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Industrial solutions and case studies

Reliable operation in a tough environment

Case study: Instrumentation for ore
prospecting

case study image

Distribution of power to motor over 20m away

Distribution of power to motor over 20m away

When drilling for ore at shallower sites complexity and cost can be significantly reduced using a motor driven helical screw drill bit. New sensors and on-board processing of the power demands of the drill’s motor allows automatic logging information on the changing composition of the soil that the drill passes through. This allows faster and more accurate prioritization of follow-on site surveys, saving manpower and costs. The key goals were:

  • Automate the data logging of motor data
  • Distribution of power to motor over 20m away
  • Reliable operation in a harsh environment (temperature and vibration)

Built-in PMBus solution allowed precise control over rugged conditions

Built-in PMBus solution allowed precise control over rugged conditions

Logging the motor’s load condition allowed precise control of drill rotation speed, improving the integrity of the recovered soil samples. This was simplified through the use of the BCM bus converter modules built-in PMBus ports. These rugged converters operate over wide temperature ranges and offer excellent resistance to shock and vibration improving system reliability. Key benefits were:

  • Bus Converter digital interface simplified logging of motor speed and torque data
  • The wide input voltage range of the BCM converters compensated for the long power cable
  • 91.5% conversion efficiency simplified heat management as fan cooling was not permitted

Vicor modules provide simple interfacing in a harsh environment

The truck-based AC generator output was rectified to provide a 330VDC bus that remotely powered the drive motor via a long cable. At the drill head, four BCM VIA Bus converters with their outputs in series transformed and isolated the 330V rail, providing the drill’s motor drive electronics with a 2.5kW 160VDC rail. Two DCM DC-DC converters provided regulated 28V rails from the 330V DC bus to power instrumentation and processors. To analyze this power chain, go to Vicor Whiteboard online tool.

The power delivery network

Case study solution
DCM DC-DC converter

DCM DC-DC converters

Input: 9 – 420V

Output: 3.3, 5, 12, 13.8, 15, 24, 28, 36, 48V

Power: Up to 1300W

Efficiency: Up to 96%

As small as 24.8 x 22.8 x 7.2mm

BCM bus converter module

BCM bus converter modules

Input: 800 – 48V

Output: 2.4 – 55.0V

Power: Up to 150A

Efficiency: Up to 98%

As small as 22.0 x 16.5 x 6.7mm  

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