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Fighting corrosion: Grooming capacitors for long-life apps

20 Jul 2015  | Stefano Sartini

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Temperature-humidity-bias (THB) testing exposes the capacitor to the three main factors that cause loss of capacitance and increased dissipation factor, and measures the effects on capacitance, dissipation factor and insulation resistance over time. THB test conditions of 85°C, 85 per cent relative humidity and 240VAC operating voltage have confirmed a significant improvement in the stability of capacitance and dissipation factor.

Improved capacitance stability

Improved capacitance stability with latest-generation materials and processes

Slower increase in dissipation

Slower increase in dissipation factor due to temperature, humidity and bias.

The use of polypropylene not only assures optimum self-healing, but also, due to the low and stable dissipation factor, significantly enhances tolerance of mains-frequency ripple and of the high-frequency ripple currents present when the capacitor is connected across the line at the input to a switching circuit such as an inverter.

The enhanced environmental performance and self-healing capacity of these devices also meet the requirements of the automotive industry for control of battery charging in plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (PHEVs/EVs). The F862 series has been qualified to the component-level automotive quality specification AEC-Q200, in addition to ENEC, UL, cUL and CQC safety-agency standards.

Conclusion

Advanced technologies such as the smart grid, renewable energy, industrial inverters and hybrid/electric vehicles hold the key to meeting important targets such as reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Low-cost solutions are needed, to encourage widespread adoption. Equally important, however, are demands for reliability and extended lifetime even when operating in harsh environmental conditions.

The latest metallised polypropylene-film F862 series capacitors incorporating advanced materials and process technologies could enable equipment such as smart metres, solar generators and automotive electronics to meet these conflicting requirements.


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