The following Amtek features can be incorporated into your lighting ballast design:
Open Lamp Shutdown:
In the event of lamp breakage or lamp removal, dangerously high and potentially lethal voltages may be present at the lamp connections. Amtek lighting ballasts with Open Lamp Shutdown will shut down when these conditions are sensed, thereby removing the presence of high voltage and protecting service personnel from danger. The lighting ballast will remain in shutdown mode until it is reset by cycling the input power Off for a few moments, then back On.
End of Lamp Life Shutdown:
When fluorescent lamps reach the end of their life, the wattage requirements of the lamp can dramatically increase. This wattage increase is localized at the lamp end, which results in overheating of the lamp holder or socket. If left alone, this condition can result in degradation and damage of lamp holders or sockets, as well as overload conditions on the lighting ballast. This overload condition can cause lighting ballast damage or ballast failure. Amtek lighting ballasts with End of Lamp Life Shutdown will shut down upon sensing a faulty or failing lamp, therefore protecting the lighting ballast as well as the lamp holders or sockets from damage. The lighting ballast will remain in shutdown mode until it is reset by cycling the input power Off for a few moments, then back On.
Note: This feature is exceptionally important for compact fluorescent lamps, because the localized overheating at the lamp ends can reach temperatures high enough to cause melting of the lamp sockets, smoke, or combustion.
Poor Electrical Connection Shutdown:
Electrical arcing caused by a loose lamp holder or other faulty electrical connection in the lamp wires creates a fire hazard. Amtek lighting ballasts with Poor Electrical Connection Shutdown will shut down when arcing or a poor connection is sensed, therefore protecting against smoke, fire, and panic. The lighting ballast will remain in shutdown mode until it is reset by cycling the input power Off for a few moments, then back On.
This feature is an enhanced version of Poor Electrical Connection Shutdown. Compared to Poor Electrical Connection Shutdown, this feature has a higher sensitivity and is very fast acting – shutdown typically occurs within 50 milliseconds of the initial arc. As with Poor Electrical Connection Shutdown, the ballast will remain in shutdown mode until it is reset by cycling the input power Off for a few moments, then back On.
Over temperature Shutdown/Thermal Protection:
Amtek lighting ballasts with Over Temperature Shutdown are protected from damage caused by excessive temperatures. This feature also prevents the lighting ballast from overheating and becoming a fire or smoke hazard. Over Temperature Shutdown can be configured in either of two forms:
a. Auto-Resetting: After sufficiently cooling, the lighting ballast will automatically restart the lamps.
b. Latching: the lighting ballast will remain in the shutdown condition until
- it has cooled down sufficiently and
- it is reset by momentarily cycling the input power Off then back On.
Transient voltages are a reality in almost every operating environment and failure to protect against them can result in ballast failures. Adding transient voltage protection to the lighting ballast is a very cost effective way to improve the reliability of the ballast, especially in harsh electrical operating environments.
The most common type of transient voltages are those encountered on the power input connections to the ballast.
Typically these transient voltages can occur in two different modes a) Line–to–Line or b) Line–to–Ground.
Amtek’s Input Transient Protection feature will protect the ballast from Line-to-Line type transient voltages.
Amtek’s Clamp to Ground feature will protect the ballast from Line-to-Ground type transient voltages.
Each of these features is available separately or they can be combined to meet the requirements of standards like IEC 61000-4-5.
Reverse Polarity Protection:
This feature protects the DC inverter ballast from damage due to the application of an input voltage which is the opposite polarity from normal.
This feature only applies to DC inverter ballasts, AC ballasts do not need reverse polarity protection.
Over Voltage Shutdown:
Amtek lighting ballasts with the Over Voltage Shutdown feature will shutdown upon sensing an input voltage that is higher than the specified maximum level for a sustained duration of time.
This protects the lighting ballast from stress and damage caused by excessive input voltage levels.
The lighting ballast will remain in shutdown mode until it is reset by cycling the input power Off for a few moments, then back On.
Low Voltage Lock-Out:
This feature prevents the ballast from attempting to start or operate the lamps if the supply voltage is too low.
Significant degradation of fluorescent and UV lamps can occur if the lamps are not started properly. One of the factors that can affect lamp starting is the supply voltage to the ballast. Attempting to start lamps when the supply voltage is too low can result in poor lamp starting which in turn degrades the lamps and reduces lamp life. Amtek’s Low Voltage Lock Out feature prevents this from happening by waiting until the supply voltage is good before attempting to start the lamps.
Significant degradation of fluorescent and UV lamps can also occur if the ballast is operated at supply voltages which are lower than the specified minimum. Amtek’s Low Voltage Lock Out feature prevents this from happening by turning the lamps OFF if the supply voltage drops too low. The lamps will be restarted as soon as the input voltage returns to normal.
Brown Out Protection:
Lighting ballasts equipped with this feature are constructed so that the lamp output leads are electrically isolated from the Line input.
This protects service personnel from serious injuries that can occur as a result of a ground loop. For example if a service person were to contact an un-insulated conductor on the output side of the ballast there would be no direct connection back to the Main Line input.
This feature also provides additional safety by preventing a direct short circuit from Line to Ground should the output circuit become grounded due to a fault condition like damaged insulation.