Author Archives: Charles T

InPhase Insight: Why minimalistic design is essential in Power Electronics

This article is about how mimimalistic design is made a philosophy at InPhase Power to achieve simple but effective solutions

Dr InPhaseHello Readers, Good day. After quite some effort i have pulled out one of our Research Fellows to come out and write to the world about our design Philosophy which puts simplicity at the forefront before all. This article will give you a very good idea on how the Research team at InPhase is working tireless to create beautiful Products that looks simple but  functions extra-ordinary. Happy Reading.

Why actually we need a minimalistic approach in design ?

The concept of minimalistic approach in design varies with different field of applications. Design for Minimal Execution time is critical in many cases like in high speed networking devices. Design for Minimal Power consumption is critical for low-power battery-operated devices e.g. mobile phones or digital watches. Design for Maximal Fault tolerance is critical for cases where manual inspection (or repair) is difficult or impossible e.g. submarine systems and electronic devices on Mars Missions. Design for Minimal Radiation leakage is critical for removing interference between medical electronics Devices (and aircraft systems etc). Design for Testability is another critical aspect. Even though minimal hardware helps in certain aspects it might not always be the right objective to achieve it mandatorily. A good design happens not by the only objective to minimize the hardware, but it comes along with the optimized use of all the available resources in a cost saving package without compromising the output.

Minimalism is Also an Iceberg!

What we see from minimalism at first is only the success part. We imagine a clear home with no mess, we see a nice wardrobe that is never outdated and a bank account full of savings. But minimalism is about sacrifices, resilience and change. Minimalists do a lot of things differently from the majority. They face judgement and criticism. To work well, minimalism has to be in your head and in your heart. It has to be thought about and felt. It’s more than owning less. It’s focusing on what truly counts. This is the same case as we do a design in Power Electronics at InPhase . To keep the design minimal and powerful, a lot of work is done in the background.

IcebergGIF

Fast Changing digital domain!

When we think about ‘low power electronics circuits’ the first image that come across our mind is a Printed circuit board with a number of integrated circuits mounted on it . Gone are those days where analog circuits dominated the electronics manufacturing process. This is the age of high end Digital Signal Processors, FPGAs, FPAAs and other high speed processing devices that can do the mathematical and logical calculations within a minimal footprint of 5 x 5 mm. A single FPGA chip can do the job of more or less 50 Analog ICs thus saving time, cost with increased precision. Analog system just aides the digital controller in the processing. But still, the scope of analog ICs and associated devices exists only because rapid change in technology is reaching the industries in a much slower pace and many industries inhibit to get adapted to the change. InPhase stands out in this and uses the advanced DSP technology for the design of its master controller, which is used as the main control board for its prime products like Active Harmonic Filters and Solar central Inverters.

What InPhase Provides

pecInPhase currently uses Dual Core Delfino Microcontroller with a processing speed of 200MHz. The Delfino™  Microcontroller is a powerful 32-bit floating-point microcontroller unit (MCU) designed for advanced closed-loop control applications such as industrial drives and servo motor control; solar inverters and converters; digital power; transportation; and power line communications. The integrated analog and control peripherals also let designers consolidate control architectures and eliminate multiprocessor use in high-end systems. Digital signal processing (DSP) devices currently have higher central processing unit (CPU) performance (clock rates over 100 MHz) and integration of advanced high-speed peripherals. Great strides have been made in DSP power reduction through CMOS process technology. These advances have increased the complexity of the DSP board design, which provide more analog challenges than a simple digital design. Thus great care is required while designing the board and InPhase  Controller does that without much complications. The main attractions of InPhase  Controller are

  1. A single versatile controller capable of controlling Active harmonic filter, 2 level and 3 level solar central inverters and various custom converters. This uniqueness actually reduces the discrepancy of selecting controller for different applications.
  2. The InPhase  Controller is a single board which is capable of producing up to 24 PWMS. It also have capabilities to process several analog I/Os and digital I/Os. The integrated communication system works based on advanced communication protocols like CAN, RS485 and RS232.
  3. The InPhase  Controller is designed in such a way that low voltage and high voltage components are separated with necessary isolation. This reduces the EMI interference and gives protection for low power ICs.
  4. Use of minimal components reduces the size of the Printed circuit board and thereby reduces the number of board traces.
  5. The reduction in number of board traces will eventually leads to reduction in power loss and thus increases the overall efficiency.

All these features of InPhase Controller provides utmost satisfaction for its customers who uses any of its products like InPhase Active harmonic filters , Solar central Inverters or other custom converters.

Doctor Hi

Well Overall simple design means also there are less number of interconnections, lesser components and eventually Lesser maintenance. Will see you back with another wonderful article soon.

 
IInphaseLogo(300dpi) (1)nPhase Power is a Power Electronic Product company manufacturing products for Power Quality and Power Conversion. InPhase is manufacturer of Active Filter, Active Harmonic Filter, Solar Inverter. InPhase majors in power system design for power quality and conversion. Driven by a management that has a combined experience of over 60 years in power system and power electronics InPhase nurtures innovation and passion in this field.