Hill Tech Office LED Conversion

Hill Technical Sales is pleased to announce the completion of an LED retrofit of its main office in Arlington Heights Illinois. Hill Technical Sales, a provider of OEM components for Power, Thermal Management and the Imaging Industry (founded in 1966) was looking for a lighting solution to both reduce energy costs and improve light levels for its office and data center.

Hill Tech took advantage of new LED lighting to increase the light levels and provide a more pleasing working environment by:

  • An improved and appropriate light distribution pattern.
  • Better color temperature and CRI, which increases the ability of the human eye to render color.
  • The removal of the offensive “buzzing” of the old magnetic ballasts.

All this was accomplished while at the same time achieving our primary goal of decreasing energy costs. These energy cost reductions are in both the lighting electricity used and electricity needed for the air-conditioning, because of the wasted heat produced by the old inefficient magnetic ballasts. When the ballasts were removed during the retrofit, they were so hot you could almost “cook an egg on them” one employee commented.
Although the new energy efficient lights will save Hill Technical Sales substantial money on its annual energy bills, another reduction in cost comes from improved maintenance. The facility was still using the old 4 ft. T12 40-Watt Fluorescent tubes which needed to be replaced approximately once per year. Another saving is in the reduction of recurring labor required to replace the ballasts and cracking Bi-Pin Fluorescent Lamp Sockets, to keep the facility lighting in good working order.  Also not to be over-looked is the recycling costs of the failed Fluorescent tubes.

LEDs are a bonus in terms of maintenance savings as they last many more times as long as virtually all conventional lighting solutions (100,000 operating hours or more for LEDs). Total savings on energy and maintenance were estimated to reduce this cost by 25% per year.

The project entailed the one-for-one replacement of 20 existing troffer lights composed of four T12 40-Watt 4 ft. linear Fluorescent tubes each, and eight 50 wall halogen display lamps. Both lighting types were replaced by a superior LED designed for the particular application.

Hill Technical Sales President, Andrew Hill, stated “It’s a virtual no-brainer for us to take advantage of the long-standing and apparent performance improvements of LED lighting”. Below is an image of the project before and after the LED retrofit. Notice there is no perceivable illumination difference; however the colors now appear slightly brighter and sharper:

Step By Step LED retrofit - Hill Tech Sales

Hill Technical Sales is pleased to announce the completion of an LED retrofit of its main office in Arlington Heights Illinois.

Take a look at how the installation proceeded step by step at: LED Lighting Retrofit

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How it works – Ceramic composition resistors

Parts of a Ceramic composition resistors

Ceramic composition resistors are similar in concept to the familiar carbon composition resistor

Ceramic composition resistors are similar in concept to the familiar carbon composition resistor. Both types comprise a solid body of resistive material, and dissipate energy uniformly throughout the component. This is known as a “bulk” material construction.

In film or wirewound types, the resistive material is only a small fraction of the total mass of the component. Bulk construction concentrates most of the component mass into the resistive element. Bulk resistors are inherently non-inductive, and offer high energy density. This bestows the capacity for high peak power, and high reliability in pulsed or surge-prone duty.

Carbon composition resistors have long been recognized for their advantages in pulsed duty, requiring combinations of high peak power or high voltage with low inductance. This is why “carbon comps” have often been the choice for snubbers and inrush limiting applications.

The Ceramic resistor difference is the resistive material, where a high-temperature, electrically conductive ceramic replaces the resin-bonded carbon particles of the earlier type. Since the ceramic dissipates heat more rapidly, higher average power can be tolerated. The high temperature capability of the ceramic allows much more energy density than carbon composition, which means smaller or fewer parts, with resulting better reliability and lowered cost. Ceramic resistor resistors also exhibit better stability under extremes of voltage and temperature. Like other “bulk” resistors, they are non-inductive. This makes them ideal for high frequency applications.

The simple construction, consisting mainly of the conductive ceramic material with bonded metal contacts, is highly reliable. Selection of the proper material from among several options allows the properties to be controlled and tailored to the application. A wide variety of geometries are easily produced, meeting requirements from Hundreds of Joules to Mega Joules.

By Hill Tech
Courtesy of HVR Advanced Power
Location- Arlington Heights IL

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Hill Tech and HVR at the IEEE Energy Conversion Expo ECCE 2016

Please join Hill Tech at the 8th Annual IEEE Energy Conversion & Exposition (ECCE 2016). I will be assisting HVR at their exhibit Booth #411 during the Exposition; hours Monday from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and Tuesday from 11:00 to 5:30 pm.

Two things to know about the IEEE ECCE show
1) You do not have to spend $1000+ to see the exhibits: You can get a FREE pass after 2:00 pm on Tuesday or purchase a $25 Expo Pass at onsite good for both days.
2) Hill Tech in HVR booth # 411 will be providing a unique “Retro Gag Gift” a “Blast” from the past. Note supplies are limited.

Water cooled ceramic resistor assembly

Cold plates on each side of ceramic disks

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Common Mode Inductor Cores for size reduction & increased performance

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, USA, Friday, June 20, 2014: Hill Tech Sales, a leader in Components for Electrical Power Conversion today posted information on Extreme nanocrystalline core materials for EMC noise reduction.

New common mode core material FT-8K50D and FT-3K50T

These materials have come about from advances in casting technique to move from an industry leading 18um thick ribbon to 13um. This reduction in ribbon thickness reduces eddy current losses (most competitors ribbon thicknesses are 20 to 25um) while maintaining high permeability.

Also optimized is the process of applying magnetic field during annealing.  This allows you to use a smaller amount of core volume to provide high suppression performance.

Actual size reduction

Finemet core vs. MN-Zn Ferrite
Size reduction using Finemet core material FT-8K50D and FT-3K50T

In the past one of the complaints with using nanocrystalline cores material for common mode applications was frequency response at higher frequencies. FT-3K50T addresses this issue by increasing the permeability of nanocrystalline cores at higher frequencies; 1 MHz and above, extending high frequency spectrum response by ~40Mhz

Nanocrystalline cores already exhibit extremely high saturation flux densities, however some applications can still benefit from a higher Bsat. FT-8K50D address this request by further enhancing the saturation flux density by ~ 10% to 1.32T, allowing you to use a smaller core.

General material characteristics

Material characteristics FINEMET - FT-8K50DMaterial characteristics FINEMET – FT-8K50D


Standard cores available:

Standard Oval Case Designs are available for higher current bus bar applications


Oval Finemet core for high current bus bar.

Finemet cores shaped in Oval formats for materials, 3KM, FT-8K50D and FT-3K50T

For more questions on this article contact:

Andrew Hill
Hill Technical Sales
220 West Campus Drive / Ste 101
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Tel: +1- 847-255-4400 ext 12 Fax: +1-847-255-0192

You may also visit: http://www.hilltech.com/


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Reduce the size of switchgear designs and increase safety

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, USA, Monday, June 24, 2013: Hill Tech Sales, a leader in Components for Electrical Power Conversion today posted information on using true Full-range fuses to reduce the size of switchgear.

In the past, Full-range fuses used an inappropriate element design where they “age” prematurely because they operate in the fast overcurrent range. This ageing is the changing element’s characteristics because of the increased power loss during operation.

Correctly designed Full-range fuses will interrupt any value of current from short-circuit to overload interruption. They have all the characteristics of back-up fuses plus the further ability for protection in the overload range. Distribution transformer circuits should use Full-range fuses where there may not be protection on the secondary side of the transformer, and the primary fuse is needed to clear a secondary system fault.

Full-Range fuse other construction concept

Back-up & General Purpose fuse

Typical construction for Back-up & General Purpose fuses











Our Full-range fuses are designed using a two zone design concept; each zone has a different element design which lowers power losses and temperature rise leading to reliable operation in the overload range.

Full-Range fuse NEW concept

A true Full-range fuse uses a dual zone construction

Other Full-range fuse do not use a dual zone construction











New design concept for Full-range fuses:
Two Zone concept, back-up zone, overload zone (Thermal Zone)
Special melting element material for parallel melting element design

Back-up zone
Back-up zone consists of upto 15 individual silver melting elements wound onto a star-shaped carrier imbedded in quartz sand.

Overload zone (Thermal Zone)
The elements in this zone are notched, which reduces the element cross section generating power loss and creating heat. In order to minimize the effects of this heat, two things are done. First, the heat is confined to a thermal separated from other parts of the fuse by a thermal barrier. Secondly, the melting elements are made of a special alloy differentiating it from silver (melting point 960°C) which is typically used.

Note the two different windings in this Full-range fuse

Full-range fuse dual zone method








Melting element materials has three important properties:

  1. Low melting point ~ 600°C.
  2. Enhanced heat absorption by the decay of metal-oxide components in the arcing process. Metal oxides are created by internal oxidation of the alloy just before reaching the melting temperature.
  3. Increased recovery voltage. The AC voltage arc is immediately absorbed after current zero making re-ignition very high. These fault arcs are extinguished much faster when made of this alloy as compared to elements of pure silver.

The two zones are placed in series for good short-circuit and overload protection.

Full-range fuses protect like two fuses, Back-up & General-Purpose.

Why Full-Range fuse is better than Back-up or GP

Why Full-Range fuse is better than Back-up or GP











 Full-range fuses protect the transformer by:

  1. Meeting transformer inrush current points.
  2. Have a rated current sufficiently above the transformer rated current in order to allow for admissible overloads.
  3. Provide best possible protection during overload caused by winding short circuits.
  4. Discriminative currents over the complete interrupting range.

Increasing Switchgear safety

Switchgear safety can be increased by using Full-range fuses on the high voltage side of the transformer because other methods only protect against:

  • Non coordinated fuses on the low voltage side of the transformer
  • Short circuits in the transformer winding, ie transformer insulation failures
  • Earth faults in the area around the transformer bushings

The danger of this method is that admissible peak transformer currents are exceeded when the cables are loaded with their maximum, and transformer life-reducing excessive loads are only noticed after years.

Also, back-up fuses used on the primary side of the transformer do not protect in an overload range situation where the insulation is in the process of failing. A slow steady current rise can occur when cracking insulation causes more and more windings to short-circuit. This increase in current occurs in the small overcurrent range of the transformer.

Full-range fuses will effectively protect transformers against overloads caused either by the load or winding short-circuit. These fuses can be used as redundant protection so that even after failure of all other protective devices on the high and low voltage side, it offers a last means of safety before catastrophic damage occurs to your installation, buildings and environment.

Consider Full-range fuses for applications with long cable runs and/or high transformer impedance and Switchgear without 3-phase disconnecting device.

Reduced size and cost of switchgear by Full-range fuse

Back-up fuses need to be de-rated in transformer applications. For a 100A application a 125A back-up fuse would typically be used. With Full-range fuses, there is no de-rating of the fuse value, so a 100A is appropriate for a 100A application.

Protecting distribution transformers with full-range fuses

HV fuse should be located here to protect transformer

Schematic showing HV Full-range fuse location in order to protection transformer












Ratings available:

  •  6/12 kV:              6.3 A – 100 A
  • 10/24 kV:             (6.3 A) – 50 A



  • Power centers
  • Power transformer protection
  • Load interrupters
  • Feeder circuit protection
  • Mine rectifiers

For more questions on this article contact:

Andrew Hill
Hill Technical Sales
216 West Campus Drive
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Tel: +1- 847-255-4400 ext 12 Fax: +1-847-255-0192

You may also visit: http://www.hilltech.com/

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