Applications Power Conversion Introduction (LC)

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Applications: power conversion

There are numerous applications for the industrial market due to the many related sectors. EBV presents the most exciting application examples within the fields of:



Manufacturing companies can experience multiple power outages per year

Growing demand for energy, clean water, and consumer products in many regions also increases demand for clean and reliable power. This drives continued growth in the industrial UPS market. The market for industrial UPS has been heavily dominated by the traditional process industries, where the risk of power failure can result in a major industrial disaster. Threat of lost production or the possibility of damage to work in process now also drives the industrial UPS market in the discrete and hybrid industries. When power goes out - production stops. Even short power “blips” can cause downtime, waiting 3 minutes or more for network or control equipment to restart costs companies thousands of euros per power interruption. Using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) you will see immediate cost savings. Ordinary UPS solutions rely on batteries. Batteries require maintenance, adding operating and overhead expenses (inspections, testing, replacement and disposal). An alternative is the use of ultracapacitors instead of batteries. The return-on-investment is up to two times better and cost-of-ownership is 50 to 70% lower than an ordinary UPS.

Welding machines

Automated welding machines give industrial companies advantages such as high quality, capacity and of course much higher productivity

Resistance spot welding is an inexpensive and efficient way of joining metals. It has extensive applications in household appliances and in automotive industries. The traditional approach in relation to spot welding machines is to use 50 Hz welding transformers. The drawback associated with these transformers is that they are both heavy and bulky. Moreover, the fusing requirements become larger due to increased welding power. With the development of high power semiconductor switches and DC-DC converter topologies, it is now possible to develop inverter drive resistance spot welding equipment (RSE) which can be operated at frequencies higher than the 50 Hz frequency. The advantage of using high frequencies is the reduction in the size of the transformer. In many industrial applications long welding arms are required between the transformer and the weld spot, which increases the inductance. The parasitic inductance in welding arms limits the maximum rate of change of the current. In order to achieve a higher power the current has to be rectified and to rectify a current in the order of a tenth of a kA is a challenging task and is one of the major sources of loss. The full bridge converter topology is used for the inverter drive. The power switches used in the converter are I GBT. The DC link capacitors are used to store high energy. In the case of circuit failure, the stored energy can cause the I GBT device to rupture so in order to avoid this, a protection scheme is required. A controller circuit, using a DSC or low cost DSP can be developed in order to drive a high frequency full bridge converter which can also be used to drive the I GBTs. The secondary side welding current is in the order of kilo amperes. A requirement for the welding control is that the current must be sensed precisely and in order to fulfill this, a Hall sensor system can be used. This developed circuit is used in the feed-back control. The presence of metallic objects and tools in the vicinity of the Hall sensor system can affect its precision.

Induction heating

Induction heating is a non-contact heating process

It uses high frequency electricity to heat materials that are electrically conductive. Since it is non-contact, the heating process does not contaminate the material being heated. It is also very efficient as the heat is actually generated inside the workpiece. This can be contrasted with other heating methods where heat is generated in a flame or heating element, which is then applied to the workpiece. For these reasons Induction Heating lends itself to some unique applications in industry. A source of high frequency electricity is used to drive a large alternating current through a coil. This coil is known as the work coil. The passage of current through this coil generates a very intense and rapidly changing magnetic field in the space within the work coil. The workpiece to be heated is placed within this intense alternating magnetic field.The alternating magnetic field induces a current flow in the conductive workpiece. The arrangement of the work coil and the workpiece can be thought of as an electrical transformer. The work coil is the primary where electrical energy is fed in, and the workpiece is a single turn secondary that is short-circuited. This causes tremendous currents to flow through the workpiece. These are known as eddy currents. In addition to this, the high frequency used in induction heating applications gives rise to a phenomenon called skin effect. This skin effect forces the alternating current to flow in a thin layer towards the surface of the workpiece. The skin effect increases the effective resistance of the metal to the passage of the large current. Therefore greatly increases the heating effect caused by the current induced in the workpiece.

Power converters

Voltage surges and sags, power interruptions, voltage transients, electrical noise and other power quality problems can disrupt production, damage equipment and corrupt valuable data

High density power systems require very high efficiency, excellent power density and ease of implementation. EBV offers a family of high performance DC/DC controllers specifically tailored for isolated power conversion for input voltages ranging from 4 V to 100 V for telecom, datacom and industrial applications. We feature primary- and secondary-side control ICs, which provide synchronous rectification, fast transient response, overvoltage and overcurrent protection. These devices enable output voltages from 0.6 V to 52 V from flyback, forward, half-bridge, push-pull or full-bridge topologies. Many industrial applications demand isolation and high efficiency at lower input voltages. EBV offers multiple controllers specifically designed for isolated power conversion from 12V and 24V sources. Advantages of these solutions include reduced complexity, synchronous rectification and the ability to accommodate other output voltages and power levels with relatively minor changes to existing designs. Leveraging these flyback and forward solutions results in shorter design cycles and flexible designs.

Power supplies

Power supply switches the incoming power on/off and varies the width of the resultant pulses to provide the desired voltage after they have been integrated and filtered

This approach is more efficient than that of a linear power supply, which dissipates the power resulting from the voltage drop in its regulator. A switch mode power supply is therefore cooler running than a linear power supply with the same output rating, and is smaller because it doesn’t require the bulky (and heavy) power transformer of the equivalent linear supply. However, the switching does result in the output containing more electrical noise than the linear supply, so when planning to use a switch mode power supply it is very important to first verify that the noise will not adversely affect the intended application.

Portable power generator

As the name implies, portable units are not designed for permanent installation

Instead they work with stand-alone applications and are meant to temporarily energize a few critical applications via external cords. These are usually functional for a run time of less than 12 hours, and provide a power output of 500W to 17.5kW. Different models of portable units can be fuelled using one or more of specific energy sources like gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, propane or natural gas. Most portable units are air-cooled and hence ought to be operated in the open for availing maximum air ventilation. Often, portable units do not have a provision for sound insulation and can be extremely noisy in operation. Portable units are typically used when backup power requirements are low or only temporary. These serve as handy accessories in residential applications, where they can provide energy for lighting, sump pumps, specific essential appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners, and vital medical equipment. They also find use at construction sites, farms, motor homes, and recreation vehicles, and during camping trips. These units are generally used in trailers where the small power output generated is adequate. Also, being compact and lightweight, these sets can be conveniently stored in the trailer compartment or in the back of a tow vehicle.

Stationary Power Generator (MM)

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Stationary power penerator

Despite the many advantages associated with portable units, they are not suitable for addressing very high power requirements, such as those of an enterprise, for very long periods of time

In such a case, the permanent standby generator addresses the exacting and urgent power requirements of businesses. This unit provides power by being hard-wired into the main distribution panel and can be started manually or even automatically in the event of a power outage. During a power failure, an automatic transfer switch isolates the electrical wiring from the utility grid and signals the generator to start functioning. The generator begins to feed power to the lines. When power is restored, a reverse action takes place, wherein incoming feed is once again procured from utility lines and the generator ceases to function and goes into a standby mode. The transfer time is usually about 10 to 30 seconds. Hence, it is essential to make provisions for uninterrupted power supply (UPS) in the interim so that computer systems and applications are not abruptly shut down during transfer time. Also, it makes practical sense to ensure UPS availability during times when the generator is shut down once in every 50 to 100 hours for the purpose of changing motor oil. Stationary generators are capable of supporting very high power levels in the range of 3kW to several hundreds of kilowatts, for extended periods of time.