Categorized | Industry News, LEM, PCIM

Posted on 28 March 2014

LEM: New benchmarks for energy saving and control

 

 

The use of new process technologies enables the new generation of LEM open-loop Hall-effect current transducers to combine the performance of closed-loop current transducers but at a
significantly lower price.

 

In today’s power electronics, the most widely discussed topic is the search for increased energy saving and control.

Across all types of applications, the common goal is greater energy efficiency. This could be achieved through enhanced motor control; improved power-supply regulation; or more accurate and flexible power generation. Improvements in motor control, for example, provide a direct contribution to reducing overall energy consumption, whilst enhanced control of the grid, in addition to optimised transport and distribution, can help to fine-tune the balance between energy generation and consumption. Then there is, of course, the increased integration of solar and wind energies into the grid.

The quality of the grid is central to the overall search for energy efficiency, particularly as control of the grid  evolves towards greater adaptability and precision. As the tools with which electrical currents are measured and controlled, current transducers are at the heart of this evolution. Any improvement in the performance of current transducers will therefore directly contribute to overall energy-efficiency and control.

However, the search for higher performance is often accompanied by a higher price tag and a larger size, neither of which is acceptable. So, these new levels of performance must be delivered whilst also reducing the cost and cutting the size of the new generation of current transducers.

This is the challenge which has been addressed by current-transducer manufacturer, LEM, with the introduction of the HO and HLSR series of current transducers.

LEM HLSR

LEM has achieved a breakthrough in the tradeoff between performance, cost and size, by producing open-loop Hall-effect current transducers which approach the performance offered by closed-loop current transducers but at a significantly lower price.

This breakthrough was achieved by combining the use of innovative silicon-manufacturing processes thanks to new technology and standards with investment in a new Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), based on cost-effective, open-loop Hall-effect technology.

That combination enables the LEM HO and HLSR current transducers to improve offset and gain drifts by a factor of two compared to the previous generation of current transducers. A reduction in the overall size of the ASIC die, combined with new packages, means that the new series also achieve a reduction in size.

ASIC die

In addition to enhancing performance and reducing size, LEM has also integrated new features into the HO and HLSR series. These features include an Over Current Detection (OCD) output and a faster response time of down to 2.5µs. The new series offer nominal measuring ranges of 2.67A to 50A, in a conventional, PCB through-hole package or in a surface-mount version.

The new ASIC will be introduced into LEM’s full range of open-loop transducers to provide a nominal current range of up to 250A, in a choice of package styles for high flexibility in applications and the option of 3.3V or 5V supply voltages.

The result will be a considerable increase in the cost-effectiveness and performance of current transducers which will, in turn, help to drive increased energy efficiency and more precise control for products across a wide range of applications.

LEM components

 

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