CES 2024: A Platform to Display the Next Course

Nowadays, with the fast growing awareness among the people, the technologies are also improving at a rapid pace. Any trade show helps in disseminating the latest technological advances, that way world’s largest Consumer Electronics Show (CES) always plays a significant role. Standing almost at the point of no return as far as the global climatic deterioration is concerned, technology developers are working hard to mitigate further damage. CES 2024 has successfully staged many such emerging or innovated technologies that may reshape our future… - P. K. Chatterjee (PK)

One of the world’s most powerful tech events CES 2024 has just concluded. As usual, this time also, the show provided ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. As far as the power industry is concerned, there was a plethora of innovative products
and solutions.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the trade show that showcases the entire tech landscape at one event. This time the main themes of the show included fast developing fields like: Artificial Intelligence, Human Security for All, Mobility and Sustaianability. The show has presented many exciting products and solutions related to the power industry that are not only sustainable but also have reflected a shift in paradigm. Out of many such items, today I will highlight a few arbitrarily chosen ones including even some very young companies.

Energy power and tools

Founded in 2017, Litheli is an innovator of new energy power and tools, with the mission to make power more flexible and tools easier to use. In response to the longstanding convenience challenges in the global power tool market, the company has taken disruptive measures by introducing the innovative Infinity Power Share (IPS) model, ushering the power tool industry into a new phase of development. Unlike traditional battery charging methods, IPS model makes tool batteries break free from the constraints of exclusive charging bases, transforming into an independent, multifunctional product.

This shift means power tools can more flexibly adapt to various usage scenarios, enhancing battery utilization frequency. Notably, these batteries can also serve as power banks, supporting Type-C super-fast charging and offering convenient recharging services for various digital devices.

In the CES 2024 show, Litheli’s booth has drawn significant attention, showcasing the latest advancements in its revolutionary IPS, including the IPS Modular Power Station and the U4 and U20 series of battery-powered tools.

Electric vehicle charging

Imagen Energy is at the forefront of power inverter technology, committed to powering a fully electric future. The company’s mission is to develop power inverter systems that meet and exceed global demands for sustainable and compact energy solutions.

At CES 2024, they have showcased their 100kW compact charger. This advanced charger, equipped with an integrated AI model, is a peek into the future of efficient and intelligent EV charging. Imagen envisions a future where their America-made, high-efficiency, and modular inverter systems set the standard for innovation in the industry. Their products are designed to be the core of modern energy systems, offering unmatched performance and adaptability. With Imagen Energy, the future is not just electrified; it’s efficient and resilient.

Litheli displayed a variety of tools at the event…

Light-powered remote controls

California-based Ambient Photonics was founded in 2019 to bring low-light energy harvesting technology to mass scale. Ambient’s technology was originally developed at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry and funded at inception by Cthulhu Ventures LLC. The company is backed by leading investors like Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), Fine Structure Ventures, I Squared Capital and Tony Fadell’s Future Shape. Its low-light solar cells deliver ground-breaking power density at mass market price points, inspiring a new era in connected device form and function. Ambient works with leading global electronics manufacturers to deliver superior design possibilities, performance, sustainability and convenience with embedded solar cells across a range of disposable battery-powered devices.

Unlike other, higher-cost solar technologies that require unrealistically bright conditions, Ambient Photonics cells are built for real-world, low-light applications. They use revolutionary new molecules and manufacturing processes to harness indoor and outdoor ambient light and create an endless power source. Ambient Photonics cells demonstrate three times better light harvesting efficiency than conventional solutions, which means a single Ambient Photonics DSSC can produce the power it would normally take much larger indoor solar cells to produce.

During CES 2024, Ambient Photonics has demonstrated the abilities of the company’s first bifacial solar cell, capable of producing more power in cutting-edge device designs. The Ambient Photonics’ Low-Light Indoor Bifacial Solar Cell can harvest light energy from the back and front of the solar cell simultaneously. Designed into a remote control, for example, an Ambient Photonics-powered device with a bifacial cell could power itself whether it rests face-up or face-down on a coffee table.

Already, leading electronics manufacturers have started integrating Ambient Photonics solar cells into their products. At CES 2024, visitors to the Ambient Photonics booth have witnessed a first look at solutions from companies like: Universal Electronics, maker of remote controls and other connected, smart home devices; Chicony, developer of input devices and other personal computing products; and E Link, a leader in electronic paper technology.

Sensing solutions

Sensata Technologies is a global industrial technology company striving to create a cleaner, more efficient, electrified and connected world. Through its broad portfolio of sensors, electrical protection components and sensor-rich solutions that create valuable business insights, the company helps its customers address increasingly complex engineering and operating performance requirements. At CES 2024, it has showcased its innovative technologies and a portfolio of impactful new products that are helping lead the world’s transformation to electrification.

Motion technology

In CES 2024, Schaeffler has showcased some products centering electrification, battery technologies and mechatronics. The company has optimally designed electric axles that reduce weight and extend driving range; electric motors featuring advanced cooling concepts, magnet-free options and innovative winding architectures; and an e-drive system that maximizes power density, safety and air-cooling options.

Ambient’s Low-Light Indoor (LLI) bifacial solar cell…

The company has also developed a family of electric powertrain systems and components from passenger cars to some commercial vehicles, which optimise battery capacity. It has displayed its battery packs too.

In addition, Schaeffler demonstrated its new All Solid-State Batteries (ASSBs) that offer energy storage that have the potential to revolutionize the industry. These batteries offer higher energy density to increase operating durations while providing the ability for fast charging.

Emulation solutions

Over 200 EV models are introduced every year globally, and many EV standards exist or are in development around the world to address different kinds of needs and applications. Testing all combinations is impractical in the real world. Emulation in the lab is the only way to validate and ensure interoperability of EVs and charging stations. At CES 2024, Keysight has demonstrated the following use cases, to show how emulation solutions can enable the future of EVs:

Battery Research and Development (R&D) to build better batteries faster: With Keysight’s Battery Cell Test system, engineers can push the efficiency of each cell to develop higher-capacity and higher density batteries.

Maximizing power to the road with battery cell, pack, and Battery Management System (BMS) testing: The growing demand for electric vehicles is increasing the need for more efficient EV battery development and testing. Keysight’s Battery Pack Test System is designed to address this issue and accelerate the development and validation of battery packs. Used in combination with Keysight’s cell, module, and BMS test systems, engineers can streamline the testing process throughout the workflow.

Ensuring EV charging conformance by validating all charging interfaces: Keysight’s Charging Discovery System (CDS) is a complete solution for all EV and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging interfaces. Engineers can test the full range of EV and EVSE standards with in-lab emulation, ensuring worldwide standards are met. This ensures conformance and interoperability, to drive future growth and innovation.

Gigafactory optimisation by maximizing battery test lab efficiency: Being able to streamline lab operations is essential to make electric vehicles more cost-competitive. Engineers are seeking to produce EV batteries in mass by efficiently managing workflows, while at the same time ensuring compliance. This means quicker analysis of data and statistics and the ability to automate documentation and tasks in order to free up critical time and improve speed. Keysight’s demonstrated PathWave Lab Operations software enables engineers to streamline workflows and improve time-to-market with efficient planning and coordination of the entire battery test laboratory.

By P. K. Chatterjee (PK)

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