Technical Features

September 2019
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
Class I Ceramic Technologies for High Power Density

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Figure 1: Exploded View of a Base Metal Electrode MLCC

Society increasingly relies on electrical power, whether it’s to communicate, provide safe and secure storage for the vast amount of data generated, or for transportation in electric, and hybrid-electric vehicles. As a result, the availability of electrical power is crucial to the enjoyment of modern lives.
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Date:
09/30/2019
Improving Mild Hybrid EV Power Supply Systems

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Figure 1: Relationship between Duty Cycle and Output Voltage

The growing need to combat global warming has prompted many countries to establish vehicle emission mandates, with the most severe restrictions enacted in Europe (95g/km). To achieve these regulatory limits, automakers are increasingly working on developing electric vehicles. Currently,
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Date:
09/30/2019
How to Design a Variable Output Buck Regulator

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Figure 1. Example of a variable output buck regulator

There are numerous reasons for creating a variable output buck regulator, such as to control speed of a DC fan, set the voltage for a 4 – 20mA current loop, track another voltage, or for dynamic voltage scaling. The processes for choosing the correct components and verifying the design are examined here. Figure
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Date:
09/30/2019

Do We Really Need a New Safety Standard?

Figure 1: IEC/EN 62368-1 is not a merge of the two standards IEC/EN 60065 and IEC/EN 60950 but a completely new one introducing a new way of working

Safety regulations have been in place for decades in the power industry and as we know only too well, all have been through lots of revisions. And although each revision has made them more stringent and tailored to our businesses, we have become familiar with designing products to conform to latest versions.
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Date:
09/30/2019
Economic Benefits of Regenerative Electronic Loads

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Figure 1. The classic “bathtub curve” is often used to describe the failure rates of electronic devices

Switch-mode power supplies used in data centers, industrial equipment, medical devices and other critical applications are typically subjected to burn-in operation at full load over an extended period to root out early failures and ensure reliable operation over the supply’s rated lifetime. (Figure 1.) The
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Date:
09/30/2019
Design Wearable Sports Technologies that Change the Game

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Figure 1: Runners are among the many athletes and fitness buffs who can monitor their performance via wearables

When Liverpool hoisted the European Cup after winning the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur in June, the moment also was a highlight for wearable sports technology. Both football clubs use StatSport’s GPS-based athlete performance-tracking system, which provides real-time metrics on parameters
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Date:
09/30/2019
The Human Body: Technology's Harshest Environment

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Figure 1: The start line of the Badwater Ultramarathon, at Badwater Basin, which marks the lowest elevation in North America.

The human body withstands a multitude of harsh conditions, from high temperatures to chilling winds, and from submersion in water to rigorous exercise. Our bodies enable us to satisfy our yearnings for adventure, while helping us survive in constantly evolving environments. Also, thanks to the inventiveness
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Date:
09/30/2019
Detecting Your Heart Rate

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Figure 1: Primary ECG signals (source Maxim Integrated – Design Guide How to Measure Biopotential ECG Using a Chest Strap)

Smart watches and wearable fitness trackers have become must-have replacements for the humble watch. Whatever our exercise regime, whether daily or weekly, our wearable device is capable of tracking our heart rate continuously, from resting to an intensive workout. Monitoring the heart rate also allows other
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Date:
09/30/2019
Are you SiC of Silicon? â€

Anup Bhalla, Vice President Engineering, UnitedSiC

Using Silicon Carbide (SiC) FETs in Data Center power supplies and telecom rectifiers With the deployment of 5G Networks, we can expect a massive build out worldwide, requiring many high-quality telecom rectifiers to provide the needed power.  To meet the need for improved efficiency,
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Date:
09/16/2019
Wearable Medical Devices Need Sophisticated Power Management

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Figure 1: MAX32660 block diagram. (Source: Maxim Integrated)

Ultra-portable wearable monitoring devices allow patients with long-term and chronic illnesses to integrate their monitoring with their daily lives, allowing a high degree of care to be delivered with more convenience than ever before. However, powering these devices for long periods without resorting to a bulky
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Date:
09/04/2019
Power Design Challenges in 1500 VDC Photovoltaic Systems

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Figure 1. Key functions of a multi-MW grid-tied PV generator

Although government subsidies for photovoltaic (PV) power generation tend to come and go, installed capacity continues to increase. From a base of 178 GW in 2014, global capacity is predicted to hit 540 GW in 2019.Europe has the largest share, projected to reach 158 GW in 2019, although growth is faster in other
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Date:
09/04/2019
Transitioning from IEC 60950-1 and IEC 60065

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Figure 1: The HBSE three-block models.

IEC 62368-1-based standards will soon be replacing a number of existing safety standards for IT, communication and audio-visual equipment. And in a move that’s proved a significant boon to product vendors with global customer bases, the US and EU regulators have aligned the date when the new standards replace
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Date:
09/03/2019
Matching Gate Drivers to Enhancement Mode GaN Transistors

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Figure 1: Inductance common to source and gate drive causes voltage transients

Gallium Nitride (GaN) HEMT is the enabler for demonstrations of power converters with end-to-end efficiencies greater than today silicon-based solution, comfortably exceeding the most stringent 80+ spec for server and cloud data center or EU Code of Conduct Tier 2 standard for USB PD external adapter. 
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Date:
09/03/2019
Power Analyzers: A Designer's Swiss Army Knife in a Box
The Swiss Army Knife (Figure 1) is a whole lot more than a knife. True, it starts out as a basic pocket knife but then it adds everything from screw-drivers, bottle opener, corkscrew, scissors and a half-dozen other useful tools. This venerable pocket tool has been used in numerous analogies for equipment
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Date:
09/03/2019
Avoiding AC Power Source Mistakes

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Figure 1: Constant voltage mode operation

This article explains the various functions available to the user of a programmable AC power source to protect the unit under test against various overcurrent and overpower conditions that could cause it to get damaged.  An overview of commonly found protection modes is provided first to set a baseline,
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Date:
09/03/2019
Power Integrity Verification with an Oscilloscope

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Figure 1: Two R&S RT-ZPR20 power rail probes connected to an R&S RTO oscilloscope. One is connected to a coaxial cable soldered directly into the circuit, while the second has an attached browser module for quick overview measurements. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

In the worst case, advanced electronic designs can have up to a hundred power supply networks with different DC voltages. Each power supply network has its own requirements for DC voltage accuracy and maximum allowable disturbance signals. Unwanted disturbance signals on the DC power supply network can lead
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Date:
09/03/2019
Thru-hole Resistors Capable of Handling up to 7 KV
RALEIGH, NC - The RNV Series from Stackpole offers a robust ¼ watt size resistor capable of handling up to 7KV under IEC 60065.14.1 standard testing. The proprietary manufacturing and materials allow the RNV to withstand 1000 hours at 40 degrees C, 90% relative humidity with cycled power
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Date:
09/03/2019
Solving the Critical End of (Battery) Life for IoT Devices

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Figure 1: Event-based power analysis on Keysight X8712A IoT device battery life optimization solution

"My battery is low and it's getting dark” was the slightly-massaged final message sent from Oppy, NASA’s Mars rover to mission control in February of this year, causing a worldwide social media sensation. It’s an issue that will be increasingly common over the next decade, as billions of
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Date:
09/03/2019
Generation of Low-Noise Voltages

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Figure 1. A passive filter at the output of a switching regulator

Linear regulators are outstanding for filtering voltages generated by switching regulators. Switching regulators always have a certain amount of output voltage ripple. In many applications in which very small signals are processed, this ripple can cause interference. Passive components are regularly used to
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Date:
09/03/2019