Converter Technology

IR Thermography Enhances Thermal Analysis Capability

Posted: 08 October, 2008

IR Thermography is a technique that uses a radiometric infrared camera to monitor object temperatures. As well as traditional thermocouples, we use this technique to monitor the operating temperature of devices on our power converters.

Thermal Image of Reference Design RD005 in Operation

Thermographic analysis of power converters brings many benefits at the design stage:-

  1. Camera resolution of 320×240 pixels equates to 76,800 individual temperature measurement points
  2. 30/60Hz frame rate allows rapid transient thermal effects to be captured
  3. Relative heating effects can be monitored (e.g. Electrolytic capacitors being heated up by nearby power semiconductors)

Many power supplies operate with a high peak to average output power ratio. For these sorts of applications, thermography is very useful to ensure that the heatsinking provided is suitable both for the continuous output rating and has enough thermal mass to ensure pulse loads can be delivered safely.