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Electrical Engineering

Scientists Design Novel Inverters for Harnessing Solar Power

Solar power has the potential to reverse the environmental challenges faced by the world today. With solar panels becoming economically viable and efficient by the day, solar energy may soon become the prime source of electricity. However, there are a few challenges faced in the process of electricity production through solar energy. In a recent study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have addressed one such challenge while converting the Direct Current (DC) output of solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) required to run our appliances. Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni and Prof. Vinod John from the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new start-up method for a compact and efficient photovoltaic inverter that works with solar panels to convert DC to AC.

Scientists Develop a Method to Compute Audible Noise from Ultra High Voltage Transmission Lines

On the outskirts of cities, large towers carrying electrical wires is a common sight in the recent years. These wires carry electricity at Ultra High Voltage (400 kV to 800 kV) and are not encapsulated with any insulation. Due to this, the air surrounding the wires gets ionised and starts conducting resulting in an electrical discharge accompanied by a hissing sound. Prof. Joy Thomas of the Department of Electrical Engineering, IISc, Bangalore, and his student Mr. Bharat Kumar, have now developed a mathematical model to estimate this low frequency audible noise on transmission lines carrying current at ultra high voltages.

ISc Researcher’s New Transistor Design – Breakthrough in Chip Technology

Prof. Mayank Shrivastava of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore has invented and demonstrated a new transistor design, which can lead to a breakthrough in future chip technology. The proposed transistor has significantly better performance and scalability as compared to the technology used in current computer and cell phone chips.

Electrical engineers developing tools for better speech therapy

A team of Electrical Engineering researchers from the Indian Institute of Science is working on developing software tools that can help develop better speech therapies. The team from the Signal Processing, Interpretation and REpresentation Laboratory (SPIRE LAB), led by Dr. Prasanta Kumar Ghosh, uses novel signal processing techniques to better understand human speech production. Signal processing is an area of research which deals with acquisition, analysis, interpretation and modelling of a variety of signals. For example, speech signal models are used to parameterize the human voice signal, which is critical for transmitting the message and getting back the voice signal at the receiving end. Without signal processing, we wouldn't have been able to speak to our loved ones through telephone. Researchers from SPIRE LAB are developing new signal processing technique to help better understand speech problems, and develop appropriate interventions.

New tool to detect whispers may help cancer patients

A two member research team from the Indian Institute of Science has developed a method to detect whispered speech even in a noisy recording. With further research, this can be incorporated into a tool to reconstruct normal speech, which can be useful for people with laryngeal (voice box) cancer.

Preventing blindness: A software solution for early detection of glaucoma

Researchers have developed new software that can potentially save thousands of people from blindness. The tool developed by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) can detect ‘glaucoma’ in its early stages, a condition which can cause irreversible blindness if not detected early.
All that the software needs is a fundus image of the eye, which can now be obtained with low-cost sleek camera devices fitted on to smartphones. The Java-based software can analyse a number of images in a minute, and assess whether the person is affected by glaucoma or not. The team is currently converting the software to an Android app.

Moisture accelerates degradation of electric insulators, claims new study

Moisture in the atmosphere can expedite degradation of insulators that protect the long conductor or wires which transmit electricity from place to place, a study has found. The study was conducted by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Current carrying conductors, like the wires that supply electricity to our homes, experience partial arcs or corona discharges near the vicinity of high voltage conductors. Corona discharges, as they are called, appear as blue light in the air surrounding the medium, and may also produce some sound.

Protecting telephone exchanges from lightning surges

Researchers from the IISc have developed new equipment that can ensure better safety of the digital telecom exchanges against lightning surges. The study is carried out by the researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Giving Voice to Whispers: A Gender Classification Technique for Whispered Speech

With the help of modern voice recognition and computational algorithms, many important applications such as voice reconstruction have been made possible. Whispered or unvoiced speech, which is produced without any vibrations of the vocal folds, can be converted to ‘neutral’ or ‘voiced’ speech by artificially inserting the voice information, which is commonly called ‘pitch’. This is extremely useful for survivors of Laryngeal cancer, for example, who have lost their larynges and can typically only speak in whispers.