Light Technology Institute

Electronic control gears for tomorrows radiation sources

Modern radiation sources, plasmas, the energy revolution and visible light communications (VLC) require highly efficient, fast and ultramodern electronic ballasts. These are investigated and developed in the power electronics laboratory.

The requirements for precise current limitation and high output voltages at high frequencies can only be met by electronic ballasts. In order to achieve optimum system efficiency, these must be adapted to the lamp used. Optimizing the lamp and ballast system requires expertise in both power electronics and lamp physics.

The Lighting, ECG and Plasma Technologies working group combines knowledge of lamp-specific requirements with power electronic know-how. This intersection allows us to develop efficient and optimized systems for our costumers.

One focus of our power electronic R&D activities is the research and development of MHz inverters for the operation of inductively coupled plasmas. By using modern power transistors with wide band gap semiconductors (SiC and GaN) it is possible to realize MHz inverters, which can provide up to 25 kW at efficiencies of up to 95%.

In addition to ballasts for plasma emitters, we are also engaged in the development of ballasts for LED lamps. The focus here is on digitally controlled ballasts which provide maximum efficiency, long life times and extremely compact solutions. The digital control and the compact design also make it possible to integrate extended intelligence into the luminaires. Thus, for example, VLC or WIFI as well as pedestrian recognition or similar can be implemented in a street light.

A further focus is the development of power factor corrections for supplying lamp ballasts in the multi-kilowatt range. These are required by law, reduce network disturbances and make the operation of large systems in areas with a low network load possible in the first place.