In Wyoming, An Ecologist Seeks A New Niche As A U.S. Senator

Merav Ben-David NADAV SOROKER

More than 10 years ago, Merav Ben-David encountered a bureaucratic blizzard when she launched a study of polar bears in Alaska. She had to comply with a host of regulatory policies, obtain permits from regional, federal, and tribal agencies, and plot out the team’s trip through the Artic Ocean. So, days after receiving her U.S. citizenship, the Israeli-born conservation ecologist says she found herself “neck deep” government affairs.
Now, Ben-David is once again neck deep in governance—but this time, she’s aiming to craft policy, not simply follow it. On 18 August, the University of Wyoming professor won the state’s Democratic primary for Senate. Now, she’s running for a U.S. Senate seat as an underdog against Republican Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming’s former representative to Congress.
Ben-David’s interest in ecology started on a farm. Growing up in Nahalat Yehuda, she tended to young animals—nestlings, bunnies, hedgehogs, and the like—that she found in the fields of her father’s farm. By her early 20s, she had a master’s degree in zoology and was leading wildlife tours in Kenya. In 1990, she began a doctoral program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She became fascinated by the state’s marine ecosystems, occupied by mink, martens, otters, salmon, and polar bears. In 2000, she won a faculty job at the University of Wyoming.

UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 23: A line of dark rain clouds moves over the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, the deadline for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach an agreement on addressing the nation’s debt. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)0

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Ben-David’s research, which includes highly cited studies of diet changes in Alaskan wildlife, the role of salmon runs in fertilizing river-side vegetation in the Alexander Archipelago, and the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on otters in the Prince William Sound, frequently takes her back to Alaska, where she has witnessed the impacts of climate change. Peering off the stern of an icebreaker on that 2009 trip, for example, she had a realization: There was no ice on the normally frozen seas. The hastening pace of warming, she says, “made me realize we are simply running out of time.”
Around the same time, she found that the “context” of her work was evolving. “I felt a pressure to inform the public,” especially people living in Wyoming, about the threat of climate change. She began to juggle an active research program (she has published 114 articles and counting) with activism, writing letters, giving lectures, and lobbying for legislation. Some colleagues, she says, expressed concern that those activities would compromise her scientific work. But Ben-David arrived at a different conclusion: “I came to understand those efforts would be a lot more effective—more than just a conversation or a debate—if I was in the decision-making process.” Eventually, she decided to run for office.
Hostile political terrain
Wyoming’s political landscape is not particularly friendly for Ben-David, whose platform includes calls for stronger environmental regulation. Extractive industries—including mining, quarrying, oil, and gas—are dominant. And deeply Republican Wyoming hasn’t backed a Democrat for federal office since 1976. As a presidential candidate in 2016, Donald Trump won it with more than 67% of the vote.
Then there’s Ben-David’s opponent. Lummis is a household name in Wyoming; she’s held a number of elected positions, including as the state’s treasurer. Lummis received nearly 64,000 votes in winning the Republican primary with some 60% of the vote. Ben-David, in contrast, received just under 10,000 votes to win the Democratic primary with 40% of the vote.
Despite such numbers, Ben-David is optimistic. “Navigating hostile terrain has always been my day job,” she says. And colleagues admire her tenacity. “Her resolve is inspirational,” says Henry Harlow, a zoologist and director of National Park Service Research Center at the University of Wyoming.
To woo voters, Ben-David is leaning into her differences with Lummis. Whereas Lummis’s campaign has decried “attacks from the environmental left” that threaten the state’s major industries and “market opportunities at home,” Ben-David advocates “futureproofing” the state’s economy, which is facing its biggest downturn since 2005. Ben-David is calling for greater investment in infrastructure, education, and job transitioning programs. Such efforts, she says, will not only “rescue Wyoming” from crippling recent job losses, but “reimagine and rebuild it.”
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She also supports federal investments in alternative energy and wildlife protection, and stiffer regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. “This is about preserving our way of life,” she says. “Mother Nature is not going to wait anymore.” Wyoming residents, Ben-David believes, are now seeing both the economic and ecological the impacts of climate change, such as shorter, warmer winters (limiting the ski seasons) and drier, hotter summers (extending the fire seasons). “People are seeing in their own backyards that we are not immune” to global warming, she says.
The importance of science in the senate
Ben-David, who has emphasized her scientific training during her campaign, says it offers a useful and pragmatic lens through which to see politics. Scientists are “forward-facing” she says, relying on prospective experimentation and observation, whereas politicians are often “backward-referencing,” for example by looking to the law for precedents.
The Senate, she says, could use a few more scientists. Congress “simply lacks people who understand the facts, and how those facts should—or should not—influence policy.” And she hopes her run will inspire peers and students to participate in politics as well. “Laws, like the ecosystems, are fragile,” she says. “Conservationists, ecologists, scientists—we need to join this critical civic process more than ever.”
If Ben-David pulls off an upset, other researchers believe she has the qualities needed to do the job. Ben-David is “fearless in the quest for truth,” says Terrie Williams, a mammalian physiologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “She will not be intimidated,” Harlow says, “by self interest groups or seasoned politicians with threatening agendas.”
Ben-David, meanwhile, says her run is also a learning experience. “Politics, it’s a science,” she says. “Now, I’m a student of that science, too.”

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Learning and development at Web Summit | December 2-4, 2020

What’s happening?
Web Summit attendees log into our web and mobile apps for access to an online world of professional development that incorporates video and audio content, and interactive chats.
Our platforms feature 100+ hours of inspirational talks from global tech figureheads. Attendees can also register to take part in masterclasses and roundtables covering the topics touching the tech industry.
World-class speakers
Web Summit’s speakers aren’t just here to share their thoughts on the most important topics in tech – they attend our conference to educate and inspire people worldwide. Spanning every industry from autotech to telecommunications, the Web Summit line-up gathers those with the inside track on where the world is heading.
Masterclasses and roundtables
They say that the best way to learn is interactively. At Web Summit, the power to discuss – with tech experts – the challenges facing your business or the future of your industry is in your hands. Simply register for any of our interactive sessions and cover the major issues of today.
Share ideas and expertise
Have an idea you need to get out to the world? Web Summit gives you the platform to share your expertise with tech professionals globally. Connect with attendees, grow your contact network, and discuss the talking points that matter, with peers in your industry.
Meet our first 300 speakers. We’ll be announcing more soon.
Eric Yuan
Founder & CEO
Zoom

Ursula von der Leyen
President
European Commission

Chris Evans
Co-founder
A Starting Point

Aileen Lee
Founder & Partner
Cowboy Ventures

Mike Schroepfer
CTO
Facebook

Anne Wojcicki
Co-founder & CEO
23andMe

Mark Cuban
Owner
Dallas Mavericks

Dr Jane Goodall, DBE
Founder
the Jane Goodall Institute

Reid Hoffman
Co-Founder & Partner
Greylock Partners

Margrethe Vestager
EVP: A Europe Fit for the Digital Age
European Commission

Cal Henderson
Co-founder & CTO
Slack

Dana Settle
Founding Partner
Greycroft

António Costa
Prime Minister
Government of Portugal

Adaire Fox-Martin
Executive Board Member
SAP

Dan Schulman
President & CEO
PayPal

Gillian Tans
Chairwoman
Booking.com

Cornel West
Academic and activist

Peggy Johnson
CEO
Magic Leap

Ola Källenius
CEO
Daimler

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President
Portugal

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These are a few of the talks we’ve had at our events.
True tests of leadership
AI AND MACHINE LEARNING
LEADERSHIP
SOCIETY
Fireside chat with Microsoft president Brad Smith.
The world’s leading companies run masterclasses at our events
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“The conference attracts a diverse list of world-class speakers and facilitates content that inspires and empowers attendees.”
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About Fit For NET – ZERO

Our new report, “FIT FOR NET – ZERO: 55 Tech Quests to accelerate Europe’s recovery and pave the way to climate neutrality”, is commissioned by Breakthrough Energy. It provides a practical action plan and investment guide for policy makers and investors, to help stimulate economic transition at the speed and scale needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change. With its 55 actionable recommendations for financial support, it targets the utilization of the European Commission’s €750 billion recovery fund, and other innovation funding vehicles, to transform Europe’s economy and set it on course for climate neutrality by 2050.
This report investigates and analyzes existing and future technologies across five core economic domains: energy, building and construction, transportation, food and land use. Capgemini Invent (see below for script1) worked with over 100 eminent innovators, entrepreneurs, corporate strategists and policy makers, to identify the 55 high impact climate technologies most likely to deliver transformational results, at speed and scale.
These 55 quests provide a balanced mix to energize and engage all areas of the European economy and regions. More than 200 individual projects were examined, each with differing levels of technological maturity, to assess their transformational potential and readiness for investment support and the resulting 55 choices have impacts in the five sectors summarised below.

Buildings

The building sector is one of the most significant sources of CO₂e emissions in Europe. 28 billion square meters of floor space generates 1,100 MtCO₂e (600 MtCO₂e direct emissions, 500 MtCO₂e for electricity) that must be cut down over 80% to just 200 MtCO₂e by 2050. Of this, 430 MtCO₂e in direct emissions come from Europe’s 20 billion square meters of residential space. Our Building report looks at how automating and streamlining construction processes to deep renovation can help accelerate our delivery of net-zero emissions.

Energy

Using fossil fuels has major drawbacks, not least that their combustion emits greenhouse gases. Also a considerable portion of energy is wasted, mostly heat in combustion processes, power plants and due to high-temperatures. Our Energy report looks at the solutions and projects to scale up towards the net-zero target, from new generation solar modules and bifacial panels to large-scale hydrogen production and combined solar generation, storage, and grid

Food and Land Use

Our report looks at the key challenges and the recommended technologies and projects to reducing the environmental impact of the whole agricultural value chain from farm to fork to cut down emissions by 20% in 2030 and 50% in 2050 to boost systemic change to reach net – zero emissions.

Industry

Achieving a low carbon industry is of paramount importance, not only to reach the 2050 carbon neutrality target, but also to allow economic growth for EU companies and workers. Our report focuses on solutions for the steel and cement industries, responsible for 30% of emissions.

Transport

I in its many forms currently produces over 1,200 MtCO2e per year, 30% of total emissions in the EU. Liquid fossil fuels drive most air, marine, road and rail movements. Our Transport report looks at solutions for clean alternatives, supported by giga scale battery and charging infrastructure from scaling up green c-liquid fuel production for aviation and long distance shipping to ammonia fueled vessels.

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Product Manager – User Generated Content

Motivated by innovation, exploration and challenging intellectual problems, you’re excited by BIG questions: How do we get the most comprehensive information for every place and activity on earth? How can we make the most out of billions of data points? How can we make amazing content easily accessible to our users?
We’re looking for a Product Manager to lead the development of a system that combines billions of data points, community knowledge, and editorial content into the go-to source for outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.
About komoot
Millions of people all over the world experience real-life outdoor adventures with komoot apps. We help our users discover the best hiking and biking routes, empowering them to explore more of the great outdoors. And we’re pretty good at it: Google and Apple have listed us as one of their Apps of the Year numerous times – and with more than 14 million users and 100,000 five-star reviews – komoot is on its way to becoming the most popular cycling and hiking app worldwide. Join our fully remote team and change the way people explore with us.
About the role
Komoot is the most vibrant outdoor community in the world. At its heart lies a unique treasure of user-generated content, ranging from GPS data and uploaded photos from millions of tours, to tips and user feedback. Distilling the most relevant, trustworthy and up to date recommendations for every single user and every place on earth is what makes komoot stand out.
Join Florent, Iwo, Lukas and the rest of the content squad to solve challenges and enable amazing quality content.
Together you’ll develop technology like image recognition algorithms, and create the most inspiring outdoor guide out there, making it easy for millions of people to get out and explore more.
About you
You’re an experienced Product Manager ready to do the best work of your career. You’ll tap into your exceptional engineering, organizational and interpersonal skills to lead the content squad in delivering smart solutions.
This high-calibre team of developers, a QA and a designer will challenge your views with a great sense of humour and impress you with their learning capacity: Sense of humour and great communication required!
Ready for your next adventure?
What you will do
• Lead the development of the go-to adventure source for outdoor activities worldwide
• Work with developers on systems to distill the most relevant, trustful and up-to-date information.
• Work hands-on with designers, copywriters and engineers to help implement new behind-the-scenes features that will further facilitate user-generated content creation.
• Develop strategies to meet the diverse needs of different global markets.
• Work with both our community of users and an editorial team, to create and shape outstanding content that will inspire millions all over the world to get out and explore.
• Run tests, get feedback from users and colleagues, crunch the numbers, and optimize new and existing product features.
• Be an advocate for both our users and our business, and drive product development that meets award-winning quality standards.
Why you will love it
• You will solve difficult intellectual challenges that we’re pretty sure not many have had an opportunity to solve yet.
• You’ll work with a technically complex product that brings real life value to our users.
• You’ll lead a high performing squad and play a key role in delivering inspiring and targeted content to encourage people to get out and explore more.
• You’ll take ownership of your projects from day one. You’ll move things forward, shape the processes and choose the tools you need to do your best work.
• This is a remote role on a remote team where open feedback, new ways of working and thinking out of the box is not only encouraged but expected.
• We let you work from wherever you want, be it a beach, the mountains, a co- working space (covered by us) or our headquarters in Potsdam. Anywhere that lies between the time zones UTC-1 and UTC+3.
• You’ll become part of a diverse and international team and you will travel with us for team gatherings to amazing locations like Mallorca or the Bavarian Alps several times a year.
You will be successful in this position if you
• 5+ years Product Management experience from a digital product company, driving development of a highly successful and technically challenging product.
• Engineering degree and/or extremely strong technical background with deep interest in data, numbers, new technology and innovation.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: You’re comfortable moderating technical discussions in a team of skilled professionals, communicating goals, vision, and showcasing complex problems with a passion for finding pragmatic and smart solutions.
• Ability to learn new processes and concepts fast with a demonstrated sense of curiosity.
• Intrinsic drive and motivation to build the best product (best outdoor guide) in the world.
• Appreciation for outdoors, nature and being active. You enjoy spending your time outside and you like to unwind in nature.
• English on a native level, buckets of patience, and no ego – we’re a team and have always achieved incredible results together.
• Bonus if you have already worked with User Generated Content, Machine Learning, AI, UX Experience
Sounds like you?
Send us the following
• Your CV in English highlighting your most relevant experience.
• A write-up (Cover Letter) explaining who you are and why you would like to work with us.
• Examples of your work/ products you have worked on (You can include it in your Cover Letter as well).
• Feel free to send us something that shows us a little more about what you’re interested in, be it your Twitter/Instagram account, or your OpenStreetMap profile if you have one

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Google Announces AI Search Updates – Analysis – Search Engine Journal

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Google announced profound changes that will impact what sites Google ranks in the search results. Some changes impact 10% of searches, some impact 7%. The change to how BERT is used impacts nearly 100% of searches whereas last year it only impacted 10%.
Some of the updates are coming by the end of the year. Others are already live in the search results.
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Many of the algorithm improvements announced will likely create more diversity in the search results, which in my opinion is going to make it several degrees harder for SEO. Keep reading for why this is so.
In a recent PubCon keynote, Google’s John Mueller was straightforward in his prediction that SEO will become more difficult in the near future.
Google BERT Now is Nearly 100%
One of the biggest reveals is that Google is employing BERT in virtually every search query.
BERT is a technique for natural language processing pre-training that helps Google understand words within the context of the surrounding words. Google has said that BERT helps Google Search better understand the intent of a search query.
When BERT was announced it was said to be used in 10% of search queries, particularly on longer types of search queries.
Moving forward, BERT will impact nearly ever English language search query.
According to Google:
“Today we’re excited to share that BERT is now used in almost every query in English, helping you get higher quality results for your questions.”
New Spelling Algorithm
Google also announced a spelling algorithm that helps Google to better understand misspelled words. Google said that it’s the biggest improvement to spelling in five years.
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What makes the spelling algorithm of interest is that it helps Google understand the context of misspelled words.
Passages Indexed
This is an important change that may create the most visible impact to Google Search Results Pages (SERPs). Google is now indexing passages in a web page, not just the web page itself.
So essentially, passages from a web page can be treated as web pages themselves when returning a search query. Google says that this will impact 7% of search queries.
Screenshot Showing Google Ranking a Passage from a Web Page

Screenshot of a before and after search results showing how Google ranks passages from a web page instead of a web page.
This update enables Google to surface pages where the answer to a query is deep within the content.
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Passages Example Live on Mobile
The example that Google showed was not live on desktop search. But the example is live on mobile Google search and it does show a different search result. Screenshot of a Passages Algorithm Web Page Result with

When diagnosing traffic drops, it may be useful to check the differences between mobile and desktop to see if there’s a change in search results related to this algorithm. The mobile SERPs might now be ranking a competitor’s “passage” in the mobile version of the search results.
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The idea of ranking web pages might have to make room for ranking passages of web pages.
According to Google:
“We’ve recently made a breakthrough in ranking and are now able to not just index web pages, but individual passages from the pages. By better understanding the relevancy of specific passages, not just the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information you’re looking for.
This technology will improve 7 percent of search queries across all languages as we roll it out globally.”
Google says that rather than rank a broader web page about the topic, Google can now rank a specific passage for a search query. That seems to be a huge shift in how web pages are ranked.
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Subtopics
This is another area that may dramatically impact how search queries for broad and general search phrases are ranked. Broad search queries, like “home exercise equipment” can mean lots of different things to different people.
It’s like trying to understand what people mean when they search for jaguar: is it the car, the animal the football team?
This update, coming by the end of 2020, will show a greater diversity of web pages for broad search queries.
This is one of those trade-off type changes, where it’s shuffling who the winners and losers are.
For example, Subtopic Ranking is going to make it harder to rank for high traffic broad keyword phrases.
But it will benefit businesses that optimize for specific subtopics and would never have had a chance to rank for the higher traffic subtopic.
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So if you’re competing for a broad topic, you may want to make sure your subtopic pages are well optimized.
Here’s how Google explains it:
“We’ve applied neural nets to understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a greater diversity of content when you search for something broad.
As an example, if you search for “home exercise equipment,” we can now understand relevant subtopics, such as budget equipment, premium picks, or small space ideas, and show a wider range of content for you on the search results page. We’ll start rolling this out by the end of this year.”
10% of Searches Will Be Affected by Video Change
This update will affect ten percent of searches. This represents a major change to SEO that underlines the importance of adding video to the mix of content types that publishers produce.
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This change is similar to the Passages algorithm described above, only applied to videos. This new technique uses AI to understand the different passages within videos.
Rather than ranking entire videos that are about a topic, Google will analyze videos, assign a tag to each section to describe what it’s about and then send searchers directly to those sections of a video.
This is going to impact the SERPs and maybe video production and planning to make sure the videos are easily understood, section by section.
Here’s how Google described it:
“Using a new AI-driven approach, we’re now able to understand the deep semantics of a video and automatically identify key moments. This lets us tag those moments in the video, so you can navigate them like chapters in a book.
We’ve started testing this technology this year, and by the end of 2020 we expect that 10 percent of searches on Google will use this new technology.”
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Data Sets in Search
This may impact sites that depended on ranking for statistical information and sites that sell statistical reports. This change bypasses web pages and shows the statistic directly in the search result as an answer to a question.
It’s kind of a zero click search result but it also offers the ability to discover and research the topic in more depth.
Here’s how Google explains it:
“Sometimes the best search result is a statistic. But often stats are buried in large datasets and not easily comprehensible or accessible online.
Since 2018, we’ve been working on the Data Commons Project, an open knowledge database of statistical data… now we’re making this information more accessible and useful through Google Search.”
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Google uses natural language processing to understand if a search query is satisfied by a statistic and then pulls it from the Data Commons to display it as an answer as well as display additional contextual information for deeper topic exploration.

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How Does Passwordless Enhance Identity Proofing?

https://bit.ly/340EUtr
The first step for onboarding any customer is identity proofing or identity verification. This is done digitally or in-person where you provide documentation such as your ID or passport. Once your identity is validated, you then register for an online account.
You start by creating a username. Then you create a password. Stronger password policies require a minimum length with numbers, and special characters so it takes a few iterations before you meet the requirements.
Now that you have your username and password, you enter it into the web or mobile app to login. If you need to perform a step-up authentication at any time, such as a high-value transaction, you usually get an SMS code to type in.

There are times when you need to add another trusted device to your account. You might have a new tablet or you’re logging in from your computer for the first time. You can log in with your password, assuming you remember it.
Now most people don’t remember their password so you’re likely to jump through hoops to reset it. You might get an SMS code, or an email link, sometimes only after you’ve successfully answered knowledge-based questions or go through identity proofing again.
When you’ve proven you are who you say you are, you’re finally able to create a new password and use the app. However, this means you’ve also invalidated devices that you’ve previously logged in with using the old password.

From here on out, whenever you want to add a new device, you get caught in a vicious cycle of identity proofing and password resets. Despite providing a sense of security through SMS codes, one-time password apps, and knowledge-based questions, these layers of friction are applied to protect an experience that is dependent on a factor that was already insecure and frustrating to use.
This is not just a problem for customers. This issue is compounded when adaptive authentication or identity orchestration is used for threat detection that’s focused on the password itself. This doesn’t improve the user experience, it just adds unnecessary complexity to login design, and ignores the underlying password pain.
In short, passwords cause friction at onboarding to account recovery, it’s insecure, and even when you add layers of security centered on passwords, it doesn’t solve the user experience and its vulnerabilities.

So what happens if you deploy passwordless authentication first? Your customer journey becomes a true passwordless experience end to end.
Passwordless eliminates the need to create a password – the least favorite part of onboarding. which now means there’s no password to create and no password to enter.
Instead you have the HYPR app or mobile SDK in your own app for passwordless login. When you want to add a new device you can do so with the app you already have on your smartphone. And when you require step up you can do that with HYPR as well. The friction of Identity Proofing comes in only in extreme cases when the user loses all of their registered devices

As you consider whether you should start passwordless authentication or identity proofing first, keep it mind that by going passwordless first, you enhance your security and ease of use, which benefits your identity proofing in the long run.
By going passwordless first, you create a fast and easy user experience that is modernized and consistent. Which will generally help people avoid account lockout. HYPR also supports step-up authentication, making your entire user experience truly passwordless. What you then have is a consistent user experience across onboarding, login, step up and account recovery.
True Passwordless works alongside your Identity Proofing and Identity products to remove the #1 pain – the password. This reduces the need for threat detection focused on credential reuse because your authentication is now based on trusted factors.
And this ultimately helps you to achieve the highest level of assurance.

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About 30 Amazing Wooden Stair Design Ideas For Your Home

In a home that has more than one level, the staircase inevitably becomes an important part of the décor. The staircase is often used as a focal point, as an accent piece and it’s a great way of using a vital part of the home’s architecture and design and turning it into a beautiful décor detail. There are lots of strategies, shapes and designs that can be used for the staircase and they are just as important as the material. Most traditional staircases are made of wood. This gives the elegance they need to stand out but also makes them a pleasant part of the décor because of the wood’s natural ability to add warmth and texture to anything. There are also plenty of modern designs for wooden staircases. A stunning wooden staircase can change the whole look of a home. It can make the difference between a simple décor and a simply beautiful one.

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GrandStairCase 045

The Three Major Li-ion Battery Form Factors: Cylindrical, Prismatic, and Pouch – News

With lithium-ion batteries ever-rising in demand, it’s important to brush up on this battery’s three major form factors.
Recently, we discussed the status of lithium-ion batteries in 2020. One of the most recent developments in this field came from Tesla Battery Day with a tabless battery cell Elon Musk called a “breakthrough” in contrast to the three traditional form factors of lithium-ion batteries: cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch types.

Pouch cell (left) cylindrical cell (center), and prismatic cell (right). Image used courtesy of Eric Maiser
Each of these battery types offers a set of advantages and disadvantages. There is not a clear winner, but the battery you choose can affect the design of a product in several different ways. For example, each of these battery form factors can have a different temperature distribution and heat transfer model.
A good understanding of the battery heat generation and transfer is required to design an efficient battery thermal management (BTM) system; BTM consists of heating and cooling systems that keep the battery temperature in a desired range. In this article, we’ll take a look at the important features of each of these battery formats.
Cylindrical Cells
A cylindrical cell consists of sheet-like anodes, separators, and cathodes that are sandwiched, rolled up, and packed into a cylinder-shaped can. This type is one of the first mass-produced types of batteries and is still very popular.
These cells are suited for automated manufacturing. Another advantage is mechanical stability. The round shape of the battery distributes the internal pressure from side reactions over the cell circumference almost evenly. This allows the cell to tolerate a higher level of internal pressure without deformation.
When combining cylindrical cells into packs and modules, the cell’s circular cross-section does not allow us to fully utilize the available space. As a result, the packaging density of cylindrical cells is low. However, thermal management of a pack of cylindrical cells can be easier because the space cavities let the coolant easily circulate around the cells within a battery pack.

Packing principle for cylindrical cells (left) vs. the packing principle of prismatic and pouch cells (right). Image used courtesy of Roeland Bisschop et. al
The temperature distribution of a Li-ion cell at a discharge rate of 1 C and SOC=0.1 is shown below:

 

Image used courtesy of Dong Hyup Jeon and Seung ManBaek
As you can see, the inner parts of the cell are at a higher temperature compared to the cell surface. In this particular example, the temperature difference is not significant. However, with a high-capacity cell, the low heat transfer from the cell center to the outside can pose serious challenges.
In terms of size, cylindrical cells are usually produced in standard models. One common size is the 18650 type (18 mm diameter, 65 mm height). This type has a total mass of about 45 grams and can support a capacity of about 1.2 to 3 Ah depending on the technology employed.
Cylindrical cells are commonly found in medical instruments, laptops, e-bikes, and power tools. These batteries are also used in Tesla vehicles. Other EV manufacturers employ prismatic cells.
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Prismatic Cells
Li-ion prismatic cells consist of large sheets of anodes, cathodes, and separators sandwiched, rolled up, and pressed to fit into a metallic or hard-plastic housing in cubic form. The electrodes can also be assembled by layer stacking rather than jelly rolling.

Structure of a Li-ion prismatic cell. Image used courtesy of J. M. Tarascon and M. Armand
Parts of the electrode and separator sheets of a prismatic cell that are close to the container corners can experience more stress. This can damage electrode coating and lead to non-uniform distribution of the electrolyte.
When combining prismatic cells into packs, the cell box-like shape enables optimal use of the available space. However, this optimal space is achieved at the cost of more challenging thermal management. This is because there are no space cavities between the cells as there are in a pack of cylindrical cells.
Prismatic cells are manufactured with a capacity ranging from several ampere-hours targeted for laptops and cell phones to hundreds of ampere-hours designed for EV applications. Prismatic cells can be more expensive to manufacture. Besides, they can expand with use.
Although they suffer less from swelling than pouch cells, they do not perform as well as cylindrical cells in this regard.
Pouch Cells
Pouch cells do not have a rigid enclosure and use a sealed flexible foil as the cell container. This is a somewhat minimalistic approach to packaging; it reduces weight and leads to flexible cells that can easily fit the available space of a given product.

Pouch cell batteries can swell with gas during charge and discharge. Image used courtesy of Epec
The electrode and separator layers of a pouch cell are stacked rather than jelly rolled. With pouch cells, the designer should allocate enough space for the cell swelling. A swelling of as much as 8% to 10% can occur after 500 cycles.
Due to the cell’s soft construction, a support structure is required with pouch cells and the cell should not be placed near sharp edges.
Li-ion Batteries Rise in Popularity—and Innovation
Lithium-ion batteries will continue to rise in popularity, especially as electric vehicles become more ubiquitous. In fact, Reuters recently reported that Toyota and Panasonic are teaming up to mass-produce lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars, announcing plans for a plant in Western Japan starting in 2022.
With this demand ever-rising, it’s important for engineers to familiarize themselves with the three common form factors of lithium-ion batteries—cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch—and stay up to date on new updates to Li-ion batteries—for instance, like those announced at Tesla’s Battery Day this year.

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