Circuit & System Protection


Clamping diodes

28 April 2010 Circuit & System Protection

The PolyZen family of clamping diodes from Tyco Electronics offers designers the simplicity of a traditional clamping diode while obviating the need for significant heatsinking.

This single device solution helps protect against damage resulting from the use of improper power supplies and also provides transient suppression, reverse bias protection and protection from damage caused by over-current events.

The device’s micro-assembly incorporates a stable Zener diode for crisp voltage clamping and a resistively non-linear polymeric positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) layer. The PPTC layer responds to either diode heating or over-current events by transitioning from a low- to a high-resistance state. In the event of a sustained high-power over-voltage condition, the tripped PPTC element limits current and generates a voltage drop to help protect both the Zener and the follow-on electronics – effectively increasing the diode’s power handling capability.

The PolyZen is particularly effective at clamping and smoothing inductive voltage spikes. In response to an inductive spike, the Zener diode element shunts current to ground until the voltage is reduced to the normal operating range. In the case of power supply of the incorrect voltage, the device clamps the voltage, shunts excess power to ground, and eventually locks out the incorrect supply. The relatively flat voltage versus current response of the device helps clamp the output voltage, even when input voltage and source currents vary. The PolyZen offers power handling on the order of 30 W and available hold currents up to 2,3 A.

For more information contact Jeva Narian, Arrow Altech Distribution, +27 (0)11 923 9600, jnarian@arrow.altech.co.za, www.arrow.altech.co.za



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