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New control chip for compact fluorescent lamps

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by John Popelish, May 31, 2007.

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  1. Damon Hill

    Damon Hill Guest

    Awful busy for a compact fluorescent lamp; looks more like
    a conventional long-tube lamp. The CFLs I've taken apart
    usually have a smaller parts count, except for the largest
    models.

    --Damon
     
  2. Nice chip indeed, though it still requires a lot of external components
    compared to the current discrate designs. The latter lack PFC but
    nevertheless.

    petrus bitbyter
     
  3. Bob Eld

    Bob Eld Guest

    Way too complicated with a way too high parts count including three FETS and
    transformer/inductor for a single 40 or 80 Watt tube. An integrated solution
    has to reduce the parts count plus eliminate expensive parts to be viable.
    Secondly it has to operate two or more tubes in a typical lighting assembly.
     
  4. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I don't understand why more parts and more complexity can make a
    solution ugly.
    My designs tend to grow in size to increase performance and
    reliability.
    D from BC
     
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest


    So do mine but then it's all jelly-bean parts. Often to avoid an
    expensive chip or a single source situation for my clients. Transistors
    for 1.5c, BAV99 diodes for 1c, resistors for 0.5c, opamps for 10c a
    four-pack and so on. This ballast chip is over a buck! Not a chance IMHO
    unless they sharpen their pencils again.

    Also, what rode them to call the chip IRS? :)))
     
  6. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Bob Eld"

    ** Right on - Bob.

    Lets all go back to using iron ballasts and a bi-metal starter.

    That's only two parts.


    ** Right - so combine an iron ballast and the starter in one unit.

    Voila !!

    What fucking macaroon.




    ....... Phil
     
  7. MooseFET

    MooseFET Guest

    IRF has unloaded their MOSFET line. This chip sure isn't going to be
    the new direction of the company. There is no good reason the chip
    needs so many added parts to do its job. A couple of logic lines
    could tell it what tube is connected.
     
  8. I'm guessing that I.R. have an inside line on a future
    government regulation that all CFLs will have to have a
    power factor higher than 0.9 that will make all the simple
    designs obsolete.
     
  9. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Your and MooseFET's idea of "simple" may not quite fit with us pros'
    definition where "working" means "properly, as specified, for a period
    longer than the warranty".

    And parts count and simplicity do not correlate.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  10. All I'm saying is that if the specified operation changes,
    the designs in production, now might not meet those
    specifications. This controller is pretty obviously not
    intended to compete with the discrete designs now in
    production, but to replace them when the requirements have
    been redefined. I think this controller anticipates law.
     
  11. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "John Popelish"

    ** BOLLOCKS.

    Nothing in the data says the IC is particularly intended for CFLs at all.

    Cleary it is meant for commercial lighting, where long tube fluoros are
    used.

    In that application, PFC has long been one of the essential requirements.

    You are barking up the wrong tree with no paddle here.



    ........ Phil
     
  12. I see.

    Oh well, it isn't the first time I have been out on the
    shitty end of a limb without a clue.
     
  13. Jeff L

    Jeff L Guest

    The transformer is almost always needed, and something to switch the current
    (typ 2 for the tube, one for the PFC), so that leaves a bunch of cheap
    passives (at a cost as low as 0.1 cent each + mounting) and a controller IC
    (which is necessary if doing anything other then abusively making the tube
    light up). This design is cheap in production, and very cheap considering
    the potential performance. It is not designed as a low cost CFL driver
    solution - note the wattage rating.

    If I made ballasts for larger florescent tubes (eg 4 foot T12's, T8's etc),
    I would have this design into consideration.

    Something to consider - Industrial and commercial power is paid by the kWh
    used, and by the demand, usually in kVA. The kVA demand meter is reset on a
    monthly basis (it typically takes 15 minutes to register 90% of a kVA for a
    1 kVA load), and each kVA is charged around $5 to $8 (sometimes more) per
    kVA drawn, per month.

    Now say you have 10 kW worth of lighting (a mere 60 to 70 x 4 foot 4 tube
    ceiling lights). Perfect PF gives a kVA load of 10 kVA (neglecting a small
    loss from electronic ballasts), which with active PFC is almost achievable.
    Now say you have an older/cheaper ballast type that draws 12 kVA per 10 kW
    of light output. that's 2 extra kVA's per month, totaling $120 to $192 per
    year, not including the likely lower efficiency losses resulting in higher
    kWh used. Assuming a cheap ballast is $1 or $2 cheaper (which is realistic),
    I'd make my initial investment back in buying the better ballasts in the
    first place in under a year. A pretty good return in my books. Another
    factor is tube life - a well controlled ballast keeps the tube going much
    longer then a cheap ballast, as it abuses the tube less. Add the cost of
    labor to change a bunch of overhead tubes with lots of stuff on the floor,
    and it can be demonstrated that the tube cost is not that significant
    anymore. Don't forget the disposal fees from the hazardous material.
    Cheaping out rarely wins.
     
  14. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    The bulbs could cost the same as or less than current CF bulbs, given
    time. They could be priced similar to Philips Iron type bi-pin
    replaceable mini-flourescents.
    Not to mention a socket and pins on the bulb.

    But you need to buy the electronics once and throw them out once.
    with current electronic CF bulbs, you buy new electronics each time, and
    throw out the electronics when the bulb is gone.
     
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