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Opto TRIAC in power electronics -- where should I start?

  1. Sep 18, 2015 #1
    Hey guys. I'm not supposed to ask about homework stuff in this forums but I'll give it a shot cause I'm really really lost in this. Also, I won't be so specific.

    I'm taking the power electronics course from college and I'm supposed to give a presentation on Opto triacs. I just don't know where to start, I don't get to understand what is the use of this component. Every time I search for it I just get lots of acronims and I don't know which one is really the device I'm looking for.
    I shall say that my experience with analog electronics wasn't really good.
    I know what a transistor is, what a diode is, I have some idea of how JFET transistors work, I know how to do some math as well, in fact, I don't have too much trouble with semiconductors. However, all this power things are really new to me.

    Any help I could get will be really apreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thread closed temporarily for Moderation...

    Thread re-opened.
  4. Sep 18, 2015 #3


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    I'm not even sure what an "Opto Triac" is. Can you show us where you have seen it? I know what a Triac is and what it is used for, but I don't see any optical analog of a Triac right off the bat.

    Also, why are you looking at optoelectronics in a Power Electronics class? What are the optical components used for?
  5. Sep 18, 2015 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    I googled the phrase and found. https://www.fairchildsemi.com/application-notes/AN/AN-3006.pdf. As the first hit. It says :

    "Optocouplers simplify logic isolation from the ac line, power supply transformations, and the control of polyphase power systems. They help solve problems by keeping ac line noise and transients out of sensitive logic "

    Edit: clarification. The phrase I googled was opto triac.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  6. Sep 18, 2015 #5


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    Or, an opto triac firing a power triac


    http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/moc3020.pdf [Broken]

    A good place to start is opto isolators. Whether they drive a transistor or a triac, the opto principles are the same:

    Then, read about triacs.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  7. Sep 30, 2015 #6
    Thank you guys, I'll check those out, it will help tons with this subject at school.
  8. Sep 30, 2015 #7


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    Interesting, I hadn't seen them integrated like that before. Good to know that they are available. :smile:
  9. Sep 30, 2015 #8


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    I recall using them 20 to 25 years ago. I remember hearing of something called an LASCR before I got started in electronics. (Light Activated Silicon Controlled Rectifier). At the time I wondered just how integrated things would get. At that time anything light activated seemed miraculous to me.
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