available in 400 and 1000 lumen models, Forward Flux Lamp Standards can be used to calibrate integrating sphere spectrometers for total forward spectral radiant flux responsivity from 350 nm to 1050 nm.  The lamp standards are designed to meet the recommended practices of the Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) LM-79 for 2 measurements of solid state lighting.

Each lamp standard is carefully seasoned, screened, and calibrated.  All lamp standards are first seasoned for 1% of their rated life, and then screened for stability and repeatable performance, before transferring the lumen directly from a NIST lumen reference.  The result is an accurate and reliable system calibration with a lamp standard distribution similar to the light sources being tested.

Lamp standards include a calibration certificate and calibration data on CD-ROM.  Labsphere is an ISO 9001: 2000 Certified company.

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Laboratory Fluid Handling Specialist Diba Acquires Omnifit

Versatile, chemically resistant components complement Diba’s fluid handling products

Diba Industries (www.dibaind.com), a subsidiary of Halma p.l.c. (www.halma.com), has acquired the Omnifit brand of products from sister Halma company Bio-Chem Fluidics. The Omnifit portfolio of fittings and connectors, bottle caps, and chromatography columns are a natural fit with Diba’s state-of-the-art fluid handling products, used in in-vitro diagnostic, medical, and scientific equipment.

Laboratory Fluid Handling Specialist Diba Acquires Omnifit

Laboratory Fluid Handling Specialist Diba Acquires Omnifit

Photo: http://halmapr.com/diba/omnifit.jpg (300 KB)

Diba is the only company with the design expertise to provide solutions over an entire system’s fluid path. A deep understanding of complex fluid movement results in custom assemblies with optimal wash characteristics, minimal carry-over and increased system throughput. Diba and Omnifit products are employed as critical components by analytical and industrial instrument manufacturers in applications including: chromatography, chemical research, biotechnology, hematology and other in-vitro analysis, pharmaceutical analytical research, industrial quality testing, printing and water/environmental monitoring.

“We work closely with our customers and vendors using both Diba proprietary technologies, like our Click-N-Seal torque limiting fittings, and industry proven parts to design, manufacture, and deliver optimal fluid path assemblies and products for each application,” said Diba President Todd Burt.  “The Omnifit acquisition gives us better access to components which have a strong reputation in the marketplace for their versatility, chemical resistance, and ease-of-use.”

The Cambridge, UK-based Omnifit will become Diba Industries, Ltd., a subsidiary of Diba Industries, Inc., while the products will retain the Omnifit brand name.  The new Omnifit website can be found at www.omnifit.com . Inquiries for either product line may be directed to sales@dibaind.com .

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Riester Introduces new E.N.T. Endoscopes to the Indian Market

Range includes sinuscopes, otoscopes, camera and image processing systems

German diagnostic instrument specialist Riester has launched a new range of rigid and flexible ENT (ear, nose and throat) endoscopes and accompanying accessories to the Indian market. The products were designed to meet the demands of ENT specialists and include sinuscopes, otoscopes, naso-pharyngoscopes, light sources and a camera and image processing system.

Riester Introduces new E.N.T. Endoscopes to the Indian Market

Riester Introduces new E.N.T. Endoscopes to the Indian Market

Photo: http://halmapr.com/riester/endoscopes.jpg (631 KB)

Endoscope range
Sinuscopes are available in 2.7mm and 4.0mm diameter and feature high performance fibre optics to enable high resolution images that are HD ready. Options include 0° or 30° viewing direction with a standard or wide viewing angle. Xenon or LED illumination ensures excellent image clarity for improved examination.

The otoscopes for ear diagnosis also feature high performance optics and xenon or LED illumination, and their small dimensions ensure ease of use and patient comfort. The otoscopes are available with a 2.7mm diameter, 0° viewing direction and a wide angle view.

Flexible naso-pharyngoscopes have also been developed with high precision mechanical components in a sturdy casing. Fibre optic bundles facilitate high quality images at 10 mega pixels. Their working length is 300mm with a bendable distal end of 25mm and a viewing angle of 90°.

The standard laryngo-pharyngoscope has significant depth of focus and panoramic view whereas the tele-laryngo-pharyngoscope offers two different magnifications, a panoramic and detailed view, and an additional integrated air channel to avoid condensation.

Alternative handles for the endoscopes are available with lithium-ion and lithium batteries, making the instruments fully portable. Combining a long lasting lithium-ion battery with energy efficient LED technology, it offers sustained high-power performance and significant cost savings.

Camera System
The ri-cam is a compact, user friendly 1CCD camera with integrated electronics that produces excellent image quality. The ergonomic head and TV adapter have been designed to be used with sterile sheaths and gloves. Image data is transferred to the ri-capture smartbox that can be connected to a pc to process the image. Used in conjunction with the ri-view software, images can be seen live and stored as single images. The ri-cam, ri-capture and ri-view together create an all-in one digital image processing system and ENT specialists have the choice of either viewing images via a video monitor or laptop.

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New Multi-Head Beam Detector from Fire Fighting Enterprises Offers Wide-Area Fire Protection

Fire Fighting Enterprises (FFE) has developed the technology to allow multiple Fireray 5000 optical beam smoke detector heads to operate from one single control unit. The Fireray 5000 Multi-Head has up to 4 beam transceivers connected to, and managed by, one low-level system controller. This offers savings in the costs on time, power, installation, wiring, and maintenance. Multiple detector heads mean that one system can detect smoke over an even larger area, and the heads can be positioned for total coverage of unorthodox indoor spaces.

New Multi Head Beam Detector from Fire Fighting Enterprises Offers Wide-Area Fire Protection

New Multi Head Beam Detector from Fire Fighting Enterprises Offers Wide-Area Fire Protection

Photo: http://halmapr.com/ffe/ffe0609multihead.jpg (191 KB)

The Fireray 5000 is already at the forefront of optical beam detection technology, with a motorised auto-aligning beam and automatic gain compensation features. During installation, the beam head will automatically adjust its aim to point directly at the reflective prism plate, with a visible laser aiding initial setup. Over time, the features will ensure that the beam stays on target and that it retains the correct signal sensitivity – counteracting against the effects of building shift, and the buildup of dust and dirt.

Each detector head can be independently configured from the single system controller to operate at a distance from 8m to 100m, with the capability for separate alarm threshold conditions (sensitivity and time) for each one. The controller then has one common set of fire and fault relays that apply to all attached heads for simplicity when communicating with a fire panel. The Multi Head Fireray 5000 has already gained worldwide approvals including LPCB, CPD, UL*. A comprehensive datasheet for the product, as well as the full list of worldwide approvals and certificates, can be found on the new FFE website at www.ffeuk.com .

* Relating to UK, Europe and USA respectively.

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Ocean Optics’ ALICE Spectrometer is part of NASA LCROSS Mission that Confirmed Water on the Moon

Spectrographic data taken from an Ocean Optics (www.oceanoptics.com) spectrometer has helped NASA confirm the presence of water ice on the moon. The spectrometer, custom re-engineered for space duty by Aurora Design & Technology (www.AuroraDesignTech.com) and dubbed “ALICE,” was part of the scientific payload on NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission.

Ocean Optics' ALICE Spectrometer is part of NASA LCROSS Mission that Confirmed Water on the Moon

Ocean Optics' ALICE Spectrometer is part of NASA LCROSS Mission that Confirmed Water on the Moon

Photo: http://halmapr.com/oo/alice.jpg (750 KB)

The LCROSS shepherding spacecraft (S-S/C) carrying ALICE made spectroscopic measurement of the permanently shadowed crater Cabeus, near the lunar south pole, as the spacecraft’s Centaur upper rocket stage impacted the floor of Cabeus. The instruments on board the S-S/C monitored the emission caused by the Centaur impact, as well as the resulting two-part debris plume created by the impact.

NASA scientists announced on November 13 that the signature of water was seen in both near-infrared and ultraviolet spectroscopic measurements taken during the mission. Ocean Optics’ ALICE provided the ultraviolet measurements, confirming the findings of the near-infrared spectroscopic measurements. From the data gathered, NASA scientists were able to estimate that roughly 220 pounds of water were found by the instruments in the material excavated from the 20-30 metre wide crater form by the Centaur impact. It is hoped that water on the moon could set the stage for further space exploration by providing drinking water or even rocket fuel derived from its hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

Ocean Optics’ highly-sensitive QE65000 Spectrometer was adapted to withstand the rigors of space – extreme temperature ranges, radiation, shock and vibration. With a wavelength range of 270-650 nm and an optical resolution of less than 1.0 nm, ALICE was designed to identify, with a high degree of accuracy, ionized water (visible at 619 nm), OH radicals (visible at 308 nm) and other organic molecules containing carbon. Though the measurements were made from the ejecta reflecting sunlight scattered off of the crater walls, the unit’s back-thinned detector was able to make the most of the available light.

ALICE was developed in partnership with Aurora Design & Technology, which played a significant role in the mission, developing the optics that collected light from the impact and resulting ejecta plume for the mission. Aurora’s Dr. Dave Landis was the only private sector member of the LCROSS Science Team. The company specializes in providing low-cost modifications of COTS instrumentation for use in the aerospace industry as well as other demanding physical environments.

Ocean Optics and Aurora Design & Technology have collaborated on other NASA space projects, including the ChemCam Mars mission. A unit designed around Ocean Optics’ HR-Series spectrometers will be part of the mission to study rock and soil composition on the red planet, scheduled to launch in fall 2011. Aurora Design & Technology is also developing spectroscopic systems for NASA’s LADEE mission (based on Ocean Optics’ QE65000) and O/OREOS mission (based on their USB2000+).

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Crowcon launches Gas-Tec Hydrocarbon Gas Detector for Leak Survey and Localisation

Crowcon’s new Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector is designed for rapid leak survey and localisation in applications such as gas distribution networks and landfill sites. Using Crowcon’s tried and tested flame ionisation chamber, the Gas-Tec also features next generation technology such as GPS, data and event logging. The new device allows survey teams to track progress and quickly pinpoint and record areas of significant interest.

Crowcon’s Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector showing a gas distribution system in the background

Crowcon’s Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector showing a gas distribution system in the background

Photo 1: http://www.halmapr.com/crowcon/gas-tec_gas.jpg (854 KB)
(Photo caption 1: Crowcon’s Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector showing a gas distribution system in the background)

Increasingly, gas distribution and infrastructure companies are focussing on reducing the number and volume of leaks along their pipelines. Leaks have cost, environmental and safety implications, so pinpointing and repairing them quickly is essential. Methane emitted from landfill sites also poses a severe explosion risk – it is generated during the working life of a landfill site and for as long as 40 years after a site has been covered over, so constant monitoring is essential.

Storing survey reports and service and calibration records are now a more frequent requirement, influenced by health and safety regulations. Also, with many operating companies being forced to reduce personnel, there is an increased demand for products that require minimal training and set-up times to use.

Crowcon’s Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector showing a landfill site in the background

Crowcon’s Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector showing a landfill site in the background

Photo 2: http://www.halmapr.com/crowcon/gas-tec_landfill.jpg (847 KB)
(Photo caption 2: Crowcon’s Gas-Tec portable hydrocarbon gas detector showing a landfill site in the background)

Crowcon developed the Gas-Tec specifically to address these issues, including features to help companies minimise leaks quickly and efficiently, with minimal manpower. GPS position logging, for example, enhances record keeping by assigning latitude, longitude and distance above sea level to data readings. Users can also view their current location, offering the precise location to back-up crews for immediate leak management. Another useful feature is data and event logging, allowing users to download full survey information for survey traceability using ‘drag and drop’ via a USB interface.

Weighing just 2.4kg (without the gas bottle), the Gas-Tec is worn across the body and is ergonomically designed to sit comfortably whilst in use. Simple and intuitive to operate, its liquid crystal display and soft keys offer full sequence instructions, in-operation options, service and calibration set-up and alerts. Menu prompts guide users through start-up and shut-down procedures, reducing training requirements. The device can also be customised, with users able to set preferences for features such as preferred units, display settings, date format and language.

Enhanced electronic controls increase battery and cylinder life, while pressure and flow transducers manage hydrogen and sample flow rates. A service and calibration timer also reminds operators when maintenance is required, ensuring the unit is always operable and in optimum working condition. The Gas-Tec also includes an optional ‘service lock’ facility, ensuring it cannot be used in the field whilst out of calibration.

Based around Crowcon’s original tried and tested Gas-Tec ‘engine’ detection method, this next generation model is already proven, fit for purpose and suited to the rigours of everyday use. With a response time of less than two seconds, the Gas-Tec is calibrated to methane, with conversion factors for other common hydrocarbons available. It has a detection range of 0 – 10,000 ppm and is accurate to within +/-10%. Battery life is over 22 hours, allowing continual use for a full shift. Battery recharge time is only 2 ½ hours.

Supplied in a wheeled ABS impact resistant case with a fitted foam insert, it is ingress protected to IP54 and can be used outdoors in all weather conditions. Accessories include a trigger survey kit and an in-vehicle survey tool allowing detection at speeds of up to 30km/hour. Probe assemblies are also available for all types of applications, including borehole, straight probe, cup attachment and detection trolley. Other useful accessories are available, such as vehicle chargers, earphones, spare hydrogen cylinders and a hydrogen filling panel.

About Crowcon
Crowcon (www.crowcon.com), a subsidiary of Halma p.l.c. (www.halma.com), is a world leader in portable and fixed gas detection instruments. Formed in 1970, the company is based in Oxfordshire in the UK and has branch offices in the Netherlands, the USA, Singapore and China. It specialises in developing, manufacturing and marketing innovative, reliable and cost-effective flammable and toxic gas detection equipment and has constantly led the field with products designed for safety and environmental monitoring.

Crowcon’s products are sold throughout the world, serving oil, gas and petrochemical companies, public utilities, clean water and sewage treatment companies, fire brigades, construction companies and other organisations where accidental leakage of gas or vapour can become a toxic or explosive danger. The company is represented in India by Detection Instruments Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai (www.detection-india.com).

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