Efficiency and regulation can be only achieved by power management in devices

By: Mannu Mathew | Sub Editor | ELE Times

In the power electronics world, management and efficiency is a term that is easy to conceptualize good performance. Power management efficiency is a headline metric, with module manufacturers vying with each other to show decimal-point improvements. Evermore complex conversion topologies are used to achieve these figures, such as phase-shifted full bridges (PSFBs) and LLC converters. Diodes are being replaced by metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and wide band-gap (WBG) devices.

Heat is also an important factor when talked about electronics and its usage efficiency. Thermal management is an essential aspect of power management that’s needed to keep components and systems within their temperature limits. Passive solutions begin with heat sinks and heat pipes, and may be enhanced with active cooling using fans. All thermal management solutions involve tradeoffs in size, power, efficiency, weight, reliability, and, of course, cost, and they must be assessed with respect to project priorities and constraints. In all industries, power supplies are a necessary evil that add no commercial value in themselves, so every operating expense and watt dissipated in them is seen as reducing the bottom line. The spotlight, therefore, naturally turns on the power electronics manufacturers, with pressure to reduce losses by increasing electrical efficiency.

Healthcare, Automotive and Emerging industries are largely dependent on power management solutions

Today’s healthcare applications require different power management solutions. From a power management view, healthcare is a very interesting market. Though design cycles within healthcare are quite long, a high level of innovation is fueling the need for new healthcare electronics. These do not only replace older apparatus but are used in new markets and applications that did not exist a few years ago.

In the healthcare industry, larger systems such as MRI and PET are quite power hungry and require many distributed power supplies. These need to have a certain level of efficiency for heat dissipation purposes. In imaging applications, it is very likely that any type of system noise, including switching noise or even LDO output voltage noise, may be visible on the final image. It can mean ordinary error lines in the image, but sometimes we also see picture quality degradation in contrast and color or grey scale levels. Power supplies can introduce problems on the image sensing circuitry, but also on the image display circuitry.

The global fact of aging societies, growing economic strength, and innovations have led to many new applications for home healthcare. The benefits for patients are increased flexibility, better services, and possibly fewer trips to the doctor. From a power management perspective, all these systems require a high level of integration due to the necessary portability. High power efficiency is needed for systems that are truly portable and thus battery operated. Here lower power consumption will increase the operation time of the device without recharging or replacing batteries. Important specification is also the cost. While in some other healthcare applications the cost of a power management solution might not be a key specification.

When we talk about the automotive applications, new vehicle electric systems are promoted by the needs of fuel economy and ecology as well as by new functions for the improvement of safety and comfort, reliability, and the availability of the vehicle. Electrically controlled and powered systems for braking, steering and stabilization need a reliable supply of electrical energy. The planned generation of electrical energy, an adequate storage allows for actions by the Energy Management well in advance, while the driver need not be involved at all.

To meet day to day requirements for Battery Monitoring and Energy Management, solutions have been developed for series vehicles operating at the 14 V level. Battery Monitoring and Management has been done by considering the change of lead-acid battery properties over life, including grid corrosion, water loss, changes of active material properties, loss of active material availability, etc. Also, Battery Monitoring and Power Management to provide cranking capability ahead is also analyzed.

The technical goal of Energy Management is to guarantee the electrical power supply of a component, in all or only in special situations, e.g. with the ICE running or the vehicle moving. Power supply is usually provided by the alternator when the ICE is running and this has to be considered. If the expected voltage under an estimated future load becomes critically low, or the available amount of charge is too low, energy balance may be improved by a decrease of energy consumption or by an increase of energy generation.

Power Management is an important precedent in market and manufacturing

The modern power architecture ensures that some parts of the circuit can be turned off using a load switch, while other circuitry, powering the real time clock (RTC), is always turned on. Thus power management unit is saving space and cost. To charge the lithium-ion battery, advanced battery charging solutions are available today. This device is a very efficient switching mode charger that is especially suitable to medical applications due to its many error detection and safety functions. It is fully compliant with the USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and USB battery charging specification 1.1 and enables charging via mini USB VBUS pin from a wall charger, car charger, or USB host port. Considering the business and market perspective, let us have a look at what does the industries contribute in order to make power management more effective and reliable:

Olmatic S.USV Advanced Power Management Module

Olmatic S.USV Advanced Power Management Module is designed to supply power to a single-board computer (SBC) or embedded system. The Power Management Module features a power input with an extended 7V to 24V range. An optional LiPo or Li-Ion battery can be used to create a completely battery-operated device. The built-in battery monitoring system carries out a continuous review of all relevant performance data, and can shut the system down if needed to prevent data loss.

Mpression ALT304594PM12 Evaluation Board

Mpression ALT304594PM12 Evaluation Board is a low-noise reference board for audio equipment and small-signal sensor systems. This evaluation board is designed for high-precision and ultra-low noise analog circuits. The ALT304594PM12 evaluation board uses LT3045 for the positive side linear regulator and LT3094 for the negative side linear regulator.

Texas Instruments TPS7B8401EVM Regulator Evaluation Module (EVM)

Texas Instruments TPS7B8401EVM Regulator Evaluation Module (EVM) is a platform for evaluating the operation and performance of the TPS7B84 family of linear regulators. This particular evaluation module configuration contains a single wide-input-voltage, small-size, linear regulator for a wide range of applications.

Maxim Integrated Evaluation Kit for MAX20796 Regulator

Maxim Integrated Evaluation Kit for MAX20796 Regulator is used to evaluate the MAX20796 fully integrated, two-phase switching regulator. The MAX20766 can be installed on the kit for a three-phase switching regulator operation. It operates from a 4.5V to 16V input voltage range and supports an output voltage range of 0.5V to 1.8V. The board uses the MAX20796 on a proven eight-layer PCB design.

Microchip Technology MCP1012 1W Evaluation Board

Microchip Technology MCP1012 1W Evaluation Board (DT100118) is a simple demonstration and development platform for the MCP1012 Primary-Side Start-Up Controller. The MCP1012 is designed to start an off-line flyback converter working in conjunction with a Secondary-Side Controller. The Secondary-Side Controller can be a Microchip Digitally-Enhanced Power Analog (DEPA) device, a PIC-based digital controller, or other.

Infineon Technologies BTS72004-4EPA Daughter Board

Infineon Technologies BTS7200-4EPA Daughter Board (BTS72004EPADAUGHBRDTOBO1) features 1 high-side switch of BTS7200-4EPA and is designed for use with the PROFET™+2 12V Motherboard. This daughter board provides a quick pick and place solution for lab evaluations. The BTS7200-4EPA Daughter Board features a diagnosis function involving load current sense output.

Texas Instruments bq25616EVM/bq25616JEVM Evaluation Module (EVM)

Texas Instruments bq25616EVM/bq25616JEVM Evaluation Module (EVM) are fully assembled and tested circuits for evaluating the bq25616 devices. The bq25616 is a standalone 3A single-cell battery charger optimized for low portable designs. It also includes USB BC1.2 input current limit detection and OTG reverse synchronous boost operation. The standalone control includes the input current limit, the charge current, and the charge voltage regulation.

ON Semiconductor NFAQ0860L3x Intelligent Power Modules

ON Semiconductor NFAQ0860L3x Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) are three-phase inverter modules that feature a high-voltage driver, six IGBTs, and a thermistor. This sensor is suitable for driving Permanent Magnet Synchronous (PMSM) motors, Brushless DC (BLDC) motors, and AC asynchronous motors. The IGBT’s are configured in a three-phase bridge with separate emitter connections for the lower legs for maximum flexibility in choosing the control algorithm.

Linear Technology / Analog Devices LTC7803 Synchronous Step-Down Controller

Analog Devices LTC7803 Synchronous Step-Down Controller is a high performance, 100% Duty Cycle Capable, and synchronous step-down DC/DC switching regulator controller that drives an all N-channel power MOSFET stage. Synchronous rectification increases efficiency, reduces power losses, and eases thermal requirements. A constant frequency current mode architecture allows a phase-lockable switching frequency of up to 3MHz. The Analog Devices LTC7803 operates from a wide 4.5V to 40V input supply range.

Texas Instruments TPS62864/TPS62866 Synchronous Step-Down Converters

Texas Instruments TPS62864/TPS62866 Synchronous Step-Down Converters are high-frequency synchronous step-down converters with I2C interface which provide an efficient, adaptive, and high power-density solution. At medium to heavy loads, the converter operates in PWM mode and automatically enters Power Save Mode operation at light load to maintain high efficiency over the entire load current range.

Toshiba Discrete Solid State Drive (SSD) Solutions

Toshiba Discrete Solid State Drive (SSD) Solutions feature a broad product lineup that meets the latest requirements with TVS, Shottkey Barrier Diodes (SBD), LDOs, Load Switch ICs, and the new powerful eFuse IC. These SSDs can parse through data quicker than a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD).

ON Semiconductor NCV8164C Ultra-low Noise LDO Regulator

ON Semiconductor NCV8164C Ultra-low Noise LDO Regulator is the next generation of high PSRR and ultra-low noise LDO capable of 300mA output current supply. This LDO regulator is designed to meet the requirements of RF and sensitive analog circuits and offers excellent load/line transients. The NCV8164C ultra-low noise regulator works with a 1µF input and a 1µF output ceramic capacitor.

Battery Monitoring and Energy Management becomes even more essential when new types of duties are imposed on the batteries, changing from a passive component to a pivot unit which has to be monitored, supervised and managed to maintain the vehicle functionality and safety.

In the long-term future, there will be a change in battery operating conditions. So an electrical storage device is needed for peak power shaving, for consumers at stand still, and for recovery of braking energy. However, changes of the power architecture are expected to proceed evolutionary rather than in a revolutionary manner. Due to cost considerations as well as uncertainties with respect to the availability and reliability of newly designed components, modifications will be introduced stepwise only when really needed thereby increasing the need for efficiency in every field of energy electronics.

By: Mannu Mathew | Sub Editor | ELE Times

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