Tag Archives: Guides

Low-Side & Hi-Side Current Sensing

Electronic systems tend to manage their power consumption to reduce the production of heat as waste. This calls for optimizing the system efficiency by effectively distributing power. As the voltage applied to the circuit is usually a constant, engineers monitor power consumption by keeping track of the current drawn by the circuit—power being the mathematical product of the current and voltage fed to the circuit. Current sensing has additional advantages, mainly that of maintaining the health Read more [...]

What are Ball Grid Arrays?

Initially, surface mount devices, especially ICs, came as perimeter-only packages, with pins for soldering placed along the edge of the device. As ICs became more complex, they needed more pins for external interfacing, which made the packages larger. Manufacturers soon realized there was a large unused real estate that lay just under the package. Therefore, they made the ball grid array (BGA) packaging, which, in place of pins, had solder balls aligned in a grid under the device. Soldering BGAs Read more [...]

How Do Power Supplies Share Current?

Those who use power supplies to run different devices often face a peculiar problem. The load may demand more power from a single power supply that it can safely provide continuously. Since the voltage to the load has to remain constant, the situation calls for using additional power supplies to supply the excess current, and inevitably, users must connect them in parallel. However, simply connecting power supplies in parallel does not guarantee they will share the load current between them in an Read more [...]

What is 3D MLC NAND Flash Memory?

To unleash performance fit for the next generation of computers, Transcend has released its MTE850 M.2 Solid State Device (SSD), based on 3D MLC NAND flash memory. The device utilizes the PCI Express Gen3 x4 interface and supports the latest NVMe standard. According to Transcend, this SSD targets high-end applications such as gaming, digital audio and video production, and multiple uses in the enterprise. Typically, such applications demand constant processing of heavy workloads, while not willing Read more [...]

What are Synchronous Condensers?

All manufacturing and industrial plants around the world face the unique problem of lagging power factor. Ideally, the voltage and current vectors should align perfectly for any AC power system feeding a load. In actual practice, however, the current either leads or lags the voltage by a few degrees, depending on whether the load is capacitive or inductive. Power factor is the cosine of the angle the current vector makes with the voltage vector as the reference. A positive power factor less than Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi to Linux Desktop

You may have bought a new Single Board Computer (SBC), and by any chance, it is the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi (RBPi). You have probably had scores of projects lined up to try on the new RBPi, and you have enjoyed countless hours of fun and excitement on your SBC. After having exhausted all the listed projects, you are searching for newer projects to try on. Instead of allowing the RBPi to remain idle in a corner, why not turn it into a Linux desktop? At least, until another overwhelming project turns Read more [...]

Battery Monitoring with Comparators

So many portable consumer electronics gadgets in use today use small, button- or coin-cell batteries. Sometimes it is necessary to monitor their state-of-charge (SOC) and health efficiently without affecting their SOC significantly, but this can be a challenge. However, simple low-power monitoring circuits for small batteries using comparators can overcome this challenge. Managing Batteries in Portable Systems Usually, the system engineer budgets the system power requirements carefully during the Read more [...]

Measuring Very High Currents

High currents, such as 500 Amps and above, are common nowadays. Industries regularly use equipment consuming high currents, and vehicle batteries experience very high currents for a short time during starting. With vehicles increasingly trending towards their electric versions, it is becoming necessary to be able to measure high currents with precision. Increasingly, it is increasingly becoming critical to monitor current consumed accurately for ensuring performance and long-term reliability. Current Read more [...]

Let the Raspberry Pi Monitor Energy

If you are looking for monitoring energy remotely, an open source system that uses the ever-popular single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) may be suitable. The company, OpenEnergyMonitor, makes the open-source tools for monitoring energy, and at present, they are using the RBPi3. According to their co-founder Glyn Hudson, the aim of OpenEnergyMonitor is to help people understand and relate to how they use energy from their energy systems, and the challenges of sustainable energy. The system Read more [...]

Are Pin and Sleeve Connectors Better?

Most people in the US are familiar with the twist lock cable connectors, as these are the NEMA standard. In Europe, there is another advanced cable connector—the pin and sleeve connector—but it is not so very well known in the United States. In short, pin and sleeve connectors deliver power through sealed connections, while insulating the connections from moisture, grime, and chemicals, which makes them suitable for applications under abusive environments. Their design is such as to prevent Read more [...]