As a fundamental component of circuit design, equivalent series resistance (ESR) is the measurement of all the non-ideal electrical resistances in series with a capacitor. When current flows through a multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) due to application of alternating voltage, heat is generated in the MLCC due to the losses, specifically ESR. As a result, this self-heating can cause various performance and reliability issues in the circuits of today’s more complex and smaller electronic systems.
DC link capacitors are commonly used in power converters as an intermediary buffer between an input source to an output load that have different instantaneous power, voltages, and frequencies. In electric vehicle (EV) applications, DC link capacitors help offset the effects of inductance in inverters, motor controllers, and battery systems. They also serve as filters that protect EV subsystems from voltage spikes, surges, and electromagnetic interference (EMI).
To meet consumer demand for longer driving ranges and faster charging, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are redesigning vehicles to move from 400V to 800V battery systems. As a result of using higher operating voltages, EV designers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need components, such as multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), that can withstand voltages well beyond those expected under normal operating conditions. For example, a drivetrain running off an 800V battery system may be subjected to a withstand test of up to 4kV DC for 60 seconds, which is a standard safety test in high voltage systems.
Trimmer capacitors are variable components used to calibrate RF circuits during manufacturing or servicing. These components allow for variable tuning--think oscillator frequency values or rise and fall times. Should values drift over the life of the device, trimmer capacitors can be recalibrated as needed. For sensitive applications like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), these components help to optimize performance where any instability in time or temperature could impact the image output.
Healthcare professionals and patients rely on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to examine soft tissues and organs in the body to detect a variety of issues, from degenerative diseases to tumors, in a non-invasive manner. To do this, the MRI machine uses a strong magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to produce cross-sectional images. Thus, the quality of the MRI depends on the uniformity of the magnetic field – even the smallest trace of magnetism inside an MRI scanner can disrupt the field and degrade the quality of an MRI image.
CToday, the design and development of many applications, such as power electronics in electric vehicles (EVs), is driven largely by concerns about size and weight. This means the film capacitors traditionally used by electronics engineers aren’t always the best option. Instead, multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) are emerging as an excellent alternative to film capacitors. Let’s review some of the considerations to keep in mind when you are deciding if making the switch is the right choice for your application.
As many industries, including RF and automotive, need to incorporate more features in less space, engineers are constantly looking for ways to do more in a smaller footprint. For example, there is often demand for more multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) to achieve higher capacitance values while at the same time increasingly limited space is available. Thus, continuing to simply add capacitors inside an application to achieve a higher capacitance value is not a viable option.
When an engineer designs a circuit, he or she needs to ensure that each component will “do what it says on the box.” In multi-layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) design, one area that often concerns engineers is the fact that capacitance can fluctuate with voltage, which is known as “DC bias” or “voltage coefficient.”
At Knowles Precision Devices (KPD), we handle the specialty components that go in the systems that can’t quit. We have the extensive resources and subject matter knowledge to innovate around the technical and environmental challenges facing high-impact industries including military, aerospace, and beyond.
As countries around the world tighten emissions standards, the demand for fully electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing. However, for EVs to see mainstream adoption, manufacturers must address the primary consumer concerns: longer driving ranges and faster charging. To address these concerns, EV manufacturers are beginning to redesign their vehicles to switch from the 400V battery systems widely used today to 800V battery systems, which can offer twice the voltage and 2.7 times the power density compared to a 400V system.