Home Appliances/Industrial Systems

Air Conditioners
Air conditioners were the first major home appliance to use inverter control. Key semiconductor devices used for inverter control of a compressor motor include microcontrollers, insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and photocouplers. Microcontrollers provide overall system control, pulse-width-modulation (PWM) generation and system protection functions. IGBTs and photocouplers reside in the inverter driver circuit and its interface, respectively. These days, more and more air conditioners feature a self-cleaning capability and a vector-controlled compressor motor for energy saving. Power factor correction (PFC) ICs or IGBTs are used in the power supply circuit to keep harmonics in the input current below the IEC limit.

Refrigerators
Since refrigerators work continuously, it is important to reduce their power consumption. At the same time, the market demand for ample indoor space is driving the need for thinner heat insulators and smaller motors. Because refrigerators are used in homes, it is necessary to improve motor efficiency, even at low speeds, in order to reduce acoustic noise and vibration. An inverter controls a compressor. Various sensors and a microcontroller work in tandem to regulate indoor temperatures and humidity. The compressor driver consists of IGBTs or power MOSFETs (PWMOSFETs). Power factor correction (PFC) ICs or IGBTs are used in the power supply circuit to keep harmonics in the input current below the IEC limit.

Washing Machines
The latest washing machines use inverter control for both washing and spin-drying. Inverter control helps reduce wash/spin noise and vibration and enables a washing machine to adjust the amount of water and motor torque to suit the washload. IGBTs are used for motor drive, and microcontrollers for overall control. Additionally, an intelligent power device (IPD) is used to drive a water circulating pump of a spin dryer. Power factor correction (PFC) ICs or IGBTs are used in the power supply circuit to keep harmonics in the input current below the IEC limit.

Induction Cooktops
Induction cooktops supply energy directly to the cooking vessel by using an induction heater. Generally, induction cooktops can be used to roast and grill. The heat level can be adjusted from very high to low (simmering) for good cooking. IGBTs are used for induction heaters, microcontrollers for temperature control, and phototriac couplers for cooling fans for control circuitry, etc. Today, induction cooktops that work well with aluminum pans are widely available. Power factor correction (PFC) ICs or IGBTs are used in the power supply circuit to keep harmonics in the input current below the IEC limit.

Induction Rice Cookers
Induction rice cookers were specifically developed to heat up an inner pot efficiently to cook rice perfectly. Induction-heating (IH) models are popular not only in Japan but also elsewhere in Asian. Compared to non-IH electric rice cookers, IH models provide higher thermal efficiency and lower power consumption. Induction heating makes it possible to cook perfect fluffy rice quickly at elevated temperatures. IGBTs are used for induction heating, and triac-output photocouplers to drive pot heaters. A microcontroller provides overall control, and transistors drive a cooling fan. High-end models have a side heater in addition to a bottom heater to provide high-power heating. Some models also have a top heating coil to prevent water drops from forming on the lid during warming mode; IGBTs are employed to switch this heating coil on and off.

Dishwashers
An inverter motor gives a powerful water jet, low vibration and low noise. IGBTs are used for motor drive and microcontrollers for overall control. Triacs and photocouplers are used to drive a heater for hot-air sterilization. Photocouplers are also employed to drive water supply and drain valves.

Microwave Ovens
Microwave ovens employ microwave radiation to cook or heat food by moving water, fat and sugar molecules. Recently, superheated steam ovens have been the the subject of much public fanfare. Since they remove excess fat and salt from food, they are popular as a healthier way of cooking. IGBTs are used for driving magnetrons, microcontrollers for controlling the amount of heating, and photocouplers for driving fan motors.Transistors are used to drive a cooling fan.

Bidet Toilets
The most basic feature of a bidet toilet is that a jet of water cleanses a user. The nozzle is also self-cleaning. The advanced features include massage options, which provide a vibrating and pulsating jet of water. The latest energy-saving development is a toilet seat that quickly warms up after a sensor is activated as you approach.

Water Heaters
Water heaters are broadly categorized into gas, electric and solar-powered heaters. Additionally, many manufacturers now offer water heaters that use an electric heat pump called EcoCute. An electric heat pump system uses heat extracted from the air to heat water. It helps to save money on electricity by using nighttime power. This in turn helps to balance the daytime and nighttime power demands for power plants. Hot water is circulated to bathrooms, floor heating systems and so on. The water is adjusted to a temperature specified via a remote controller (CLC communication) by mixing hot and cold water at a mixing valve. Microcontrollers are used for controlling a main unit and a remote controller. A common line communication (CLC) IC is also an essential component. Additionally, a pump motor uses an IPD (single-chip inverter). As is the case with air conditioners, an electric heat pump collects heat by compressing and expanding the refrigerant. A 32- or 8-bit microcontroller with anal

LED Lighting
Toshiba has developed an LED driver, designated the TB62D901FNG, suitable for a wide range of systems with constant-current control. It is the ideal solution for LED lighting applications that require high efficiency and cost effectiveness. Additionally, Toshiba offers an extensive portfolio of semiconductor devices necessary for LED lighting such as small SMD and through-hole power MOSFETs that employ advanced design techniques, low-loss Schottky barrier diodes fabricated with a state-of-the-art process, and power-factor-correction (PFC) ICs for ensuring compliance with harmonic standards.

Motor Solutions
Many of the digital mobile handsets, small office equipment and toy robots are battery-powered, and the controllers for small motors and actuators in these applications are required to consume little power. Toshiba is committed to the development of next-generation general-purpose motors featuring low power consumption, low noise, quick response and accurate control by leveraging proprietary manufacturing and circuit technologies.

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