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Efficient, Low Noise DC-DC Converters Save Space

It’s not often you come across a power supply with both ultra low noise and high efficiency—you usually have to trade off one for the other. With our new TLB5 series of DC-DC converters, you get both, along with many other compelling features. Let’s take a closer look.

Low noise, high efficiency. At Polytron, we’ve designed and tested the TLB5 series for extra low noise. These DC-DC converters have an output ripple and noise of just 10 millivolts, thanks to a built-in EN55022 Class B filter for reducing electromagnetic interference.

In addition to the low noise, our TLB5 power supplies are highly efficient. While other models have efficiency rates in the low 80 percent range, this series tops out at 89 percent efficiency.

Space-efficient too. There’s another aspect of efficiency worth noting: the TLB5 ser ies saves space in your device. In many 2.5-watt single output applications, it’s common practice to double up a 2.5-watt power supply to meet the power requirements. With our 5-watt series, you can meet the same requirements with one small, compact DIP package of 1.25 x 0.80 x 0.40 inches.

Additional features. The TLB5 series has a wide operating temperature range up to 85°C and an input to output isolation voltage of 1600 volts. Other features include over current, short circuit, under voltage and over voltage protection, and a 4:1 wide input voltage range. This series also meets UL60950-1, EN60950-1 and IEC60950-1 safety standards. Some common applications include:

  • Telecommunications.
  • Data communications.
  • Measurement equipment.
  • Wireless network equipment.
  • Industrial control systems.
  • Semiconductor equipment.

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Easy-To-Follow International Wiring Instructions For Your Power Supply

To help reduce the likelihood of failure in your power supply, we’ve released a set of new pinout diagrams on our website with easy-to-follow global wiring instructions to simplify connecting your power supply.

These diagrams will help you install single, dual or triple output chassis mounts, as well as single, dual and triple output PC mounts. When installing your power supply, follow the proper instructions based on your input voltage and mounting type. Other international input voltages and voltage combinations are also available upon request.

One of the easiest ways you can avoid installation-related issues is by making sure your power supply has the right polarity so it retains sufficient power. If you accidentally reverse the polarity on the output side, you could damage your circuitry and the power supply.


Thermal Management For Power Supplies

To make sure your power supply runs efficiently for the long run, you need to remove heat from the device. Here are some ways that Polytron uses appropriate thermal management strategies to increase the mean time before failure (MTBF) and keep temperatures down in all our power supplies.

HWB100Potting Material. Using a thermally-conductive potting material helps dissipate heat while helping with shock and vibration. These potting materials feature a low thermal resistance and help carry heat away from the power supply electronics, improving cooling efficiency.

Forced Air Cooling. Forced air cooling speeds up heat dissipation to extend the life of our power supplies. In this method, a fan blows outside cool air across the top of the power supply. One of the biggest advantages of forced air cooling is that it requires little maintenance.

Heat Sinking. Internal heat sinking eliminates heat from inside power supplies by dispersing heat for improved efficient energy use. Bringing the heat sink to its outside surface allows for a more direct airflow to reach the direct source of heat. This method radiates heat so it doesn’t get trapped inside and over heat the power supply.

Conduction Cooling. Conduction cooling is sometimes used in our high wattage power supplies. This method mounts all internal heat sources to an isolated metal baseplate, which is then mounted to a heat sinking frame or housing.


How to diagnose power supply problems


Before leaving the plant, power supplies are always subject to performance testing. These tests include line regulation at full load and operating temperature.

The problem with these ideal testing conditions is that there's no guarantee that the operating conditions of a power supply will be consistent with the test conditions. One reason for this is that electrical components have performance tolerances – the most common being 5, 10 and 20 percent of the nominal value. This component tolerance effect is additive, which can keep the power supply from working properly.

Once you've ruled out tolerance issues, here is how you can diagnose a power supply problem.

No Load. Start by testing the power supply on a bench with no load. If it doesn't work, you'll know right away to contact the manufacturer for another unit. If the power supply works, you should test it with a resistive load to see if that's the problem.

Resistive Load. Failure with a resistive load can mean that your tolerances have caused a process or component failure. Other possible reasons for failure with a resistive load are if the component is out of specification or has a cold soldered joint. If the power supply still works with a resistive load, you'll want to test it with an active load.

Active Load. If the problem comes from the active load, it could be due to an unfamiliar signal caused by high capacitance. A large capacitor on initial power-up can act as a short circuit, forcing the unit into short circuit protection. At this point, you should check the manufacturer's specification to see if your unit has exceeded the maximum capacitive load.

If your power supply still doesn't work, you have two other options: either lower the capacitive load, or get a different unit with circuitry that can handle higher currents.

Robust DC-DC converters meet railway requirements

Railway electrical systems can be tough on DC-DC converters. That’s because the converters have to contend with a multitude of background signals that can cause interference.

Air-conditioning, lighting, broadcasting and fire systems can prevent DC-DC converters from working the right way.

Railroad-Ready DC-DC Converters. Our quarter and half brick DC-DC converters for railway applications are designed for efficiency in these conditions. Also offered with a 24 pin DIP package of 1.25” x 0.80” x 0.40” or an industry standard package of 1.0” x 2.0” x 0.40,” these DC-DC converters come in a variety of wattages and meet all EN50155 requirements including input, electromagnetic compatibility, mechanical, thermal and isolation. They also feature adjustable output voltage and no minimum load requirement.

DC-DC converters that meet EN50155 standards specify a nominal input variation of ±30%, including ripple. Most trains achieve weight and space savings by using battery voltages up to 110 Vdc. However, most system equipment requires input power between 12 and 24 Vdc. DC-DC converters that meet these standards transform the basic 110 Vdc to 12 and 24 Vdc.

Technical Features. Our DC-DC converters protect electronic railway equipment against dielectric strength through different isolation barriers. For 24 and 48 Vdc nominal input, EN50155 requirements for rolling stock are 500Veff/50Hz/1min. For 72 to 315 Vdc, the requirements are 1.500Veff/50Hz/1min.

Our internal noise solutions make for very clean signals both to and from the DC-DC converters to optimize overall operation. The DC-DC output is maintained for 10 milliseconds during power outages.

These converters also pass shock and vibration testing for harsh environments. Shock load tests have accelerations as high as 5g for 50 ms, while vibration tests require accelerations up to 5g frequencies up to 150 Hz.

Other features include under voltage, output current, short circuit, over voltage and over temperature protection. Their ability to survive harsh environments with high shock and vibration loads helps reduce premature system failures in railway applications.