Back to Basics

Back to Basics: Zero Voltage Switching – What it is and Why it’s Important for Buck Voltage Regulation

April 23, 2013
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Back to Basics: Zero Voltage Switching – What it is and Why it’s Important for Buck Voltage Regulation

Buck voltage regulation, an essential part of distributing power from a DC supply to its points of load (POLs), has typically been implemented with a PWM circuit. The PWM duty cycle is varied to accommodate the required voltage reduction. However a couple of factors have applied increasing pressure to regulator design. Firstly, power density is being forced up as continuously more powerful devices are designed onto boards without corresponding increase in footprint. Secondly, DC power supply voltage levels are tending to rise to minimize distribution losses, while device voltages are reducing to increase internal...

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Back to Basics: What does Power Factor Mean and Why Must We Correct it?

February 4, 2013
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Back to Basics: What does Power Factor Mean and Why Must We Correct it?

Today’s commercial, industrial, retail and even domestic premises are increasingly populated by electronic devices such as PCs, monitors, servers and photocopiers which are usually powered by switched mode power supplies (SMPS). If not properly designed, these can present non-linear loads which impose harmonic currents and possibly voltages onto the mains power network.   Harmonics can damage cabling and equipment within this network, as well as other equipment connected to it. Problems include overheating and fire risk, high voltages and circulating currents, equipment malfunctions and component failures, and other possible consequences.   A non-linear load...

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Back to Basics: Understanding and Mitigating the Growing Problem of Distribution Losses

December 27, 2012
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Back to Basics: Understanding and Mitigating the Growing Problem of Distribution Losses

There are many articles available describing how to overcome power distribution losses with suitable power conversion devices and architectures. This post goes back to basics: explaining the underlying issues of distribution losses and the principles of their solution.

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Back to Basics: Handling High Input Transients

July 16, 2012
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Back to Basics: Handling High Input Transients

Although perhaps not as obvious as the EMI requirements mentioned in an earlier post (Meeting EMI for AC-DC Systems), the protection of the system against transients is not only a fundamental part of the development but can also become a major challenge during the design cycle.

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Back to Basics: Meeting EMI for AC-DC Systems

June 8, 2012
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Back to Basics: Meeting EMI for AC-DC Systems

EMI is seen as one of the key challenges of power conversion design and system integration, particularly for AC-DC systems.

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