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All the technologies mentioned in the introduction include a number of separate concepts, but they all have some common features. These are: distributed intelligence, acquisition of information by means of multiple interconnected sensors/actuators and a decentralised control system. In practice, they can make certain spaces, environments or objects “intelligent” through the capture of data from a variety of sensors with an almost unlimited territorial range.
The arrangement of sensors requires the use of various power sources. These often include free energy sources such as photovoltaic cells, broadband antennas, piezoelectric converters, wind power generators and others. The situation is different, e.g. in smart buildings where power is supplied from the mains – the available voltage is different and depends on the standard applicable in a given country.
Different areas of application place specific requirements on the applied converters. That is why not every converter will be suitable for a given field of use. The parameters that should be considered are: small dimensions, increased reliability, high energy efficiency over the entire load current range, and a moderate price, since the voltage converters will be used in bulk, just like the sensors, processors and actuators they power.
The offer of RECOM meets the above mentioned requirements. It includes highly efficient AC/DC voltage converters with very low power consumption at no load, which are ideal for the smart office as components for powering sensor nodes. There are also insulated DC/DC converters that provide a wide operating voltage range, suitable for use with a variety of energy sources, including single zinc batteries or rechargeable battery cells.
The RACxx-G series of converters is designed to power sensor nodes and small actuators in smart buildings. According to the nomenclature adopted by RECOM, the number following the RAC designation indicates the active power of the converter, which, in the case of this series, is between 1 and 4 W. The distinguishing parameter of this family of voltage converters is a very low power consumption with open output terminals, which is only 75 mW. The output voltage is specified by the manufacturer and equals 3.3, 5, 12, 15 or 24 V, which covers the needs of most semiconductor and electromechanical devices. The input voltage range is very wide and spans from 85VAC to 305VAC, which in practice covers the so-called universal voltage range. The RACxx-G voltage converters can operate in ambient temperatures from -40 to +85°C without the need to employ a heat sink or forced cooling air circulation.
The modules comply either with the EN55022 Class A (RACxx-GA) or Class B (RACxx-GB) standards. Importantly, no additional external components such as EMC filters or capacitors are required. The converters comply with EN60950 and EN62368 standards.
The RAC3.5-K/277, RAC04-K/277 and RAC05-K/277 series converters (+/W for versions with connection cables) can be supplied with a nominal voltage of 277 V AC, although, as in the case of other product families, the manufacturer declares correct operation of the converter in the voltage range from 85 to 305 V AC. The RAC05-K/480 variant is also available, which can operate with an input voltage of up to 480 V AC. This makes these converters not only suitable for powering smart building devices, but also for use in process automation in overvoltage category III (OVC III).
The number after the letters indicating the type indicates the rated power of the converter so, as you can see, the available modules have a power rating of 3.5 to 5 W. The output voltage is specified by the manufacturer and is 3.3, 5, 12, 15 or 24 V DC, depending on the type. The module can be used at an ambient temperature of -40 to +90°C without additional cooling.
Standard protection solutions include protection against overheating, short-circuit and overvoltage. The modules meet the requirements of UL62368-1, EN62368-1, IEC/EN60335-1, EN62233, IEC/EN61558-1, IEC/EN61558-2-16, EN55032, EN55014-1(-2) standards, which allows them to be widely used in automation equipment, not only in buildings, but also in industry. What is important, no additional components are necessary for the converters to meet EMC requirements.
The RAC03-SER/277 model is an interesting voltage converter, because the manufacturer has placed it in a round, flat and low-profile housing. It has a diameter of 50.3 mm and a thickness of 11 mm, so it fits into standard surface and flush-mounted junction boxes, while leaving plenty of room for other components. It is an ideal power source for intelligent building applications: sensors, security and access control systems and telecommunications equipment.
The nominal input voltage range is 100 to 277VAC, but RECOM declares the correct operation of the converter in the voltage range from 85 to 305VAC. The output voltage is specified by the manufacturer and equals 3.3, 5, 12 or 24VDC, depending on the type. The efficiency of the converter reaches 76% already at a load of 30% of the rated current. The power consumption without load at 230VAC input voltage is only 40 mW. The manufacturer declares resistance to 3kV voltage present between input and output for at least 1 minute. Standard protections include protection against short-circuit and overvoltage of the output. The operating temperature range ranges from -40 to +85°C. The voltage converter complies with the following standards: UL60950-1, CAN/CSA-22.2 No. 60950, EN60335-1, IEC/EN60950-1, EN55032, EN55024, EN55014.
RECOM declares that the AC/DC converters of the RACxx-K family are currently the smallest components in their class available on the market. They were developed to cover a wide range of applications in building automation, process automation, IoT, power supply to actuators, sensors and communication modules. As mentioned, the feature that distinguishes them from the competitors' offer is a miniature housing, designed to be soldered onto a printed circuit board, covering an area of 25.4 mm × 25.4 mm (1"×1"). The power density of the 5-watt converters (RAC05-K) is as high as 7.7 W/ cubic inch, which still allows the module to operate at temperatures from -40 to +60°C without forced cooling air circulation. The maximum permissible operating temperature is as high as +80°C, though then the power supply available at the output should be reduced to about 2/3 of its rated value.
The converters have a so-called universal input voltage ranging from 85 to 264 V AC. The output voltage is specified by the manufacturer and equals 3.3, 5, 12, 15, 18 or 24VDC. Depending on the selected output voltage, the module can supply current from 0.125 to 0.9A to the load. The modules have reinforced Class II insulation and meet the emission requirements for Class B equipment without the need to use additional external components. Their efficiency reaches 80% already at a load of about 20% of the rated capacity. In addition, they have low power consumption of 75mW with open output terminals, which makes them an ideal choice for “always-on” applications. Standard protections include protection against short-circuit, overvoltage and overheating. They meet the requirements of the following standards: UL62368-1, CSA C22.2 No. 62368-1-14, IEC/EN60950-1, IEC/EN62368-1, EN61204-3.
The biggest in this series, both in terms of power supplied to load and dimensions, are the RAC10, RAC15 and RAC20 converters. This type of equipment is marked according to the same nomenclature as the previously described models, so it is easy to guess that these are modules that can supply 10, 15 or 20 Watt, respectively, to a powered receiver. They are enclosed in a small casing designed to be soldered to a PCB, covering an area of 50.8 mm × 25.4 mm (2'×1')..
The products discussed above are similar to those designed to power process automation equipment, building automation equipment, IoT nodes, etc. The input voltage for the RAC10-K type ranges from 85 to 305VAC and for the other types – from 85 to 264VAC. The output voltage is determined at the manufacturing stage, exactly as in the case of other converters. An interesting fact is, however, that within this family there are also power supply modules with symmetrical (double) output voltage of ±12 or ±15VDC, required for sensors equipped with operating amplifiers. Like the previous ones, these converters meet the requirements of the following standards: IEC/EN62368-1, UL62368-1, CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 62368-1-14, IEC/EN60335, IEC/EN61558-1, IEC/EN61558-2-16, IEC/EN61204-3, EN55032/14 and EN55024.
Designers of control or interface systems will certainly be interested in affordable converters from the R1SX series. These are miniature isolation modules with an input voltage of 3.3 or 5V and an unregulated output voltage of the same value. The nominal output power is 1W with no minimum load requirement. The standard modules provide isolation between input and output of 1 kV within 1 second. Variants resistant to 3 kV are also available – they are marked with the suffix "/H". Their ambient operating temperature range is from -40 to +100°C.
The R1SX module outputs are compatible in terms of layout with the R1S industrial standard, but the modules are half the size of the standard version. They also meet the requirements of the following standard: IEC/EN/UL62368 and IEC/EN/UL60950. The manufacturer also declares 10/10 compliance with the RoHS directive. To meet EMC Class A requirements, only one input capacitor is required, while Class B requires a low-cost LC filter.
The R-78S family of converters is a RECOM's response to miniature voltage boosting power supply modules, which enable the construction of power supply circuits consisting of single cells of NiCd, NiMH, Li-Ion, alkaline batteries and others. Powered from such a chemical source, the module provides a single stabilized voltage designed to power the processor, wireless communication module, etc.
The input voltage ranges from 0.65 to 3.3V. Powered by this voltage, the module can provide the output with a stable voltage of 1.8, 3.3 or 3.6V as specified by the manufacturer. The power supply is 1W, which will meet the requirements of most processors designed for embedded devices or wireless communication modules. Very high energy efficiency and low power consumption in no-load mode enable maximum use of the energy stored in the source. The ambient operating temperature range is -40 to +100°C. Built-in protection includes protection against output short-circuit, overheating, overvoltage.
RECOM has been providing high quality products for many years to power automation, telecommunication, consumer and other equipment. Importantly, it is headquartered in Europe – as a company with European standards, it ensures certification and compliance with norms, which brings it closer to the requirements of our market.
Regardless of the kind of device we build and what processor or communication module will be used, its heart will always be the power circuit. It will determine the efficiency and reliability of the power supply converter, voltage regulator or other power supply unit. That is why it is worth choosing proven products from a renowned manufacturer.
Powered equipment places different demands on cells in terms of capacity, voltage or short circuit current.