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Performance monitoring solution cuts development costs of high power IGBT module systems

Performance monitoring solution cuts development costs of high power IGBT module systems

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By eeNews Europe



The Power Insight Adapter has been designed by Cambridge-based Amantys for use during the development and commissioning of new power systems, allowing engineers to observe and analyze critical parameters such as temperature and voltage and to use the data to improve overall switching performance to cut design cycle times.

By adding an Amantys drive and adapter to an existing system that is suffering performance difficulties an engineer is able to observe and diagnose fault and failure events in order to identify a solution to the problem much more quickly.

The Power Insight Adapter is designed to sit between the host control system and the IGBT Module and interfaces with the IGBT gate driver to export key switching performance parameters from the heart of the power system.

By combining the Power Insight Adapter with an Amantys Power Drive to control IGBT Modules shorter design times can be achieved and the need for costly re-engineering is reduced.

The Adapter unit receives Power Insight signals from the IGBT Gate Driver over the PWM isolation interface to allow the host system to observe power switching performance in real-time and respond to changes in operation, environment, or to monitor faults that may occur.

Using the Adapter Amantys Power Insight data can be exported externally for future analysis which will enable accurate fault diagnosis and enhance performance optimization.  The Adapter, which enables standalone evaluation of gate drives with Amantys Power Insight, also allows users to program warning limits, alarms and gate drive resistors from a PC environment.  The Adapter unit helps those with no Ethernet connection to store Amantys Power Insight data on an SD card for further analysis. 

The Amantys Power Insight in conjuction with the new Adapter unit provides an effective tool for condition monitoring of IGBTs which is enables the long term analysis of key system parameters to identify early failures of high stress IGBTs.  The solution also helps to pinpoint improved maintenance schedules.

"In commissioning environments Power Insight Adapter gives you a huge bonus in terms of the time saved to observe and fix different problems," explained Richard Ord, Marketing Director for Amantys. "If you have a failure in commissioning, say, in a High Voltage DC application you tend to need spanners as well as a ladder and you have to disassemble everything. With the Adapter you can simply look at the situation via a laptop and see that the electronics have tripped because a specific IGBT is running hotter than the others. Then you can realise that all that needs doing to solve the problem is to shift the load sharing to balance it out. Now you can do that without the half a day of disassembly by just looking at the application from your laptop".

Ord continued: "The time to install a Power Insight Adapter is very short and it allows people to not only evaluate the gate drives but also evaluate the module as well as develop and commission the system".

“We are offering a unique monitoring solution to drive IGBT Modules through Amantys Power Insight,"  explained Erwin Wolf, CEO at Amantys. "By deploying the Amantys Power Insight Adapter, our customers are now able to upgrade their system rapidly to observe and tune system performance at each stage of development, as well as through equipment commissioning and into operation. Eventually they may integrate the core of the adapter into a host system, but this introduction gives the flexibility to start monitoring the system straightaway".

“We already have this Adapter deployed in a number of systems, notably in locomotive traction, and we anticipate further demand in applications including wind turbine inverters, industrial drives, HVDC transmission and locomotive traction inverters. Customers are already gaining a better insight into their system during the commissioning stage of development, and this then leads to better operational performance.”

The Power Insight Adapter is compatible with the complete family of Insight-enabled Amantys Power Drives the company introduced earlier in 2013.

Visit Amantys at www.amantys.com

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