Power Electronics

December 2003 Archives of Breaking News

12/17/2003

By Ashok Bindra, Editor, PETech

Lighting the Holidays with Unconventional Colorful LEDs

Every holiday season, we hear about new toys and gadgets on the shelves of stores and beneath the Christmas tree. Except for variations in color, brightness and flashing features, incandescent bulbs traditionally have been the lights adorning trees indoors and brightening the environment outdoors. Thanks to Yardley, Penn.-based R&D house FiberOptic Designs, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) now provide an alternative to decorative holiday lighting. Using its patented method for driving LEDs from an ac source, FiberOptic Designs has successfully manufactured a new type of holiday light. In fact, the developer has created a method to configure LEDs in series and then drive them directly from the standard 110/120-Vac wall outlets without the use of transformers. As outlets in other parts of the world offer different voltages, the company has also applied for patents overseas.

Although, LEDs have been available for holiday lighting for a few years, they weren’t popular because they needed batteries or transformers and weren’t manufactured for outdoor use. However, LEDs are slowly inching toward homes and automobiles, replacing traditional light bulbs and signal lights.

Called Forever Bright, these new LED-based holiday lights use 80% to 90% less electricity than standard incandescent light strings and are designed to last up to 200,000 hours, according to the manufacturer. That means, unlike conventional holiday lights, there are no glass bulbs to break or filaments to burn out. By that standard, the LED lights use one-tenth the amount of electricity consumed by bulbs and could last for 20 years. A recent government study indicates that for residential holiday light operation alone in America, homeowners consume nearly 2 billion kWh a year—sufficient to power 200,000 homes for a year. Obviously, the power savings afforded by LED holiday lights are phenomenal. Additionally, taking in to account the lifespan of LEDs, the amount of wastage going into landfills will be reduced dramatically. By comparison, tens of millions of conventional bulbs sold each year wind up in landfills after only a few years of use.

Another cool feature is that when the LED is lit, the temperature is only 1°F above ambient room temperature. “This makes them much safer than traditional bulbs, which can become a fire hazard," said Dave Allen, president of FiberOptic Designs. In addition, the bulbs are made of a solid-state epoxy that won't break like normal bulbs and are UL approved for indoor or outdoor use. Also, according to Allen, the LED lights can be jostled, packed, unpacked, or turned on and off continuously without shortening the lifespan of the light.

The lights come in standard light strings of 35, 50, 70, 100 and 105 counts, and are available in red, green, blue and white, as well multicolored arrays. They also come in numerous designs and sizes. In addition, the company has developed flashing LED lights. However, because the manufacturing cost goes up by almost a dollar for flashing lights, they currently aren’t as popular. The developer is using its own manufacturing facility in China as well as contract manufacturers in China to produce these LED strings for the holidays. Since the developer first introduced LEDs for holiday lighting in 2001, it has realized a gain in sales each year. To increase production and marketing of these holiday lights, FiberOptic Designs has inked a manufacturing agreement with Holiday Creations Inc. of Littleton, Colo.

For more information, visit www.foreverbright.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

DC Power Supplies

The new WAGO 787 Series power supplies provide a broad range of highly reliable, cost-effective dc power sources for any industrial control application. A new metal-clad housing offers a shockproof, industrial-strength, and compact DIN rail-mount design.

The 787 Series primary switch mode power supplies are available in single or 3-phase versions with input voltages of 90-Vac to 264-Vac or 325-Vac to 550-Vac output voltages of 12 Vdc or 24 Vdc, current ratings of 1.3 A, 2 A, 2.5 A, 4 A, 8 A, 10 A, or 20 A, and power ratings up to 480 W. These high-quality units offer high efficiency, overvoltage protection, short-circuit protection, surge protection and in-rush current limiting via NTC resistor to ensure operational reliability.

Other features include LED indication of the output voltage, output circuit connected in parallel for increased output current operation, adjustable output voltage via a potentiometer to compensate for voltage drop, and analog interface (Ua and Ia) for compiling output measurements.

For more information, visit www.wago.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

NTC Surface-Mount Chip Thermistors

Selco Products has added the Surface-Mount Chip Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) Thermistors Series to its extensive line of thermal control products. Designed with surface-mount capability for space saving economies, these cost-effective NTC thermistors provide high-sensitivity response for a variety of temperature measurement and compensation, security and monitoring applications. They are offered in multiple curve and tolerance combinations to meet exact user specifications covering a wide range of resistance values and temperature coefficients.

Performance characteristics include resistance values of 25°C at 100,000 Ω with standard tolerances of ±1%, ±3% and ±5%. Dissipation constant is 0.9mW/°C in still air, with a maximum power rating of 4 mW to 6 mW at 25°C. Other features include an operating temperature range of -40°C to 125°C, fast response time due to PCB surface mounting and low capacitance.

The Surface Mount Chip NTC thermistors measure just 0.8 mm x 1 mm (Type 0603), allowing high-density placement on the board. Uniform shape and size enables pick and place assembly for faster installation. Excellent long-term stability characteristics make them suitable for critical applications in industries such as medical, military, aerospace, industrial telecommunications, computer peripherals and science.

For more information, visit www.selcoproducts.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Secondary Side Drivers

The LTC3900 and LTC3901 secondary side synchronous N-channel MOSFET drivers from Linear Technology Corp. both have timer and current sense comparators to protect the external MOSFETs during normal and light load operation, power up/down, and when the driver supply voltage drops too low. A programmable timeout function disables the synchronous drivers when the synchronization signal between the primary and secondary sides is missing or incorrect. This protects the MOSFETs from overvoltage and electrical overstress.

Additionally, the ICs turn off the MOSFETs if the negative inductor current exceeds a user-programmable level, thereby preventing the buildup of excessive inductor energy and possible damage. Moreover, to ensure proper power up and power down, these drivers shut off the MOSFETs when the driver input voltage is below 4V. The LTC3900 is designed for use in forward converter topologies, and the LTC3901 is suited for use in push-pull and full-bridge converters. Applications include 48-V input isolated dc-dc converters, isolated telecom power supplies, industrial control and automotive equipment.

For more information, visit www.linear.com.




12/16/2003 Edited by PETech Staff

120-W, DIN Rail-Mounted Series

XPiQ Inc.’s new THF120 Series of DIN rail-mounted power supplies is ideal for industrial control and embedded systems. Capable of delivering up to 120-W of output power, this versatile series features an input voltage switch. Depending on the switch position selected, the converter accepts input voltages either from 88 Vac to 132 Vac or 176 Vac to 264 Vac.

The THF120 Series features three models with a selection of 12-Vdc, 24-Vdc or 48-Vdc output voltages. Designed for high efficiency, all models operate without a fan at temperatures ranging from –10°C to 60°C with derating. Features for the series include output voltage adjustment ±10%, overvoltage protection, overtemperature protection and overcurrent protection. The THF120 has international safety agency approvals EN60950 per TUV, CSA22.2 No.14-95 per Cul and meets Class B EMI filtering requirements. In addition, the series has UL508 safety approvals for industrial applications.

For more information, visit www.xpiq.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Overvoltage Protection IC

The NCP346 from ON Semiconductor is an overvoltage protection circuit (OVP) optimized for applications with an external ac-dc adapter, a car charger accessory and/or a battery recharger. Delivering superior voltage capability and faster turn-off speed than standard CMOS supervisory circuits, the device is suitable for cell phone, digital camera, portable computer, PDA and portable CD player applications.

The NCP346 OVP circuit is a key component in a battery charging system specifically intended to protect sensitive charging electronics from high-voltage events detected on the input by quickly disconnecting them from the adapter. The rugged BiCMOS process on which the NCP346 is built enables it to turn off a series PFET in less than 1 µs and withstands up to 30 V of overvoltage transients (or 25-V steady state). The only competitive device options for the NCP346 are low-voltage CMOS supervisors that have voltage ratings only as high as 12 V and turn-off times in the range of 200 µs for comparable capacitive loads.

For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Active Clamp Soft-Switching PWM Controllers

Texas Instruments’ four new pulse-width modulation (PWM) controllers significantly simplify implementation of active clamp/reset topologies for high-efficiency switching power supplies. The peak current-mode controllers increase efficiency in off-line power supplies and dc-dc converters used in high-end desktops, servers, 48-V telecommunications, data communications and 42-V automotive systems.

Ideal for active-clamp forward or flyback converters, TI's new UCC2891, UCC2892, UCC2893 and UCC2894 devices include an auxiliary active clamp output driver for efficient single-ended transformer reset. The controllers reduce switching losses of the converters by simply programming critical delays to achieve proper active clamp operation and deliver zero-voltage switching (ZVS) to the primary side MOSFET switches. Soft switching allows the devices to achieve higher efficiencies at high operating frequencies, and increase reliability of the overall system by lowering electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI), and reducing power supply component losses.

Building upon the success of TI's first generation UCC3580 active-clamp controller, the four new controllers improve performance while eliminating many external components. The devices include an internal programmable slope compensation circuit, a precise maximum duty cycle limit and a 1-MHz synchronizable oscillator with an internal timing capacitor. For added performance and functionality, the devices feature programmable soft-start and shutdown functionality, and an accurate line monitoring function that can program a converter's on and off transitions when determining bulk input voltage levels. The UCC2891 and UCC2893 also offer a 110-V start-up feature that removes the need of an external trickle charge bootstrap resistor to provide significant cost savings.

For more information, visit www.ti.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Silicon Laboratories Inc. Acquires Cygnal Integrated Products

Silicon Laboratories Inc. has completed the acquisition of privately held Cygnal Integrated Products, an Austin-based innovator of analog-intensive, highly integrated 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs). Cygnal's portfolio of more than 50 general-purpose products will add breadth and diversity to Silicon Laboratories' existing product line of high-performance, application-specific mixed-signal ICs.

In connection with the acquisition, Silicon Laboratories issued approximately 1.2 million shares of common stock in exchange for all outstanding shares of Cygnal capital stock. Up to approximately 1.3 million additional shares of Silicon Laboratories common stock will be reserved for future issuance to the shareholders of Cygnal based on the achievement of certain revenue milestones following the closing of the transaction.

Cygnal will be relocated to Silicon Laboratories' facilities in Austin before year-end, and its products will be sold under the Silicon Laboratories name. Silicon Laboratories will continue to support and invest in Cygnal's complete portfolio of MCU products.

For more information, visit www.silabs.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Rechargeable Magnesium Battery System

A team of scientists under the direction of Professor Doron Aurbach at the chemistry department of Israel's Bar-Ilan University has developed a rechargeable magnesium battery that can be recycled thousands of times with extremely low capacity fading. The battery, which is environmentally non-toxic and non-explosive, may reach a practical energy density ›60 Wh/Kg and demonstrates virtually no self-discharge. The team reports the battery has an operating temperature of –20°C to 60°C and possesses a stable almost constant voltage of ca. 1.1 V (OCP 1.3 V). Aurbach said he feels confident that the new battery's energy density can rival that of lead-acid and Ni-Cd technologies.

Currently, kilo-per-kilo, the new magnesium batteries may be able to generate roughly twice the amount of energy as their lead-acid counterpart. Aurbach and his team are currently working intensively to develop more advanced Mg batteries with higher energy density.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Dynex Awarded Grant to Aid in Developing Diamond Power Devices

Dynex Semiconductor Ltd. has been awarded a grant by the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop technologies for novel power electronic components based on semiconducting diamond.

This Carbon Power Electronics Program (CAPE) is a development project being undertaken by a consortium comprising Element Six Ltd., Dynex Semiconductor Ltd. and the University of Cambridge. The program, which will run until September 2006 and aims to develop the basic technologies for advanced high-power electronic components using electronic grade diamond, is being funded under the DTI LINK Basic Technologies for Industrial Applications (BTIA) program.

For more information, visit www.dynexsemi.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

IR Takes Next Step in Conversion to Lead-Free Packages

International Rectifier (IR) recently initiated the next phase in its product conversion program for lead-free finish packages—a process planned to be completed in 2004.

“As a manufacturer of leading-edge power management devices, IR products make possible more efficient use of electricity while delivering greater performance in applications such as automobiles, appliances and other electronic devices. In doing so, we’re helping to preserve the planet’s finite natural resources,” said Greg Takagi, director of IR’s Loss Prevention and Environmental, Health and Safety Group. “Removing lead from these packages is just one more step we are taking in our commitment to preserving the environment,” he added.

In support of the company’s commitment to the environment, International Rectifier is working with industry alliances and its customers to develop a full range of lead-free solutions. The company initiated certain product conversions to lead-free packages early last year with the commencement of rigorous evaluation and qualification programs to achieve product performance to specification at the higher re-flow temperatures associated with lead-free processing.

Many of the company’s commercial products are now available in production quantities in pure tin or tin/copper finishes depending upon the product as well as market requirement. These products are designed to comply with JEDEC standards and a set of European EC directives governing the use of lead-free material for packages.

For more information, visit www.irf.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

35-A Connectors

Anderson Power Products’ (APP) new 35-A Power Drawer connectors are used on “N + 1” power supply and rectifier systems for server, telecommunications and network applications.

APP’s versatile Power Drawer connectors are UL verified for cross mating with competitive products, offering the designer and user development and sourcing options.

The new 35-A Power Drawer connectors can be configured with up to eight #16 AWG contacts and 21 #20 AWG contacts or a combination of four #16 AWG contacts, four #12 AWG contacts and 21 #20 AWG contacts. Pin and socket contacts are available for both connectors with crimp, solder cup or printed circuit board termination.

The connector’s pin contacts can also be specified for first-mate and last-mate connection. This allows the electronic system to be grounded and mating electronically verified before the power circuits are energized.

Anderson Power Products also introduces “true hot plug” contacts for the Power Drawer connector family. The #12 AWG contacts are rated for disconnect interruption up to 25 A. These hot-plug contacts are available for both the 35-A and 75-A Power Drawer connector families.

APP Power Drawer connectors also feature integral guide pins, which correct misalignment during blind mating. Additionally, the connector offers an optional floating mount, reducing the fatigue stress on the connector during blind mating.

For more information, visit www.andersonpower.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Specialized Tooling

Elna Magnetics has expanded its offerings to include specialized tooling. By increasing the size of its manufacturing facility, Elna’s staff now has the cutting-edge equipment to satisfy a variety of jigs, fixtures and tooling requirements.

For more information, visit www.elnamagnetics.com.




12/16/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Common-Mode Choke

API Delevan’s new Series CM6149 common-mode choke features an epoxy potted surface-mount configuration. The potting shell is a molded, thermoset epoxy material with molded-in terminals that provide excellent co-planarity. The core is a high-permeability ferrite toroid that provides high impedance over a wide frequency range.

Series CM6149 is available in 13 inductance values ranging from 25 µH to 2,200 µH. Current ratings range from 0.18 A to 3 A. Rated operating temperature is –55°C to +105°C. Standard packaging is 24-mm tape, 600 pieces on 13-in. reel.

For more information, visit www.delevan.com.




12/3/2003

By Ashok Bindra, Editor, PETech

Analog Front-End Brings Optical Isolation to Powerline Modems

Aiming to make a dent in the emerging narrowband powerline communication modems used in automated meter readings (AMRs) and home-appliance automation applications, Agilent Technologies has extended its optoelectronics expertise and manufacturing muscle to the front-end section of these modems. The result is a fully integrated, optical-based analog front-end (AFE) chip for narrowband powerline modems (PLMs). This 0.6 micron biCMOS-based data access arrangement (DAA) chip, labeled HCPL-800J, replaces more than 30 discrete components, while reducing board space by 50%. Furthermore, the developer claims that it is the first fully integrated optical-based AFE chip for powerline modems. The single-chip solution improves PLM performance and reliability, and simplifies design. By combining isolation, Tx line driver and Rx amplifiers functions in a single package, it provides a lower cost, higher performance alternative to current AFE designs that combine an isolation transformer with multiple discrete components.

In addition to eliminating signal transformer and drastically cutting parts count, the DAA chip provides high isolation and very low Tx harmonic distortion to comply with safety and EMI standards. At 4.2-kV isolation and -60-dB Tx harmonic distortion, the HCPL-800J chip is crafted to comply with international safety standards such as UL, CSA and VDE, as well as EMI specifications such as CENELEC EN-50065-1, FCC part 15 Class B. However, approval under the following safety standards is currently pending: VDE0884/06.92 (IEC/EN/DIN EN60747-5-2) with VIORM = 891-V peak; UL 1577, component recognition program, File E55361; and CSA Acceptance Notice #5, File CA 88324.

"Excellent transmitter performance is achieved with the use of a high-efficiency, low-distortion line driver stage on-chip," said Simon Lam, product manager for Agilent's Isolation Products Division based in Singapore. He added that transmitter robustness is further enhanced with integrated load detection and overtemperature protection functions. The HCPL-800J is designed to work with various transceiver ICs and significantly simplifies the implementation of a powerline modem.

The AFE chip offers 1-A (p-p) output drive current capability. Typical input referred noise spec is rated at 25-nV/√Hz. Other features include overtemperature shutdown, line status monitoring (load detection and low supply voltage detection), undervoltage detection, and a wide operating temperature range.

The HCPL-800J incorporates two integrated circuits: a control IC and a line IC, optically isolated from each other. The modulated signal from the PLM transceiver is input to the control IC. This transmit signal is optically coupled to the line IC, then amplified and sent to the powerline. In the other direction, a potentially weak and noisy signal from the powerline is received by the line IC and optically coupled to the control IC, where it is amplified and output to the PLM transceiver. However, to complete the AFE solution, it requires a simple LC coupling circuit and filters. Narrowband powerline communication systems typically operate at up to 9.6 kb/s and use PLMs that plug in to the ac power outlet to deliver control and automation functions.

Designed for powerline modems operating at frequencies up to 450 kHz, the HCPL-800J requires two 5-V power supplies and comes in a 16-pin SOIC package. It is priced at less than $2.80 each in high-volume quantities. It is slated to go into full production in the first quarter of 2004. An evaluation board also is available. In addition, the company is developing a reference design scheduled for release in the first quarter next year. Other variations are in the works to address custom, as well as price-sensitive applications. Moreover, Agilent is planning to extend its capability to broadband powerline modems.

For more information, visit www.agilent.com/view/optocouplers.




12/3/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Standex Acquires Magnetico Inc.

Standex International Corp. has purchased substantially all of the assets of privately held Magnetico Inc., Holtsville, N.Y., and its affiliate, Trans American Transformer Inc., East Setauket, N.Y., in an all-cash transaction. The affiliated companies, with combined annual sales of $3.2 million, custom design and manufacture high-reliability, flight-critical magnetic components for the U.S. military and the aerospace and avionics industries.

“Standex's acquisition strategy is focused on identifying bolt-on companies with highly complementary lines of value-added, engineered products that can accelerate our growth in targeted markets,” said Roger Fix, president and CEO of Standex. “The purchase of Magnetico and Trans American Transformer represents the continued execution of this strategy, and adds to an already robust platform of electronic components and subassemblies.”

For more information, visit www.standex.com.




12/3/2003 Edited by PETech Staff

TT Electronics IRC Appoints New Management

TT electronics has named Allen Hilton as vice president/general manager of its IRC Wirewound and Film Technologies Division. Hilton will be responsible for managing the company’s manufacturing facilities in Boone, N.C. and Barbados, British Virgin Islands. In addition, Allan Cole has been appointed director of sales and marketing. Cole will be responsible for the company’s marketing efforts and managing sales reps and distributor relationships.

IRC’s market focus includes supplying resistive products and technology to the automotive, medical, computer, telecom, military and aerospace industries. In addition to extensive capabilities in customizing resistor technology for specific applications, IRC’s broad product line includes power and current sense resistors, specialized wirewound and film resistors, automotive assemblies and thick film on steel technology for automotive and industrial applications. The new IRC management team is positioned to explore new markets for the company’s technology and products.

Hilton brings more than 25 years of management experience in the electro-mechanical and passive electronic component business and has served as the director of operations with IRC’s sister company BI Technologies in Mexicali, Mexico, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia and Fullerton, Calif. He has also worked as a manufacturing engineer with Robinson Nugent in Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland and Scotland.

Prior to his employment with IRC, Cole was employed with Yageo and AVX Corp. as CEO and vice president of sales, respectively. He brings more than 35 years of experience in the electronics industry in areas, such as sales, marketing and management, along with extensive expertise in manufacturing and distribution.

For more information, visit www.ttelectronics.com.




12/2/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Frontier Silicon, Atlantic Technology and Flomerics Overcome Thermal Design Challenges

Frontier Silicon has produced a new, single-chip solution for multimedia applications. During the development of the chip, Frontier approached Flomerics and Atlantic Technology to produce an engineering solution to its exact requirements. Flomerics performed rapid thermal simulations to assess the thermal performance of the package, assist in heat sink selection, optimize board layout, and verify that the operating environment would not compromise the long-term reliability of the device.

From the project’s start, Frontier Silicon worked with contract manufacturers Atlantic Technology to package the new system-on-chip solution into a standard ball grid array (BGA) package. The major design constraints were the small size and shape of the enclosure, aesthetic considerations with regard to venting, and strict temperature limits for the critical components.

Atlantic Technology and Frontier Silicon turned to Flomerics, who used its thermal simulation software, Flotherm, to create a highly detailed thermal model of the BGA, while simultaneously modeling the airflow and temperature in the complete system, including the effects of restricted airflow within a typical domestic environment. The latest version of Flotherm includes a new localized-grid capability, which allows regions of extremely dense computational mesh (e.g., around the critical device) to be combined with a much coarser mesh outside for faster processing. This new feature was particularly useful in this case, enabling a very detailed analysis of heat flow paths in and around the critical BGA.

For more information, visit www.flomerics.com.




12/2/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Micro-Sized Connectors Carry VDE Approvals

Tyco Electronics recently announced that its line of Micro MATE-N-LOK connectors have “passed test by VDE under their registration Number 40005280/Continuous Surveillance,” according to the association. The VDE certification mark allows the product to be used throughout Europe and certifies compliance with European standards. Micro MATE-N-LOK connectors are based on 3-mm centerlines and are available in wire-to-wire, wire-to-board, single row, and double row configurations. They are suitable for a variety of industrial and commercial applications, including medical devices, household appliances, commercial appliances, industrial controls, and other applications that require small centerline power and signal I/O connections.

Micro MATE-N-LOK connectors are available in dual row and single row configurations. Additionally, designers can select from either right angle or vertical headers for the wire-to-board versions. Contacts are crimped to wire and accept two wire ranges: 24-20AWG or 30-26AWG. The headers are IR reflow process compatible and are available in through-hole or surface-mount configurations.

The receptacle contacts are phosphor bronze with tin-lead, or gold plating. Plug contacts are brass with tin-lead or gold plating. Housings are UL 94V-0 nylon.

For more information, visit www.tycoelectronics.com.




12/2/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

LPKF Signs Agreement with Harting Technology Group

LPKF Laser & Electronics AG (Garbsen, Germany) recently signed a corporation agreement with Harting Technology Group (Espelkamp, Germany). This partnership allows Harting to produce three-dimensional molded interconnect devices (3D-MIDs) for the micro-packaging field, using LPKF’s proprietary Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) process.

With this agreement, Harting will become a full-featured supplier of LDS made 3D-MID solutions. Harting will use and advance the LPKF LDS process, which consist of three easy steps. A structure is molded in a standard mold using the recently licensed Ticona Vectra® Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) material, then the desired interconnect pattern is then directly written on the resulting molded part using an LPKF laser system. The conductive paths are then plated using industry-standard methods. The plating adheres only where the plastic has been activated by the laser. Using this method, Harting can prototype and mass-produce micro-packaging solutions in-house. Micro packaging allows the realization of higher reliability standards, and greater functionality per volume through the process of miniaturization and component integration.

For more information, visit www.lpkfusa.com.




12/2/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Eurotherm Consolidates Sales and Marketing Activities for Action Instruments

Eurotherm, a unit of Invensys plc, has consolidated the sales and marketing activities of Action Instruments with those of Eurotherm Controls in Leesburg, Va. Action Instruments will be operating from the Leesburg facility by the end of this year. Eurotherm’s U.S. headquarters is now housing five divisions: Action Instruments, Barber Colman, Eurotherm Chessell, Eurotherm Controls and Continental Industries.

Eurotherm will maintain a technical support facility in San Diego, as well as have this capability in Leesburg. The transition is expected to have a positive impact on the level of customer support. Several Action employees will be relocating to Leesburg. This will assure a continuity of operations. The field sales force is already handling the product lines of all five units, offering customers a full range of control solutions. This benefits customers by providing stronger, more responsive local sales support for all products. Additional customer benefits are a greater level of accessibility and local product support. The comprehensive sales and management teams are geared toward helping customers become more profitable in their own business.

For more information, visit www.invensys.com.




12/2/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Metering ICs

Analog Devices’ new energy metering ICs—the ADE7753 and ADE7758—are based on the company’s high-resolution analog-to-digital converter (ADC) technologies, combined with a fixed-function DSP. The DSP performs all the necessary energy measurement calculations, allowing a low-cost microprocessor to be used for data management and supervisory functions. This architecture simplifies meter designs that previously relied on microprocessors to perform complex computations. The reduction in extensive code development significantly reduces cost and time-to-market.

The ADE7758, which features second-order sigma-delta ADCs, is designed for midrange 3-phase energy meters. For each phase, the chip measures reactive, active, and apparent energy; as well as rms voltage and rms current. These measurements are accessed via a serial interface that allows a fully automated digital calibration. The ADE7758 interfaces with a variety of sensors, including current transformers and di/dt current sensors, such as Rogowski coils. Like other products in the ADE family, the ADE7758 provides accurate active energy measurements with less than 0.1% gain error over a current dynamic range of 1000-to-1. Its reactive energy measurement also surpasses the Class 2 IEC61268 accuracy requirement of VAR-hr meters.

For more information, visit www.analog.com/ADE7753 or www.analog.com/ADE7758.




12/1/2003

Edited by PETech Staff

Rack-mount Product Line

UltraVolt Inc’s new HV Rack is a high-voltage multichannel rack-mount product. Featuring preset before and during bias and super-bright digital display readouts for use in high-ambient-light conditions, the HV Rack steps beyond traditional rack-mount power supply technology. More conventional features include multiple output channels, local and remote controls, and universal ac input. The HV Rack also offers constant-voltage-regulation/constant-current-regulation auto-crossover and simultaneous voltage and current monitoring of all channels.

The HV Rack is configurable with up to four independent channels, each ranging from 0 V to 62 V through 0 kV to 40 kV between 4 W and 250 W. Each channel is individually controlled, enhancing usability. Furthermore, the HV Rack’s modular design allows for quick delivery, benefiting those with strict time limitations.

For more information, visit www.ultravolt.com.



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