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

Posted in post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery | Leave a comment

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/


Posted in post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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/

Posted in post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovative welding technology reduces cost on liquid cooled Cold Plates – FSW

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, USA, Tuesday, March 19, 2013: Hill Tech Sales, a leader in Components for Thermal Management and Electrical Power Conversion today posted information on friction stir welding in a cold plate construction.

Recently the only way to make certain configurations of high thermally efficient aluminum cold plates was by brazing. This is where a base, fins/tubulators and cover plate are brazed together to form one complete assembly.

Most designers would choose to avoid brazing if possible because of the inherent cost and issues that arise.

  • Annealing
  • Wasted material
  • Increased machining costs
  • Internal debris
  • Additional QA and testing

Annealing – When brazing is done the material is converted from its original temper, the annealing process re-creates the original hardness.

Wasted material comes about from more material being used to compensate for the distortion (warping/twisting) that occurs in brazing and post brazing annealing process. This allows the part to be machined to the original tolerances, with details and flatness required.

Increased machining costs occur because of the ability to consistently heat-treat a part. It is very difficult to accurately anneal a brazed part to a consistent hardness; the larger the part, the more difficult it becomes. This results in the machining being done at a much lower speed (increasing machine time). Why does this happen? When you run a part with inconsistent hardness through the machining center, if it is cutting through some material with a given hardness at a certain speed, and then all of a sudden hits a soft section, it will move through that material in a much more rapid and unpredictable manner, making it difficult to control machining accuracies and flatness.

Internal debris means that scrapping finished parts becomes inevitable. Debris develops and is sealed inside the part. When there is some highly detailed feature, i.e., fine fin pitches, stray material can become lodged between the fins reducing liquid flow and decreasing thermal performance in an unpredictable manner.  In some cases the additional debris only becomes loose over time and the restriction becomes apparent at that future time. To avoid this, additional quality assurance tests and cleaning processes can be implemented. This again is just adding cost.

Are there other alternatives? One method is called FSW – friction stir welding. The process (welding) is done by a specially ground tool in the milling machines that create a soft “plastic” state by using the spindle speed and feed rates to control the process.

friction stir welding head through material

Showing down ward pressure and rotation in friction stir welding through material

The key attribute of using FSW for heat sinks is that you are not changing the anneal of the material, so there is no need for additional annealing and eliminate the other problems that result from this process: Wasted material, Increased machining costs, Internal debris, and Additional QA testing.

In the traditional sense FSW is actually a whole lot closer to machining than welding. Once you have the proper tool, speeds & feeds, where the process control is locked down, it is a very, very, stable operation.

4 basic steps when FSW

Base material to be joined and joining tool


When considering companies to do FSW heat sinks for you, look for:

  1. Experience with this process – Look for a company that has done at least several hundred meters.
  2. Professional training – Has the personnel attended classes at the TWI training center in Cambridge, England? Do they have technical support from TWI for special projects like solid copper welding, welding solid aluminum and aluminum castings, or even dissimilar materials?
  3. Machining knowhow – One of the important aspects from a machining stand point is holding on to the parts during the FSW operation. The company should have experience machining aluminum for decades from very low speeds & feeds, up to speeds of 60,000 RPM, i.e. feed rates of over 350 inch/min.

Below additional history and detail about this process.

WA Technology


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/



Posted in post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hill Tech – HVR – Solar Power 2012

Hill Technical Sales will be assisting HVR this year at the solar show.

Come see us for expert assistance in the implementation of high energy resisters in your Power Electronics designs.

We will be posting photos and comments on this site during the show.

You may also contact Hill Tech at 847-255-4400 or visit www.hilltech.com

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/

Posted in post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery, post-format-gallery | Tagged , | Leave a comment