App note: Thermal management basics and its importance for LED luminaire performance and cost


Article about thermal management on LED luminaire from TT Electronics. Link here (PDF)

LED luminaires are being marketed today as an alternative lighting technology that reduces power consumption and maintenance costs for commercial and residential installations. Thermal management has a significant impact upon the lifetime, performance and cost of an LED luminaire. Without proper application of thermal management design principles, the potential benefits of solid state lighting and its ability to be successfully marketed will be reduced.

App note: Buried capacitive sensors for tamper protection


A short app note from Silicon Labs on burying pads to prevent snopping on keypads. Link here (PDF)

An individual’s financial matters are increasingly electronic in nature and decreasingly interpersonal. As financial institutions replace human interaction with electronic interfaces such as ATMs, the need to make electronic circuits tamper-proof becomes critical. A typical numeric keypad for financial transactions may contain up to hundred or more tamper prevention and detection features. Tamper detection circuits raise alarms and disable functionality, while tamper prevention features are designed to prevent intrusions and breaches. This application note addresses the elimination of copper pads on the accessible top surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Burying traces to internal layers of a PCB prohibits electrical contacts from snooping on copper elements within the PC board.

App note: Driving E ink segmented displays


Application note on driving E Ink displays from Renesas. Link here (PDF)

E Ink segmented displays are direct drive displays consisting of E Ink Vizplex Imaging Film sandwiched between two electrode layers, the top plane and the backplane, and then encased in an environmental barrier solution to protect the film and the segment electrodes. To get the most from E Ink segmented Displays, you need to be aware of proper design and implementation. Your reward will be sharp, precise images, a pleasant transition from one image to the next, and a long battery life.

App note: Grid-connected solar microinverter reference design


A good read from Microchip on the theory behind inverter design connected to grip power. Link here (PDF)

There are two main requirements for solar inverter systems: harvest available energy from the PV panel and inject a sinusoidal current into the grid in phase with the grid voltage. In order to harvest the energy out of the PV panel, a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm is required. This algorithm determines the maximum amount of power available from the PV module at any given time. Interfacing to the grid requires solar inverter systems to abide by certain standards given by utility companies. These standards, such as EN61000-3-2, IEEE1547 and the U.S. National Electrical Code (NEC) 690, deal with power quality, safety, grounding and detection of islanding conditions.

App note: On-grid solar microinverter on Freescale MC56F82xx/MC56F82xxx DSCs


Application note from Freescale Semiconductor about microinverter solution develop together with Future Electronics. Link here (PDF)

In recent years, demand for renewable energy has increased significantly. The development of devices utilizing clean energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, and fuel cells attracts more and more attention. Solar energy harvesting is developing fast and will play a more important role as a global energy source. One of the ways to capture solar energy is via photovoltaic power generation systems, which are connected to the grid through power inverters. Therefore, many companies are focusing on development of photovoltaic grid-tie inverters. Freescale offers digital signal controllers, the MC56F8xxx family, that are well suited to ongrid solar inverter designs.

App note: Implementation of a single-phase electronic watt-hour meter using the MSP430AFE2xx


Another energy meter from Texas Instruments using MSP430AFE2xx. Link here (PDF)

This application report describes the implementation of a single-phase electronic electricity meter using the Texas Instruments MSP430AFE2xx metering processors. It includes the necessary information with regard to metrology software and hardware procedures for this single chip implementation.

App note: Atmel AVR465: Single-phase power/energy meter with tamper detection


A good read from Atmel on their 8-bit microcontroller single-phase energy meter design. Link here (PDF)

This application note describes a single-phase power/energy meter with tamper logic. The design measures active power, voltage, and current in a single-phase distribution environment. It differs from ordinary single-phase meters in that it uses two current transducers to measure active power in both live and neutral wires. This enables the meter to detect, signal, and continue to measure reliably even when subject to external attempts of tampering.

App note: Capacitance change with applied DC voltage


Tantalum comparison to other types of capacitors shows stable capacitance in this app note from Vishay, Link here (PDF)

Tantalum capacitors in general – and Vishay’s 298D/TR8/TM8 MicroTan tantalum capacitors in particular – demonstrate very stable performance over the DC voltage (bias) applied in an application. At the same time, the majority of capacitors utilizing ceramic or polymer dielectrics (monolithic ceramic, disc ceramic, MLCC, polyester, film, etc.) demonstrate significant shift in both directions – sometimes 40 % to 50 % or higher

App note: Extend current transformer range


Design note from Texas Instruments on technique in resetting and negative voltage generation from current transformers. Link here (PDF)

Transformers are used extensively for current sensing because they can monitor currents with very low power loss and they have wide bandwidth for good waveform fidelity. Current transformers perform well in applications with symmetrical AC currents such as push-pull or full bridge converter topologies. In single-ended applications, especially boost converters, problems can arise because of the need to accurately reproduce high duty factor, unipolar, waveforms. Unipolar pulses may saturate the current transformer and, if this happens, overcurrent protection will be lost and, for current mode control, regulation will be lost and an over voltage condition will result.

App note: USB Type-C, CC Pin Design Considerations


Application note from ON Semiconductor on USB Type-C connector supporting non-USB standard charging protocol, Link here (PDF)

When designing hardware systems with Type−C connectors, a designer also has to consider all legacy, standard, and non-standard specifications that exist in the USB connector eco system. With the introduction of the Type−C connector and the Configuration channel (CC Pin) new challenges occur trying to ensure overall system robustness. This note addresses some of the concerns with the CC pin in a robust system environment.