Engineers deliver greater power in smaller package

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have designed a miniature power supply device with potential applications in drug delivery systems, medicine and a host of electronic devices.

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have designed a miniature power supply device with potential applications in drug delivery systems, medicine, portable detection and analysis, and a host of electronic devices.

The device, including the circuit board assembly, measures 0.6 x 1.45 x 0.8 inches in overall size. It is said to serve as a miniature modular high voltage power supply system and features voltage regulation, current sinking, current monitoring, and electronic float, a combination unavailable on any existing supply.

It was designed specifically for powering Sandia National Laboratories’ µChemLab device at high voltages and low currents with low power consumption. µChemLab is a portable, hand-held chemical and biological detection system with homeland security, defence, environmental, and medical applications.

Sandia designed the power supply when it found no existing commercial products that met the high voltage electrical requirements of the µChemLab instrument, even in a much larger package.

For µChemLab, Sandia required low power consumption, tolerance to arcing, and the ability to support constant current mode under software control, all in the same small package.

Once developed, Sandia researchers realised that the unique features represent a low-cost solution for other scientific and engineering applications that require robust high voltage power, stable regulated voltage, current monitoring, and a float capability.

Jill Micheau, a business development associate at Sandia, said companies with the technical capability and manufacturing capacity to produce these devices for government and commercial applications are encouraged to contact Sandia by October 31 for information on licensing.

‘The device is ideal for uses that require regulated voltage, current monitoring and the capability to allow floating circuits by isolating outputs,’ said Micheau. ‘Able to both source and sink current, it provides high voltage in either controlled-current or controlled-voltage modes.’

Additional information about the power supply and other µChemLab technologies and partnership opportunities at Sandia may be found <A HREF=’http://www.ca.sandia.gov/industry_partner/MicroChem_partnerships.html’>Here</A>