Power_electronics Features

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Power Electronics Europe News
Flat module switch regulators supply process control microprocessors

Characteristics of the flat module include low idle power and high efficiency, says the company.


The 4.0 to 20mA loop is the standard in process and control technology, mainly due to the relatively simple two-wire technology, which is reliable and easy to install. Supplying digital components from the unused portion of the loop current had become an issue with microprocessors processing raw data and Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) modems ensuring that smart sensors keep sending data signals on the same loop.


The high efficiency of conventional switching regulator ICs drops at full load drops to exceed the 4.0mA threshold. Low quiescent current in sleep mode cannot compensate, as this shuts off the main output voltage altogether. Linear regulators are at a disadvantage despite quiescent current levels at around 0.5mA, as efficiency decreases the available power by a factor of around three compared to switching regulators.


The R420-1.8/PL switching regulators have a topology capable of lowering idle current to around 100μA while still maintaining rated voltage at output. For example,  24V DC and up to 3.5mA at the input provides 3.3V and 10mA at the output, which is capable of supplying the sensor alongside the microcontroller and HART modem without affecting loop functionality or metering accuracy.


The regulators are programmable for any output voltage between 1.8 and 5V by simple wiring using a resistor. The resulting single component is suitable for a variety of process automation or sensor-controlled, solar-powered system tasks. The regulators feature an open-frame SMD design, and operate at temperatures from -40 to 105°C, and operates at an altitude of up to 5,000m. The regulator is permanently protected against short-circuit, and comes with a three-year warranty.





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