Friday, February 27, 2015

High Voltage Power Supplies - Niche Market? One HVPS Designer Engineer's Point of View

 Niche Market?

“High Voltage” is a niche market, and is different from mass marketed, mass produced power supplies.  From a designer’s point of view, one of the most challenging issues, compared to mass marketed power supplies developed for established applications, is that many high voltage applications that VMI's high voltage power supply designers see are for developing markets.

Emerging Markets and Development Time

Because the markets are emerging, the requirements are not well defined, and are in constant flux. In these situations, it is difficult to estimate the development time since certain aspects of the product can change as the design progresses. Several design iterations may be needed, with each meeting the requirements as defined up to that point.

High Voltage Power Supply Components

A second issue is that many of the components used in HV power supplies are being produced for a niche market also. This tends to limit choices and options as compared to mass market products. End customers for HV supplies have many of the same objectives as low voltage customers – smaller, lighter, more efficient, higher performance and lower cost.  

Niche Market Volume

Third, it isn't so much a technical issue, but it is relevant to our markets. Many applications we see are low volume, even when talking about niches. It can be difficult to know which markets are worth the time and money to invest in, hoping there will be a payoff in the future. This applies to people like us because we don’t normally develop and market standard power supply products. Rather, we react to opportunities available to us.  

As many of our customers know, developing a new high voltage power supply can take anywhere from two weeks to six months.  The delivery time is contingent upon many factors.  Rest assured, VMI will deliver your product, to your specifications, within your time frame.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Visit VMI at the APEC 2015 Trade Show

APEC - Applied Power Electronics™.

This trade show features practical and applied power electronics for the real world.  Topics cover a wide range of interests from designers to OEM manufacturers, to quality and test engineering, marketing and sales, and finally, end users.

You'll find components, subassemblies, and systems in the Exhibition Hall.

Technical topics presented in the Industry Sessions include power semi-conductors, transportation power electronics, PMBus standards and apps, solar power, nanotechnology, emerging power electronics, business and marketing of power electronics, high density 3D power packages, wireless power transfer, and more.

APEC really is the premier power electronics show.

VMI will be there!  Visit booth #717 and check out our latest products - the OC500 50kV optocoupler, and the ViPS40 x-ray power supply.

Other exhibitors include

CalRamic | Cree | Fairchild | Keysight Technologies | Mentor Graphics | Panasonic | ROHM | TI | Fuji Electric Corp of America | Voltage Multipliers Inc. 

The show runs from March 15th through March 19th in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Space Traveling High Voltage Diodes

 VMI just got word that we have high voltage diodes, including the 1N6533,  that are going into space next month!  We couldn't be prouder!

The MMS mission is the Magnetosperic Multiscale project and is part of a Solar-Terrestrial probe mission.  Of particular interest is how magnetic energy changes to heat and kinetic energy - the magnetic reconnection of charged particles.    

VMI diodes are part of the on-board instrumentation.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Voltage Multipliers Inc. Trade Show Schedule

Image Credit

Photonics West, currently under way in San Francisco, CA is close to wrapping up.  It was a good place for VMI to exhibit given the market for high voltage optocouplers and high voltage, surface mount diodes.  Alas, all good things must come to an end.

If you didn't catch us at Photonics West, you'll get a second and third chance.

Here is VMI's current trade show schedule for 2015 -

Pittcon Booth 4121March  9-12, 2015   New Orleans, LA 
APEC Booth 717March 16-18, 2015    Charlotte, NC   

We'll see you there!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Now There's Help for Controlling 40kV X-ray Tubes - Part 2

The ViPS40 is one of the first of its kind – a digitally controlled, PC-based, fully programmable 40kV power supply designed specifically for high voltage x-ray applications.

Standard Features

Standard features such as fully programmable output voltage and current set points, and a soft-start function to limit in-rush, are controlled via the digital control loop.    

ViPS40 PC Interface 

Unique Features

A unique feature of the ViPS40 not available in analog controlled power supplies is the ability to record the life-time of the x-ray tube, and to track and display the power supply’ ‘on-time’.

The ViPS40 power supply can be easily reprogrammed to support different outputs, putting you in charge.  It can move with ease from application to application.  Voltage outputs, current outputs, control inputs, and operating limits are controlled by you through a user-friendly PC-interface.

Operating conditions like temperature, output voltage, and output current levels can be constantly monitored.  You can also adjust the voltage and current levels of power supply through the interface.


The ViPS40 has several advantages over standard analog control power suppliers.  The lower component count keeps costs down without compromising on regulation and output control.  

Protection functions such as over-voltage, over-current, and over-temperature, are easily integrated.  Auxiliary functions like fan control and data logging are available.  The ViPS40 is capable of storing power supply voltage and current levels, and filament voltage levels.

If you’re looking for a fully programmable, high-voltage, PC-based power supply for x-ray tubes up to 40kV, you’ve found what you’re looking for.

No more guessing!  To learn more, visit us at Pittcon 2015 - Booth #4121 and ask about the ViPS40.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Now There's Help for Controlling 40kV X-ray Tubes - Part 1

New 40kV Microcontroller-based HV Power Supply Takes the Guesswork Out of X-ray Tube Outputs

High voltage designs present unique and difficult problems not normally encountered in low voltage designs. 

For instance, on a high voltage printed circuit board, isolation between traces becomes an issue.  Traces that are normally 10mils apart at 10V have to be spaced further apart of the voltage difference between them increases to 1,000V.  Components often have to be encapsulated to prevent arcing through air, and high voltage sections usually require electrical isolation from low voltage systems. 

Image Credit - High Voltage Vacuum Rectifiers Capable of Producing X-rays

Strange Things Happen At High Voltages

Most high voltage designers have learned to allow for the sometimes strange and inexplicable things that happen at high voltage.  Corona is always a favorite – that thing that happens when a trapped gas is repeatedly polarized.  Over time, it can eat through wire insulation causing shorts and all sorts of mayhem.  Or how about the unintentional solder peak that serves as a focal point for field potentials, eventually resulting in an arc under the right conditions? 

Yes, high voltage design can be exciting and fun! 

X-ray Tubes and HV Power Supplies

If you’re working with x-ray systems and tubes, you understand how challenging it can be to control the power supply that controls the tube.

There is a new product coming to the market that will assist you in powering and controlling your x-ray tube.

Next week we'll present standard features, and advantages of going digital....