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Technical Features

January 2020
 Electric Vehicle Power Electronics Push Test Equipment Performance Limits

Figure: LV123 Operational status vs. operating voltage ranges

Power Electronics in New Vehicle Systems Automotive electronics are changing in dramatic ways. While it is true that “traditional” internal combustion engine vehicles still dominate the market, the automotive world is racing into a disruptive future. The market demand for reduction in the use of fossil fuels
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Date:
06/30/2020
Installation of Open Frame, U Channel AC/DC Power Supplies

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Figure 1: Open frame power supply

AC/DC power supplies are commonly supplied in what is known by the industry as an open frame format. Open frame generally describes a product which is a PCB only construction, component power supply designed to be installed into an end-equipment application which provides the enclosure for the entire product. Another common for
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Date:
01/26/2020
MTBF – A Prediction of a Power Supply's Operating Life?

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Figure 1: Reliability bathtub curve

The definition of MTBF is often open to misinterpretation. MTBF, or mean time between failures, is not a prediction of product or system operating life. Instead, it is a prediction of time between successive failures during normal operation. This is particularly relevant for a system or product that is likely t
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Date:
01/26/2020
Ride Through the MLCC Shortage

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Figure 1. Increases in worldwide MLCC use in electric automobiles (a) and cell phones (b), without commensurate increases in production, have led to shortages.

The worldwide supply of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) is not keeping up with demand. This is due in no small part to increased electronic complexity of cell phones, increased sales of electric cars, and a worldwide expansion of electronic content across industries. Some smartphones have doubled MLCC us
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Date:
01/26/2020

Digital Control in Power Supplies Supports Industry 4.0, IoT

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Figure 1. Analogue power supply with digital interface

Digital control in power supplies and power systems broadly fits into two implementations. The more common approach is a digital interface between the traditional analogue control system and the outside world providing signals & alarms and various levels of control via a communication bus. Simple, low-cost
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Date:
01/26/2020
Avoiding Field Failures with Crowbar Protection Thyristors

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Figure 1. SIDACtor I-V Curve. It is a bipolar device with an off-state and an on-state. VDRM is the maximum off-state voltage. In that state, the maximum current, IDRM is the off-state leakage current. When the voltage across the device reaches the breakover voltage, VS, the device switches to the on-state and conducts a large current, IH, the holding current. The SIDACtor maintains the holding current at a low voltage, VT, the holding voltage. The SIDACtor can maintain a large current with its power capacity due to the low crowbar voltage, VT.

Ensuring a product is robust to power line transient conditions is a critical aspect of design that often does not receive the appropriate level of attention during product design. While a product failure due to a high voltage transient is an external event, the failure is due to a design that inadequately protects th
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Date:
01/26/2020
The Versatile Inductor
Traditionally, off-the-shelf power inductors have offered the capability to perform a variety of functions and serve many different applications. The same inductor might have served one circuit as a ripple-smoothing element in an LC output filter and as an EMI suppression choke in another. By contrast, a device
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Date:
01/23/2020
Growing Developments in LED Horticultural Lighting

Figure 1: Average plant response to PAR

The horticultural lighting industry is in the middle of a disruptive change – growers are now getting to grips with the LED ‘solid-state’ artificial light alternative, traditionally provided by high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS). HPS lamps are relatively efficient at 100-150 lumens per watt, actually similar to
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Date:
01/20/2020
Understanding the Basics of DC-DC Conversion

Figure 1: DC-DC converters can be isolated or non-isolated

When Allesandro Volta made a battery out of copper and zinc disks and brine-soaked cardboard, it was a novelty and the low power DC produced had few practical applications. As electricity became better understood and it was discovered that rotating magnets could induce AC current in wires, the world of power ge
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Date:
01/20/2020
Thermoelectric Cooling for Base Station and Cell Tower Equipment

Figure 1a and 1b. Due to the limited access for repair and maintenance of base station and cell towers, long life operation is required

Temperature control of sensitive telecom electronics in unattended mobile base stations and cell towers is vital for the operation of primary and back-up systems. Heat can significantly degrade the performance and operating life of telecom cabinets, energy storage systems and back-up battery systems. Mobile ba
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Date:
01/20/2020
AI in the Data Center

Figure 1. Powering Artificial Intelligence

In a recent New York Times article, Mark Hung, a VP at Gartner, said that “almost everything Google is announcing these days is AI-related.” He said, “Google has a lead on artificial intelligence over many of its competitors, and it’s going to use that as a weapon to advance their products.” Although
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Date:
01/20/2020
Optimizing Precision Cell Measurement Accuracy in Automotive Battery Management Systems

Figure 1. Simplified block diagram of the ISL78714 multi-cell Li-ion battery manager

BMS designers have learned how to optimize BMS measurements and achieve high performance in an electrically and environmentally hostile automotive setting. The designers focus is still on cell measurement requiring millivolt and milliamp accuracy, and time-synchronizing these voltage and current measurements to
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Date:
01/11/2020