Technical Features

December 2016
Moving from Electromechanical to Solid-State in Relays and Circuit Breakers
Courtsey Eaton Corporation

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Figure 1: Contact wear in an electromechanical relay

As a mature technology, electromechanical relays and circuit breakers are well established, however they continue to suffer from some inherent weaknesses. Moving to solid-state technology can address these but introduces its own challenges. So, what is the right solution? In the movies, whenever the
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Date:
10/31/2019
Music to my ears

The EPCOS PQSine active harmonic filter

To a non-engineer, the word “harmonics” has a beautiful sound – one that to many conjures up an image of a concert with instruments playing beautiful music. The harmony is what combines with the melody to turn the composition into something complex and beautiful rather than being just a simple tune. However,
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Date:
12/07/2016
In today’s data acquisition systems (DAQs), performance boundaries are continually being pushed.  System designers require higher speed, lower noise, and better total harmonic distortion (THD) performance; all of which are possible but none of which are free.  These performance improvements typically
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Date:
12/07/2016
Safety vs. performance

The creepage distance is the shortest path between two conductors along the surface of an isolator (typically a PCB)

When designing a switch-mode power supply (SMPS) operating losses and the ability to dissipate heat are critical selection criteria for MOSFETs. The standard TO-220 package is generally good at dissipating heat and the wide range of heatsinks and forced-air cooling options available can easily improve this.
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Date:
12/04/2016