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Green BLDC fan driver lowers energy use

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Allegro MicroSystems, a global leader in power and sensing solutions for motion control and energy efficient systems, has announced the launch of a three-phase BLDC driver IC with integrated power loss brake (PLB) features. The A89331 code-free, sinusoidal sensorless fan driver is designed to improve thermal efficiency, which reduces energy use and data centre costs. The new PLB features also improve safety and reduce the bill of materials (BoM) in the data centre. When server fans malfunction or break, backflow causes them to go into reverse rotation. The other fans have to work harder to compensate for the resulting airflow, which increases power consumption. The unique, integrated PLB function in the A89331 applies a brake to fans that aren’t working properly, which eliminates the extra power use and increases thermal efficiency. The end result is lower energy consumption and lower data centre costs.
The traditional solution to preventing reverse rotation of broken fans is adding external circuitry to function as the power loss brake—and these external components do not fit into 1U fans. BoM cost goes up and efficiency goes down. This approach also requires coding, which increases time to market. The A89331 is said to be the world’s first and only solution that fits both a three-phase BLDC driver and PLB in a 1U fan. Plus, Allegro’s proprietary code-free drivers eliminate the need for software development and verification. Benefits include better performance, lower BoM cost, smaller footprint, reduced development cost and faster time to market. A89331’s integrated power loss brake also stops fans from spinning when they are disconnected from power to prevent injury.

Contact Conrad Coetzee, Altron Arrow, ccoetzee@arrow.altech.co.za

 

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