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DRIVES & CONTROLS The Power Insight Adapter monitors and reports about IGBT performances. gies joined us on the 1st of October 2103 with a five million dollar investment. Why Avago? Well Avago is a pretty natural partner and with the company’s plastic optical fibre technology they are in the same business as we are. We use plastic optical fibre links and on the control card they are present as well. The plastic optical fibre link is Avago’s domain so they are talking to the same customers as we do and if they adopt our algorithm we both can add value to the same customers we talk to. So it was a very natural arrangement which was then sealed with an investment. EE Times Europe: Where do you see Amantys fit into the power sector? Erwin Wolf: Our differentiating position can be summed as ‘Intelligent control of power’. We supply the customer with our algorithm to enable them, with our knowhow, to not only drive the IGBT but also control it. That means we can do real-time condition monitoring of the IGBT module. We can monitor how the power module is behaving. How are the voltages? How is the temperature? We can then feed this information back to the control card so that it can decide what to do with the data. Either switch off or reduce power or schedule preventive maintenance and such like. We are also providing a forensic analysis capability so if something critical really happens then there is data available about what happened to the voltage and what happened to the temperature which helps to find a reason or cause for the fault. Everything is field upgradable so that helps the customer improve their system availability and reduce energy costs through high efficiency. It also helps reduce maintenance costs. Richard Ord: In traditional IGBT gate drivers there are typically only three states - on, off or fault. What we are doing is building a dashboard for high power electronics. We can pose all manner of questions such as: How many times has this IGBT been used? How many switching cycles has it made? Is it starting to suffer? Is the temperature starting to rise? What are the conditions that are changing around it that may mean this specific IGBT needs some planned maintenance? Can you switch the load to some of the other IGBTs? We are getting that ‘under the bonnet’ visibility right in the core of the power electronics that has been the challenge. What we have done is put sensors right at the core of the system, digitized it and then we control what signals are passed out using an ARM microcontroller over the fiber optic link. By doing that we are getting more reliable signals with less noise or interference and getting some real information back about how the switch is actually going. In this way people can learn how their systems are operating, modify the mission profile to make it more available and more efficient. Those are the areas Amantys is working on and why we have come into the market. EE Times Europe: What application areas are you targeting? Erwin Wolf: The new Power Insight Adapter is a fully engineered solution to add Insight data monitoring and observability to an IGBT module-based power assembly. We have developed the Adapter to offer the capacity to support existing power systems in locomotive traction, wind turbine, High Voltage DC and industrial drive applications with a performance monitoring solution. EE Times Europe: How does the new Power Insight Adapter solution fit into your plans? Richard Ord: With the Adapter we have created a product that allows people to start straight away using the Amantys Power Insight software platform. The Adapter basically sits across an existing fibre optic link from the gate drive to the central control host system. Signals pass through the Adapter so there is no change to the gate drive operation that is still controlled by the host system but the different Power Insight parameters such as the number of switching cycles, different voltage measurements, temperature changes can be observed and reported independently to a laptop or industrial PC that can compute all the information. We already store some data on the Amantys’ new CEO, Erwin Wolf. 34 Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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