New Standards Set in Powering IoT

By: Michael Schrutka, AC/DC Product Manager, at RECOM

Michael Schrutka, AC/DC Product Manager, at RECOM

They say ‘it’s a small world’ and it’s getting smaller – at least if you measure it by ability to communicate with anybody and now increasingly anything, round the world. Connectivity through the Internet of Things, or IoT, with its industrial, IT and home automation subsets is the future, enabling energy savings, better productivity and more functionality. Embedding electronics in objects to make them ‘smart’ with sensors and actuators is key to IoT but electronics needs power. While batteries and energy scavenging can sometimes be the solution, there are many applications where it is more practical to tap into the local AC mains as a power source, for example a web-connected boiler controller.

Figure: Typical ‘smart’ boiler control

An AC/DC converter is needed but its technology is way different from the world of processors and WLAN transceivers – it needs high frequency power switches and magnetics with a construction in compliance with safety and EMC standards.

Agency-certified AC/DC modules from RECOM are a good solution, de-risking product development and enabling a faster time to market. RECOM products have always offered class-leading form-factors and now, with the introduction of their RACxx-K series, sizes have shrunk further with even better specifications.

The RAC03-K series for example, has a footprint of less than 1 inch2 but features ‘universal’ 85 to 264VAC input with household and ITE certifications and very low standby/no load power consumption. Outputs between 3.3V and 24V are available rated at 3W and with its high efficiency, the part can operate up to 60°C ambient or 80°C with derating. The RAC03-K series complies with FCC and EN 55032 class B EMC standards without external components and is available in through-hole and SMT versions. With even better power density, and similar electrical performance, the RAC05-K series provides 5W in the same 1 inch2 footprint with full output up to 50°C. For even higher power applications, 15W and 20W products in the RAC15-K and RAC20-K series are available in compact 2” x 1” packages with 85 – 264VAC input.

In industrial IoT and lighting applications, three-phase AC mains may be the local supply so AC/DC modules need to function with nominal inputs of either 480VAC (phase to phase) or 277VAC (phase to neutral). RECOM’s RAC05-K/480 is the perfect fit for both, with its ultra-wide input of 85 – 528VAC and 5W output up to 60°C (80°C with derating). Another 5W part available is the RAC05-K/277 operating to 305VAC in a wired format or ‘transformer’ pin out, with a useful 6W peak power rating and operation to 90°C with derating. Other high input voltage parts in the range include the low-profile, 4W RAC04-K/277 with 6W peak output and a 3.5W part RAC03-K/277 with extra high isolation rating at 4.2kVAC. The latest AC/DC modules from RECOM are keeping pace with the varied requirements of IoT household, industrial and ITE environments. The parts offer industry-leading performance at low cost and are the perfect fit in a wide range of applications.