Author Archive

In-house course digital power electronics

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

We recently ran our digital control course in-house for a power electronics company.

Great group of guys and this is what they said.

“Everybody enjoyed the course, and it’s given us a lot of food for thought!”

Why choose in-house course digital power electronics training?

  1. Keep know-how in-house.
  2. Minimal disruption to your team.
  3. Everyone gets the same exposure.
  4. It’s team building.
  5. In house means no travel and travel can be hard to get approved.
  6. Have the teacher all to yourself.
  7. Great value when you add it all up.
  8. Emphasis on material specifically for you.

When can we have it?

Send us an e-mail and we’ll work a time out.

Is it the same as the publicly available course?

Yes – we use

  • #Teledyne #Lecroy scopes
  • AP 300 analysers
  • Boost coverters
  • Fyfe digital power platforms

It’s run by the same team

We also do the same workshop practical experiments to reinforce the learning.

Can you tell us who had the recent in-house course?

No. It is covered by an NDA so we won’t disclose which company it was.

 

Equivalent bits – a question from LinkedIn Group

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

“I was looking through ELMG’s tutorial “Three Key Issues to Watch out for in the Digital Control of Power Electronics” (https://www.elmgdigitalpower.com/power-electronics-digital-control-free-report-on-three-key-issues/) and am having some trouble understanding the relationship between frequency, register size, and equivalent bits.

An example given in the “2. Timer Precision” section of the document reads:

‘Consider the case where the timer clock runs at 40MHz. If the variable period oscillator register has 256 bits then the maximum frequency that the VPO can make is 10MHz and the minimum is 39.0625kHz. The example LLC resonant power converter needs a variable frequency of 500kHz to 210kHz to perform the control. This means the VPO count register has a usable range from 80 to 191. This is 111 counts which is 6.8 equivalent bits or almost seven bits.”

Equivalent bits are a great way to look at numeric precision.

Come join the discussion to see how equivalent bits is calculated.  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/6677852/6677852-6242781250545942530

 

 

For your Digital Control Workshop which Micro Controllers are taught?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

For your Digital Control Workshop which microcontrollers are taught in the class?

Texas Instruments?

Thanks John

 

Hi John,

The uniqueness of the Digital Control Workshop is that it is not focused on one microcontroller family.  We cover the key know how that ensures you and your team will get your digital power supply robust and reliable.

Here at ELMG Digital Power our platform is an FPGA based power converter controller that we have developed.  We sell power electronic specific FPGA IP blocks for PWM, filters, three to two blocks and all the other required power electronic blocks.

We have development experience in using processors for power electronics control from

  • Xilinx
  • Atmel
  • Microchip
  • STM
  • AD and
  • Ti

Our course came about when and R and D manager asked us why his team had knowledge gaps that we were now helping fix.  These gaps were common across a number of our OEM clients.  We address these key common knowledge gaps in the course.

Happy to have a netmeeting or skype call to talk through this at anytime.

Contact us

Inductor Go Round – Redux

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

ELMG Redux from 2010

This post was originally published in 2010.  It is republished here because it looks like people are still doing the inductor-go-round.

So what is the inductor-go-round?  It is like a merry-go-round (carousel) except with inductors.  It can cost companies (or their startup backers) lots of time and money.  And usually when you are on the inductor-go-round it feels much like a carousel at a fair.  Round and round and sadly, not much progress.

Power Converters

Often the optimization of a power converter’s performance comes down to the optimization of the converter inductor. (It can also be optimization of the transformer but lets for the moment assume a non-isolated converter). For people with big and small inductors there is, it seems, an inductor go round.

What is a big inductor? At ELMG Electronics Design and Development we generally say that any inductor with mass more than 1 kg – and yes it says kilograms (1kg = 2.2 pounds) – is a big inductor. Some of you will say that until you have a 40kg inductor you don’t really have an inductor. Other inductors will be smaller.  I guess it is all a matter of what you are familiar with.

For the inductors for grid connected inverters people start with laminated iron or some other laminated material.  This is typically the  inexpensive choice.  Some others choose ferrite cores. Some start with another core material.

Air cored next

Then running first into core material problems they then move to air cored as the core is the cause of all the problems. They then either come up against either;

  • the magnetic field interference problem (the enclosure is now the core),
  • the fault rupture problems that occur with designing air cored mechanical restraints,
  • or the size constraint.

Powdered?

From here most people head to a modern core material such a powder core. These materials are not necessarily homogeneous and so they then realize that to get long life times requires careful consideration of the wear out mechanisms and to meet this requirement means using a quality core material vendor (See www.micrometals.com/thermalaging_index.html for a good first discussion on thermal aging). The lesson here is that not all core materials are the same.

Back again

At this point some people go back to iron or ferrite and others go to an alternative core material like an amorphous alloy. If they then cannot meet the price point then they may well go back to laminated iron.

At this stage the realization is that there is no magic answer. The optimization of power inductors becomes the requirement and there is usually a realization that the inductor vendors are not as able as they seem. In the defense of the inductor manufacturers it must be said that most power electronics companies struggle to correctly specify inductors.

Getting off the inductor go round means designing the inductor completely.

Power Electronics Digital Control Webinar Schedule for 2018-2019

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

We are pleased to announce the 2018 power electronics digital control webinar schedule for ELMG Digital Power.

These free webinars are the best chance to be among the best digital power electronics control engineers in the world.

The sessions cover the need to know details of Digital Control of Power Electronics and include a question and answer session after the webinar.

Power Electronics Digital Control Webinar Schedule

Make a note of the dates.

Tuesday May 1 Digital Control of Power Electronics using Zynq …[sign up here]
Tuesday June 5 What you need in a development platform for Digital Power Electronics…[Sign up here]
Tuesday July 3 Designing and Implementing Digital Integrators
Tuesday August 7 Using Simulation Tools effectively in Digital Power Electronics Development.. [Sign up here]
Tuesday September 4 Measuring Power Converter Control Transfers
Tuesday October 2 Basics of Digital Power Electronics Control – Where to Start
Tuesday November 6 How to choose your control processor for Digital Power Electronics
Tuesday December 4 Frequency Domain Control Design for Digital Power Using SciLab
Tuesday January 8 2019 Precision Correction in Digital PWM Modulators
Tuesday February 5 2019 Filter Structures for Digital Power Electronics Control
Tuesday March 5 2019 Fractional Step Digital Filters
Tuesday April 2 2019 Development Structures for Firmware and Software in Digital Power Electronics
Tuesday May 7 2019 Grid Synchronization with PLLs

We’ll remind you of the time, dates and where to sign up by e-mail.

The webinars will be presented by ELMG Digital Power CTO, Dr Hamish Laird.

Power Electronics Digital Control Webinar Schedule

Dr. Hamish Laird at the ELMG Digital Power Camarillo Office

Is there a student discount for the Digital Power Electronics Control Course?

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Is there a student discount for the Digital Power Electronics Control Course?

In short the answer is no.

That said graduate students can benefit immensely from the course.

In the past students have attended and one of the students asked Dr.Laird to help with supervision in her PhD project on partial step filters for grid connected power converters. Dr Laird helped until her graduation in 2017.

The intention of the course is to provide industry training and to enable industry people.  This means these attendees are the priority.

Register for the course here