Extra-wide Input DC/DC Converters for Railway and Transportation


With ever evolving demands of electronics components for designing of devices for railway and transport industry, Powerbox, announced the launch of four new series of extra-wide input voltage range, 8W to 20W board-mounted DC/DC converters. The company has specified 13:1 input voltage range of 12V to 160V.

The MAD-MAE-MAF series claims to meet railway specifications EN50155, EN50121-3-2, EN61373 and EN45545, ISO7637-2 for 24V vehicles, and EN12895 for industrial trucks and other industrial applications such as robotics. The 8W MAD33 is packaged in an industry standard DIP24 case, and the MAD32, MAE35 and MAF35 are housed in a 2×1 inch case. All four series have specified a typical efficiency rating of 86%.

Development of products with wide-range of voltage

With the development of connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT), the number of points-of-interaction and sensors are rapidly increasing. Systems designers are facing challenging situations by having to develop products able to operate in many different applications powered by a large range of voltages. As an example, the railway standard EN50155 specifies no less than six different bus voltages (24V, 37.5V, 48V, 72V, 96V and 110V) including brownout (voltage drops) and transient surges during start-up. Considering many equipment could be connected to any of those six voltages, equipment will operate from 14.4V to 154V, include brownout (voltage drop down to 14.4V) and a one second transient of 154V as specified in EN50155. 


“Time to market is very important for systems designers as is simplicity of the sourcing / supply chains in order to reduce downtime in the case of trains maintenance or hardware upgrades. Both are driving forces behind extra-wide input range converters and we see similar demands from other industries such industrial automotive,” said Martin Fredmark, Powerbox’s VP Portfolio Management.

Suitability for low power loads

The company also states that new series of converters are suitable for low power loads and devices in railway applications such as communication devices, GSM-R phones and their docking stations, routers/Wi-Fi access points, small screens, USB charging sockets (both in-seat and driver’s cabin), sensors, and standby power for larger devices.

All models within the MAD-MAE-MAF series claim feature full protection level sets including input voltage lockout, short-circuit protection and current limiting. All units operate at a fixed switching frequency and including PI type input filters. The operating temperature range is from -40 to +85 degrees C ambient (maximum 105 degrees C case) and storage is from -55 to +125 degrees C.

The new series of converter meet the requirements of UL60950-1, EN60950-1 and IEC60950-1 standards, and CE mark 2014/30/EU. All products have an input to output isolation voltage of 3,000 VAC.

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