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PWM drivers cut power dissipation of solenoids

25 Feb 2013

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iC-Haus has announced the PWM solenoid drivers iC-GE and iC-GE100 that the company said enable the optimum energizing of magnetic solenoids in valves, relays and other actuators. Geared to conserver power, the solenoids are driven by a regulated current between 100mA and 1A (iC-GE100: 10-100mA). In addition, the active power control permits the devices to be used in a wide supply voltage range of between 10V and 36V, stated the company.

With this type of inductive load a higher energizing current is usually required than the ensuing hold current. The energizing current is thus regulated down to a (lower) hold setting after about 50ms. By reducing this to two thirds of the energizing current, for instance, the power dissipation in the solenoid is cut by more than 50 per cent, added iC-Haus.

Both the energizing and hold currents can be individually set using their respective external resistors. In iC-GE, the delay between energise and hold can be prolonged across a wide range by an external capacitor.

The PWM drive uses an internal 80kHz oscillator as a time base and is thus beyond audible range. The devices also include diagnostic functions that can flash any solenoid defects, fractured wires and/or over temperature in the iC to the LED output (typically 2.4Hz). A synchronisation input also permits relays to be switched in zero load current so that contacts are preserved.

Typical applications are in medical and industrial systems using valves, pumps, actuators or relays.

Samples and production volumes are available and can be ordered at $3.57 (iC-GE100: $2.10) in quantities of 1,000 pieces.

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