Every month, Control's editors take a specific product area, collect all the latest, significant tools we can find, and present them here to make your job easier. If you know of any tools and resources we didn't include, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll add them to the website.
ALL THINGS POWER
Lazar's power electronics guide
Lazar's Power Electronics Guide is a website full of free information about power supplies and converters. It contains a basic tutorial with sections on topologies, switching power supply (SMPS) design, software, circuits, UPSs, PCB design, transformers, inverters, generators, thermal design, electrical engineering references and formulas, and a guide to solar energy.
DC-DC CONVERTER TUTORIAL
Maxim Integrated Products
Switching power supplies offer higher efficiency than traditional linear power supplies. They can step-up, step-down, and invert. Some designs can isolate output voltage from the input. This article outlines the different types of switching regulators used in DC-DC conversion. It also reviews and compares the various control techniques for these converters. The direct link is at http://tinyurl.com/2e7nwvw.
SMPS DESIGN WEBSITE
This site is billed as "a website about power supply design for power supply designers. It contains a wealth of information, including "An Introduction to Power Supply Design," a power supply design blog, a resource menu including lists of books, a recommended power supply design personal library, websites, vendors, seminars, full-text papers and design aids related to switching-mode power supply design.
MOTOR LOAD SLIDE RULE
Load Controls Incorporated
A perennial favorite on our Resources page, this free slide rule shows why measuring power is more effective than measuring just amps. Monitoring power gives you valuable information about mixture viscosity, pump or fan flow, beginning or end of a process and optimum feed rate. This easy-to-use tool visually demonstrates the relationship between power, the power factor, amps and motor power.
POWER QUALITY INFORMATION
This website lists resources for engineers seeking information on power quality. There are links to IEEE and CIGRE/CIRED sites, power quality standards, monitoring power quality, harmonics, voltage interruptions and sags, transients, power electronics, uninterruptible power supplies, wiring and grounding, and industrial and commercial power systems. A direct link to the reference page is at www.powermonitoring.com/reference.htm
OPTIMIZE BIOMASS POWER GENERATION
GE Intelligent Platforms
This white paper discusses how biomass power—generating electricity from renewable feedstocks—offers a potential escape from the fossil-fuel trap. More sustainable sources of biomass and efficient conversion processes, as well as more flexible control technologies, together offer the potential to offset growing energy demands on a carbon-neutral basis. The white paper is free, but registration is required. For a direct link, go to http://tinyurl.com/27d7r6f.
POWER OVER ETHERNET
This whitepaper describes how PoE technology enables end devices, such as wireless access points, IP phones, cameras, access control terminals, RFID readers and other IP-based appliances to get power from a Cat-3, Cat-5/5e or Cat-6 LAN cable without extra power connection needed. This is particularly useful in environments that may not have convenient power sources for this equipment, or in places where installing the extra power outlet may not be feasible or too expensive. A direct link to the white paper is at www.controlglobal.com/whitepapers/2009/060.html.