# Thyristor power controller

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Thyristor power controllers (SCR power controllers) control power or voltage supplied to a load. Typical applications are generally found where power needs to be varied and ultimately converted into thermal energy. For example, the controllers are used in industrial furnace construction or in plastic processing.

Electric power is the rate, per unit time, at which electrical energy is transferred by an electric circuit. The SI unit of power is the watt, one joule per second.

Voltage, electric potential difference, electric pressure or electric tension is the difference in electric potential between two points. The difference in electric potential between two points in a static electric field is defined as the work needed per unit of charge to move a test charge between the two points. In the International System of Units, the derived unit for voltage is named volt. In SI units, work per unit charge is expressed as joules per coulomb, where 1 volt = 1 joule per 1 coulomb. The official SI definition for volt uses power and current, where 1 volt = 1 watt per 1 ampere. This definition is equivalent to the more commonly used 'joules per coulomb'. Voltage or electric potential difference is denoted symbolically by V, but more often simply as V, for instance in the context of Ohm's or Kirchhoff's circuit laws.

Thermal energy can refer to several distinct thermodynamic quantities, such as the internal energy of a system; heat or sensible heat, which are defined as types of energy transfer ; or for the characteristic energy of a degree of freedom in a thermal system , where is temperature and is the Boltzmann constant.

## How it works

Thyristor power controllers are operated with an alternating voltage in single-phase or three-phase. They are controlled by a controller and vary the activation time of the mains voltage for the load.

In electrical engineering, single-phase electric power is the distribution of alternating current electric power using a system in which all the voltages of the supply vary in unison. Single-phase distribution is used when loads are mostly lighting and heating, with few large electric motors. A single-phase supply connected to an alternating current electric motor does not produce a revolving magnetic field; single-phase motors need additional circuits for starting, and such motors are uncommon above 10 kW in rating.

Three-phase electric power is a common method of alternating current electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. It is a type of polyphase system and is the most common method used by electrical grids worldwide to transfer power. It is also used to power large motors and other heavy loads.

Where the operating conditions do not require otherwise, the pulse group operation is recommended. Here, whole mains voltage shafts are switched to the load or blocked. For example, a controller requires 60% output (via a 4-20 mA signal, which corresponds to 0-100%). The thyristor power controller switches 60% of the solid waves to the load while blocking 40%. The operating mode is to be regarded as unproblematic. Only in the case of a too weakly designed network, it is possible for illuminating installations which are connected to the same network to have undesired luminance fluctuations (flicker effect). Some operating conditions require switching in each half-wave and thus very fast operation. Examples are control sections with very fast behavior or a required current limitation with low element resistance in the cold state. In this operating mode, the controller changes the phase angle α of the thyristor ignition timing. A half wave corresponds to 180 ° el. (electrical degree). The actuator can adjust the phase angle of 0 ° el. (maximum power) up to 180 ° el. (no power). In a 50 Hz mains the controller switches every 20 ms and shows very fast behavior. As a result of the voltage flanks during switch-on, disadvantages such as EMC interference potential or control voltage output also result in ohmic loads. This situation must be counteracted by means of line filters or the corresponding plant size with compensating systems.

## Underlying control

As mentioned, the controllers change their on-off ratio due to the degree of regulation. With a required output of 50%, the controller would switch off a full wave and a full wave in the pulse group mode. Only in the light of this situation, changes in output voltage fluctuate during mains voltage fluctuations. In fact, the operators have a subordinate regulation. In the most complex case, they vary the output power proportionally to the degree of regulation. For mains voltage changes, the controllers react with the variation of the switch-on and switch-off ratio.

## Monitoring of heating elements

In addition to the current limitation, thyristor power controllers offer additional functionalities for monitoring and / or protecting the elements: Heating elements are often operated in parallel. The partial breakage monitoring signals the breakage of a heating element. The heating element can be replaced at the next plant shutdown. R-Control limits the temperature of temperature-sensitive heating elements. Most of the heating elements are thermistors, they increase the resistance with the temperature. At a maximum permissible temperature, the heating element has a defined resistance, which is defined on the actuator. The output power is limited by the actuator and the maximum permissible temperature is not exceeded.

A heating element converts electrical energy into heat through the process of Joule heating. Electric current passing through the element encounters resistance, resulting in heating of the element. Unlike the Peltier effect, this process is independent of the direction of current flow.

## Related Research Articles

In electrical engineering, the power factor of an AC electrical power system is defined as the ratio of the real power absorbed by the load to the apparent power flowing in the circuit, and is a dimensionless number in the closed interval of −1 to 1. A power factor of less than one indicates the voltage and current are not in phase, reducing the instantaneous product of the two. Real power is the instantaneous product of voltage and current and represents the capacity of the electricity for performing work. Apparent power is the average product of current and voltage. Due to energy stored in the load and returned to the source, or due to a non-linear load that distorts the wave shape of the current drawn from the source, the apparent power may be greater than the real power. A negative power factor occurs when the device generates power, which then flows back towards the source.

A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC), which periodically reverses direction, to direct current (DC), which flows in only one direction.

Pulse width modulation (PWM), or pulse-duration modulation (PDM), is a method of reducing the average power delivered by an electrical signal, by effectively chopping it up into discrete parts. The average value of voltage fed to the load is controlled by turning the switch between supply and load on and off at a fast rate. The longer the switch is on compared to the off periods, the higher the total power supplied to the load. Along with MPPT maximum power point tracking, it is one of the primary methods of reducing the output of solar panels to that which can be utilized by a battery. PWM is particularly suited for running inertial loads such as motors, which are not as easily affected by this discrete switching. Because they have inertia they react slower. The PWM switching frequency has to be high enough not to affect the load, which is to say that the resultant waveform perceived by the load must be as smooth as possible.

A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating P- and N-type materials. It acts exclusively as a bistable switch, conducting when the gate receives a current trigger, and continuing to conduct until the voltage across the device is reversed biased, or until the voltage is removed. A three-lead thyristor is designed to control the larger current of the Anode to Cathode path by controlling that current with the smaller current of its other lead, known as its Gate. In contrast, a two-lead thyristor is designed to switch on if the potential difference between its leads is sufficiently large.

A power supply is an electrical device that supplies electric power to an electrical load. The primary function of a power supply is to convert electric current from a source to the correct voltage, current, and frequency to power the load. As a result, power supplies are sometimes referred to as electric power converters. Some power supplies are separate standalone pieces of equipment, while others are built into the load appliances that they power. Examples of the latter include power supplies found in desktop computers and consumer electronics devices. Other functions that power supplies may perform include limiting the current drawn by the load to safe levels, shutting off the current in the event of an electrical fault, power conditioning to prevent electronic noise or voltage surges on the input from reaching the load, power-factor correction, and storing energy so it can continue to power the load in the event of a temporary interruption in the source power.

A power inverter, or inverter, is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

A switched-mode power supply is an electronic power supply that incorporates a switching regulator to convert electrical power efficiently. Like other power supplies, an SMPS transfers power from a DC or AC source to DC loads, such as a personal computer, while converting voltage and current characteristics. Unlike a linear power supply, the pass transistor of a switching-mode supply continually switches between low-dissipation, full-on and full-off states, and spends very little time in the high dissipation transitions, which minimizes wasted energy. Ideally, a switched-mode power supply dissipates no power. Voltage regulation is achieved by varying the ratio of on-to-off time. In contrast, a linear power supply regulates the output voltage by continually dissipating power in the pass transistor. This higher power conversion efficiency is an important advantage of a switched-mode power supply. Switched-mode power supplies may also be substantially smaller and lighter than a linear supply due to the smaller transformer size and weight.

A thermostat is a component which senses the temperature of a physical system and performs actions so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint.

A DC-to-DC converter is an electronic circuit or electromechanical device that converts a source of direct current (DC) from one voltage level to another. It is a type of electric power converter. Power levels range from very low to very high.

A voltage regulator is a system designed to automatically maintain a constant voltage level. A voltage regulator may use a simple feed-forward design or may include negative feedback. It may use an electromechanical mechanism, or electronic components. Depending on the design, it may be used to regulate one or more AC or DC voltages.

Power electronics is the application of solid-state electronics to the control and conversion of electric power.

A variable-frequency drive (VFD) or adjustable-frequency drive (AFD), variable-voltage/variable-frequency (VVVF) drive, variable speed drive, AC drive, micro drive or inverter drive is a type of adjustable-speed drive used in electro-mechanical drive systems to control AC motor speed and torque by varying motor input frequency and voltage.

Electric heat tracing, heat tape or surface heating, is a system used to maintain or raise the temperature of pipes and vessels using heat tracing cables. Trace heating takes the form of an electrical heating element run in physical contact along the length of a pipe. The pipe is usually covered with thermal insulation to retain heat losses from the pipe. Heat generated by the element then maintains the temperature of the pipe. Trace heating may be used to protect pipes from freezing, to maintain a constant flow temperature in hot water systems, or to maintain process temperatures for piping that must transport substances that solidify at ambient temperatures. Electric trace heating cables are an alternative to steam trace heating where steam is unavailable or unwanted.

A low-dropout or LDO regulator is a DC linear voltage regulator that can regulate the output voltage even when the supply voltage is very close to the output voltage.

Phase-fired control (PFC), also called phase cutting or "phase angle control", is a method for power limiting, applied to AC voltages. It works by modulating a thyristor, SCR, triac, thyratron, or other such gated diode-like devices into and out of conduction at a predetermined phase of the applied waveform.

An induction heater is a key piece of equipment used in all forms of induction heating. Typically an induction heater operates at either medium frequency (MF) or radio frequency (RF) ranges.

The Amplitude adjusting enables the power control of electric loads, which are operated with AC voltage. A representative application is the heating control of industrial high temperature furnaces.

A thyristor switched capacitor (TSC) is a type of equipment used for compensating reactive power in electrical power systems. It consists of a power capacitor connected in series with a bidirectional thyristor valve and, usually, a current limiting reactor (inductor). The thyristor switched capacitor is an important component of a Static VAR Compensator (SVC), where it is often used in conjunction with a thyristor controlled reactor (TCR). Static VAR compensators are a member of the Flexible AC transmission system (FACTS) family.

A voltage controller, also called an AC voltage controller or AC regulator is an electronic module based on either thyristors, TRIACs, SCRs or IGBTs, which converts a fixed voltage, fixed frequency alternating current (AC) electrical input supply to obtain variable voltage in output delivered to a resistive load. This varied voltage output is used for dimming street lights, varying heating temperatures in homes or industry, speed control of fans and winding machines and many other applications, in a similar fashion to an autotransformer. Voltage controller modules come under the purview of power electronics. Because they are low-maintenance and very efficient, voltage controllers have largely replaced such modules as magnetic amplifiers and saturable reactors in industrial use.

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