Tried and Tested

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Once again, summer is over and we are heading towards the end of the year. There’s not much travelling happening because of the COVID pandemic, but hopefully you managed to get a nice summer break, even if it was closer to home than usual. I’ve been away days here and there and mainly enjoying Scotland’s magnificent scenery. However, the last time I went away, it was a trip to England to attend my first post-COVID concert. Unfortunately, according to the event’s Facebook page there was quite a relatively high number of the people there caught COVID. Luckily, after a few days I was tested and the results came back negative. Although COVID seems to be on the retreat, please do not let your guard down. Quite large scale outbreaks are still common. 

So, last week was the first time I’d taken the lateral flow test and it wasn’t a pleasant experience at all. I feel sorry for the health professionals who have to take one every day. Unpleasant or not, testing is a vital way to track the spread of the disease and allow us to take measures to alleviate it. Testing is also an often unwanted and expensive discipline in the electronics area too. It is a necessity to prove that products are safe and functional, but as it doesn’t add value to the product, many manufacturers see it as a sunk cost, especially with the extortionate cost of some test equipment.

In this issue, we look at testing for the power electronics industry. With more regulations and the faster switching speeds we get out of wide-bandgap materials, testing is becoming more important that ever. Anyone who lived in the days when the vacuum cleaner could knock out the picture on your television screen will know that a single electronic product can have an effect on many unrelated products if the design is not right. Now, thankfully, we have legislation in place to stop that happening, but with the emergence of high switching speeds for power electronics, engineers have a lot to consider when designing and testing new products. In the first article in the Special Report, Mart Coenen from EMCMCC provides a comprehensive look at how EMI can affect mains power circuits and the range of different legislation that is intended to minimize the emissions from devices.

The second article in the Special Report also looks at EMI. It is a collaborative effort, written by Ling Jiang, Frank Wang, Keith Szolusha and Kurk Mathews from Analog Devices. This article describes how CM and DM emissions can be separated from the total conducted emissions to allow engineers to effectively apply EMI suppression techniques.

I hope you enjoy! 

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD