Energy Efficiency Targeted At PCIM Europe

May 28, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Improving energy efficiency was a common theme on the final day of this year’s PCIM Europe trade show. Power Integrations, Zetex Semiconductors Plc, Infineon Technologies AG and IDS Integral Drive Systems AG all introduced products designed to improve the efficiency of power converters. These solutions were targeted at a wide range of converters from about 5W to 1MW.

Power Integrations introduced its LinkSwitch-III, aimed at low wattage ac-dc powering applications such as chargers for mobile phone handsets and cordless phones, high-brightness LED drivers and other constant-current (CC) or constant-voltage (CV) systems. The new component simplifies the design of converters that meet all worldwide energy-efficiency and no-load regulations such as Energy Star 2.0 for external power supplies.

By integrating all control and protection circuitry plus a 700V MOSFET in an 8-pin package, LinkSwitch-III reduces component count by 9 parts compared with previous-generation LinkSwitch designs and by up to 15 parts compared with a discrete design. LinkSwitch-III also offers frequency jittering to reduce EMI filter costs.

Aiming at converters ranging from 50 to 150W, the ZXGD3101 rectifier controller from Zetex enables designers to replace Schottky diodes with surface-mount MOSFETs to achieve higher efficiency, less heat generation and a reduction in power supply size and weight.

Called a "zero-point detector driver" since it accurately senses the point at which secondary current reaches zero, the ZXGD3101 ensures that a MOSFET performs the same function of the diode it replace while significantly improving efficiency. In a 60W notebook adapter, Zetex claims that losses are reduced by typically 20%.

The MIPAQ products introduced by Infineon offer a very high level of integration and are designed to be used in uninterruptible power supplies, industrial drives and photovoltaic power systems, and similar applications. Based on the latest Infineon IGBT4 chips, these modules provide about 20% lower switching losses than IGBT3 solutions and offer higher power cycling capabilities.

All MIPAQ modules feature an IGBT six-pack configuration and certain models are offered with PressFIT interconnection technology for fast, reliable and solder-free mounting. These 1,200V modules are offered in current ratings from 50 to 200A.

Targeting energy-recovery circuits in MVA-scale applications such as traction drives, IDS introduced a line of insulated liquid-cooled ac inductors with ratings up to 1,100V and up to 1,000A. These inductors are about one-third the size, and one-third the weight, of conventional devices. For example, a device rated for 690Vac and 550A measures 600 x 320 x 328 mm and weighs about 130kg.

Because the cooling system is insulated, it is not necessary to use de-ionized cooling liquids. There is no heat dissipated into the surrounding environment, and these inductors are able to operate the cooling system at ambient temperature.