Printed circuit boards play an essential role in many industries. And with the speedy growth of the energy field and the innovation of complex machines, building of high quality PCBs is needed.
In a growing sector such as the renewable energy industry, lead-free and quality PCBs are needed. Below are the three vital circuit board types that are used in the renewable energy industry.
Printed Circuit Board used in Renewable Energy Industry
1. Heavy Copper PCB
A heavy copper printed circuit board has a very heavy copper circuit. It is a type of circuit board subjected to specialized etching and plating techniques.
Heavy copper PCB has great features that make it ideal for high-end applications in the renewable energy industry. For instance, it is heavier and thicker to handle higher voltage and power.
Benefits of heavy copper PCB
a. Good thermal distribution
Heavy copper PCBs have copper-plated vias that provide good thermal distribution. This means they are outstanding when used in renewable energy applications that need high frequency and speed. Moreover, they can be used in harsh environments.
b. Excellent conductor
Another benefit of using heavy copper PCB in the renewable energy industry is that it is an excellent conductor. This means it can be used in the production of complex electronic devices.
Heavy copper printed circuit boards can be used in devices with fluctuating power. In addition, heavy copper PCB can endure any weight without sacrificing the quality or performance of the board.
d. Enhances load sharing
With heavy copper PCB, you do not need to generate multiple duplicate and parallel layers. This is because the board can be combined with copper vias. Hence, it lowers the load-sharing difficulties linked with many parallel levels.
Applications of heavy copper PCBs
Heavy copper PCBs can be used in various renewable energy industries such as solar energy, military, aerospace, geothermal, and many others.
2. Multilayer PCBs
A multilayer PCB is a circuit board with 3 or more conductive copper foil layers. It uses more single-sided or double-sided circuit boards to enhance circuit wiring. The number of layers of a multilayer PCB can be four, six, eight, ten, and up to a hundred layers.
Due to the numerous benefits of multilayer PCBs, renewable energy industries are among the beneficiaries of the boards. Multilayer PCBs have more conductive layers to achieve better electrical performance.
Benefits of multilayer PCBs
a. Smaller size
One advantage of using multilayer PCBs in the renewable energy sector is that they are small in size. This means they encourage manufacturers to build smaller gadgets that do not use a lot of energy.
Compared to other printed circuit boards, multilayer PCBs are not heavy. This means they can be used in smaller devices that are mostly found in the renewable energy sector.
c. High durability
Multilayer PCBs are more reliable than single-layer and double-layer PCBs. Since there are no external wires and connectors, the boards are clean and tidy. In addition, they are made to withstand temperature stress, and pressure.
d. Fast performance
Since multilayer PCBs do not use wires and jumpers, the distance between layers is very minimal. This means the performance of the boards is commendable.
Applications of multilayer PCBs
For many industries such as renewable energy industries, multilayer PCBs have become the best option for a wide range of applications. Some of the applications of multilayer PCBs include consumer electronics, telecommunications, computer electronics, and many others.
3. Rigid-flex PCBs
Rigid-flex PCBs are circuit boards designed to act as replacements for rigid circuit boards. And as the name suggests, rigid-flex PCBs are hybrids of flex and rigid circuits. This means they display the benefit of rigid PCBs and flex PCBs.
Several rigid-flex PCBs consist of multiple layers of flexible circuit substrates normally attached to rigid boards externally or internally. They are designed to fit in applications that may require both flex and rigid circuit boards.
Advantages of rigid-flex PCBs
The combination of rigid PCBs and flexible PCBs makes it a beneficial product for many applications. Here are the main advantages of rigid-flex PCBs.
a. Flexible design alternatives
A rigid-flex PCB is a board that accepts any component and connector that can be assembled on the board. Hence, manufacturers can be flexible when designing or coming up with new ideas.
b. Reduction in size and weight of the package
Reduction in the weight and size of products is a policy that is adopted by renewable energy industries. Hence, rigid-flex PCBs are preferred in the industry because the combination of flex and rigid boards helps you to simplify your design.
c. Reduction in assembly cost
Since there are fewer connections and parts, the assembly cost is minimized. In addition, the development of the board’s prototype is significantly reduced thus minimizing the product cost of production.
Applications of rigid-flex PCBs
The main applications of rigid-flex PCBs are medical equipment, the telecommunication industry, the automotive industry, and consumer appliances among others.
Tips to choose a supplier for your project
Below are vital tips to look into when choosing a PCB supplier for your application.
1. The supplier should have a proper set of guidelines
To avoid serious mistakes, a good supplier should have a proper set of guidelines. With the guidelines, the company will be able to maintain repeatability during the whole production process.
Moreover, the PCB supplier must be ready to show the guidelines to the client so that the client can be satisfied.
2. Check the type and quality of the machines
Due to the growth of technology, the printed circuit board industry has added new designs and ideas. Hence, the supplier should use the latest equipment and software to ensure the boards are up to the latest standards, such as lamination, CNCmilling, photo process and so on.
3. Use of green materials
When choosing a supplier to produce PCB type to be used in the renewable energy industry, you need to ensure the elements are lead-free. Hence, the company should be committed to using green materials when manufacturing PCBs.
4. Know the order size and time limit they offer
Before mass production, you require prototypes. Hence, it is essential to check whether your PCB supplier can manage the prototypes and produce small quantities before hiring them.
You need to understand that time is a crucial element in any part of a business. Hence, the supplier should be able to handle all the due dates effectively.
With the rapid growth of the energy industry and the innovation of more complex equipment, PCB suppliers are building high-quality PCBs to support complex machines. The circuit boards must be reliable, small in size, and made of lead-free components.
Hence, it is important when choosing a supplier to make sure they are committed to using green material when making PCBs.
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