Primary side regulation is critical to the expansion of the IoT movement

January 18, 2016 //By Michael Freeman
Primary side regulation is critical to the expansion of the IoT movement
In November of 2015, the Paris Agreement was reached by 196 nations on the reduction of climate change.  The key goal: to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrialization records.

To meet this goal, there must be a net zero anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission during the second half of the 21st century.  Under current energy usages, this is a tall order.

In fact, consumer demand is pushing the dial the other way. The so-called 'Internet of Things' (IoT), is expected to connect an estimated 30 to 90 billion electronic devices by 2020.  The IoT will be made up of a network of connected things such as sensors, monitors, measuring devices, computing devices, and wearables of all sorts (think small, integrated electronics). All of these 'things' will require additional power.  At present, the global electric grid would have to expand by two times with current power supply efficiencies in order to meet this demand. So, the question is how these billions of things will be powered efficiently enough that world governments can meet the Paris Agreement targets and put a hold on global warming.

Traditional power supply technology, popular for the last 20 years, uses flyback topology and secondary feedback control through opto-isolation, which has impeded the full deployment of the IoT.  This technology contains too many components, which requires a large footprint – and each electronic part (discretes) presents its own drag on energy efficiency.  Therefore, 'parts reduction' is one key element to increasing the efficiency of things powered by the grid.  In addition, the power supplies for IoT applications need to be able to fit into a small space and should be highly efficient.

Moreover, while power supplies used to be the last subsystem engineered, now an energy-efficient power supply is becoming a prerequisite for any electronic device coming into the market.  IoT devices are no different. Consumers want to reduce their monthly energy bills, while governments and utilities want to limit the demand on the grid and its impact to global warming, with the additional burden of IoT devices. To accomplish this, a new approach is needed.

Developed with an eye on the power demands of the future, there is an alternative that is showing promise – TRONIUM Primary Side Regulation (PSR).  PSR helps reduce the part count in an under 50 W power supply from the typical 48 to 50 in a typical flyback configuration to less than 25.  The result? Less expensive, highly efficient and smaller power supplies.

Lower part count means not only a lower overall cost in end applications but an extreme reduction in size. For example, a typical 60-inch television has over 500 parts in it – 300 electronic parts and 200 mechanical. The size reduction benefits of the TRONIUM PSR solution promise to reduce part count by up to 90 percent. This part reduction is of extreme importance for the sensors and small IoT devices that will be hooked up directly to the grid, especially since TRONIUM allows them to be connected, monitored or controlled either wired or wirelessly.

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