What’s New in DC/DC Converters
These DC/DC converters aim to bring reliability and efficiency to different verticals.
In an era where technology is at the heart of almost every field, DC/DC converters have taken center stage. From powering the smart devices that keep us connected to enabling the smooth operation of electric vehicles and renewable energy systems, these vital components ensure that our modern infrastructure receives the power levels it requires.
An evaluation board for GAIA’s new converter. Image used courtesy of GAIA
As technology evolves, the demand for more efficient and reliable DC/DC converters also grows. With advancements in semiconductor technology and control techniques constantly emerging, today's converters are becoming more versatile and effective than ever before.
This article will examine two recent releases in the DC/DC converter industry to get a better feel for the current state of the art.
GAIA’s Railway Converter
Our first piece of DC/DC converter news comes from GAIA Converter, which recently launched a series of products designed explicitly for rail applications.
Each series of parts has an ultra-wide input range from 12 -160 VDC, including devices at 24 V, 48 V, 72 V, 96 V, and 110 VDC nominal voltages.
According to GAIA, the efficiency for these converters is typically 87%, and the case operating temperature range is from -40°C to +105°C without derating. Further, the products offer various output options, including 2 x 5 V, 2 x 12 V, or 2 x 15 V. Between these options, the designer has the flexibility to place configurations in parallel for higher current and series for higher voltage.
From a safety perspective, the new converters also offer board-mounted power ratings of 20W, 40W, and 80W and feature a 3kVAC reinforced safety isolation. The devices meet the NF-F 01-510 standard by withstanding an input voltage of up to 176VDC for 100ms and the RIA12 specification of 168VDC for 20ms for 48VDC nominal. Further, the company designed these parts to meet other popular rail specifications, such as EN 50155 and other standards for common industrial applications.
GAIA also praises the new product’s exceptional mean time between failures (MTBF), which is rated to be typically above 1000 khrs. With this, the company hopes to provide a solution for railway power systems to ensure long lifetimes, reliability, and safety.
RECOM’s Medical Converter
RECOM Power had its own product launch recently when it released the REM60-W series.
The REM60-W series DC/DC converters deliver 60 W output power. Notably, the devices were designed specifically for medical applications and, as such, include medical safety certifications like EC/EN 60601-1 3rd edition, ANSI/AAMI ES60601-1, and CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60601-1:14.
The series is available in two input ranges of 9-36 VDC or 18-75 VDC and offers a variety of single and dual output options. RECOM claims the devices all have an efficiency peak of over 90%. With this high efficiency, the devices can support high-power density designs and operate at up to 105°C ambient temperature with some derating.
REM60-W. Image used courtesy of RECOM
One of the key features of the REM60-W series is its high-grade medical isolation, which is reinforced with 5 kVAC/1min and 2 x MOPP at a 250 VAC working voltage. The series also has a low patient leakage current of 4.5 uA maximum and creepage/clearance distance from input to output greater than 8 mm, further enhancing its safety profile.
Other features include on/off control, remote sensing, output voltage trimming, and full protection against output overloads, short circuits, input under voltage, and over-temperature. With its high efficiency and safety certifications, the REM60-W series targets the heavily regulated medical and critical industrial markets.