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Dec 31 2019

Principle, Characteristics and Main Parameter of Thyristor

 Overview

Thyristor, commonly known as silicon controlled rectifier(SCR), its normative term is reverse blocking three-terminal thyristor. Thyristors are high-power semiconductor devices that have both switching and rectifying functions, and are used in various circuits such as controllable rectification and frequency conversion, inverters, and non-contact switches. As long as it is provided with a weak point trigger signal, it can control the strong electric output. So it is a bridge for semiconductor devices to enter the field of strong electricity from the field of weak electricity. So far, thyristors are the most widely used semiconductor devices in the electronics industry. Despite the continuous emergence of various new semiconductor materials, 98% of semiconductor materials are still silicon materials, which are still the basis of the integrated circuit industry. It is widely used due to its small size, light weight, high power and long life. The functions of thyristors are as follows: first, converter rectification; second, voltage regulation; third, frequency conversion; fourth, switch (contactless switch). The most basic use of ordinary thyristors is controlled rectification. The diode rectifier circuit we are familiar with is an uncontrollable rectifier circuit. If the diode is replaced by a thyristor, it can constitute a controllable rectifier circuit, inverter, non-contact switch, achieve motor speed control, motor excitation, automatic control and so on. In electrical technology, the half cycle of alternating current is often defined as 180°, which is called the electrical angle. In this way, in each positive half cycle of U2, the electrical angle experienced from the beginning of the zero value to the moment when the trigger pulse arrives is called the control angle α; the electrical angle at which the thyristor conducts in each positive half cycle is called the conduction angle θ. Obviously, both α and θ are used to indicate the on or off range of the thyristor during the half cycle of the forward voltage. Controllable rectification is achieved by changing the control angle α or the conduction angle θ, and changing the average value UL of the pulsed DC voltage on the load. The function of a thyristor is not only rectification, it can also be used as a non-contact switch to quickly turn on or off the circuit, to achieve the inverter that converts DC power to AC power, to change AC power of one frequency to AC power of another frequency, etc. This article mainly introduces the basic principle, characteristics and main parameters of thyristors.

 Thyristor

2.1 Brief Introduction of Thyristor

Thyristor, also called silicon controlled rectifier, is an abbreviation of semiconductor thyristor. It is a high-current switching semiconductor device that uses small currents to control. There are two commonly used types: ordinary thyristors (also called unidirectional thyristors) and TRIAC(triode for alternating current). Because of its small size, light weight, high efficiency, long life, vibration resistance and because it is noiseless, easy to use, it has attracted great attention from domestic, foreign, industrial and agricultural production departments in a short period of time and has been widely used in various production equipment and household appliances. According to its working principle, it can be roughly divided into four categories: f Rectification: change AC power into adjustable DC power.

 Inverter: converts DC power to AC power with a certain frequency.

 DC switch: used for DC loop switch or DC voltage regulation.

 AC switch: used for AC loop switch or AC voltage regulation.

According to its service objects, it can be used in industries, agriculture, national defense, transportation, mining, metallurgy, light industry, chemical industry and other departments.

In performance, thyristors not only have unidirectional conductivity, but also have more valuable controllability than silicon rectifier elements (commonly known as "dead silicon"). It has only two states: on and off.
Thyristors can control high-power electromechanical equipment with milliamp currents. If the frequency exceeds this value, the average switching current allowed to pass will decrease due to the significant increase in the switching losses of the components. At this time, the nominal current should be degraded.
Thyristors have many advantages, such as: controlling high power with low power, power amplification multiples up to several hundred thousand times; extremely fast response, turn on and off in microseconds; non-contact operation, no spark, no noise; high efficiency, low cost and so on.
Disadvantages of thyristors: poor static and dynamic overload capacity; easy to be misguided due to interference.

The two types of thyristors, unidirectional thyristors and three-terminal TRIAC, are briefly introduced below.

2.2 Working Principle of Unidirectional Thyristor

The internal structure of the unidirectional thyristor is shown in figure 1 (a). It can be seen from figure 1 (a) that the unidirectional thyristor is composed of four layers semiconductors P1N1P2N2. There are three PN junctions in the middle: the junction J1, J2, and J3. The anode A is drawn from P1, the cathode K is drawn from N2, and the control electrode (or gate) G is drawn from the middle P2. The circuit symbol of the unidirectional thyristor is shown in figure 1 (b).

 Figure 1. Schematic Diagram and Circuit Symbol of Unidirectional Thyristor

Figure 1. Schematic Diagram and Circuit Symbol of Unidirectional Thyristor

In order to understand the working principle of the unidirectional thyristor, the unidirectional thyristor can be equivalently regarded as a combination of a PNP transistor T1 and an NPN transistor T2. The middle layer P2 and layer N1 are shared by two transistors. The anode A is equivalent to the emitter of T1, and the cathode K is equivalent to the emitter of T2, as shown in figure 2.

Figure 2. Working Principle of Unidirectional Thyristor 

Figure 2. Working Principle of Unidirectional Thyristor

The key to understanding how unidirectional thyristors work is to understand the role of the control electrode.

(1) No voltage or reverse voltage is applied to the control electrode

When the control electrode is left floating or a reverse voltage is applied between the control electrode and the cathode, that is, UGK<0, there must be IG=0. If a reverse voltage is applied between the anode and the cathode, that is, UAK0. Due to J, and J2, the transmitting junctions of T1, T2, are both reverse biased and T1 and T2 are in the off state, at this time, the current flowing through the unidirectional thyristor is only the reverse saturation current of the J1 and J3, IA≈0, and the unidirectional thyristor is in the blocking state; if a forward voltage is applied between the anode and the cathode, that is, UAK>0, J2 is in a reverse biased state, because IG=0, T2 must be in the off state. and the current in the unidirectional thyristor is only the reverse of J2. At this time, the current in the unidirectional thyristor is just the reverse saturation current of J2, IA≈0, and the unidirectional thyristor is still in the blocking state. Therefore, when no voltage is applied to the control pole or reverse voltage is applied, IG = 0, the unidirectional thyristor is in a blocking state, and has positive and negative blocking capabilities.

(2) Apply forward voltage to the control electrode

When a forward voltage is applied between the control electrode and the cathode, that is, UGK> 0, the emitter junction J3 of T2 is in a forward bias, and IG≠0. If a reverse voltage is applied between the anode and the cathode, that is, UAK <0, because the emission junction J1 of T1 is reverse biased and T1 is in the off state, the unidirectional thyristor is in the blocking state, IA≈0; If a forward voltage is applied between the anode and the cathode, that is, UAK> 0, because the emission junctions J1, J3 of T1, T2 are forward biased, and the collector junction J2 is reverse biased, T1, T2 will be in an amplified state. After IG is amplified by T2, the collector current of T2 is IC2 = β2IG. The collector current of T2 is the base current of T1, after being amplified by T1, the collector current of T1 is IC1 = β1β2IG. This current flows into the base of T2 for amplification, and in this cycle, a strong positive feedback is formed, which makes T1, T2 quickly enter the saturation state, and the unidirectional thyristor is in the on state. After the unidirectional thyristor is turned on, UAK, the value of the voltage between the anode and the cathode is very small, and the external power supply voltage is almost completely dropped on the load.

(3) Turn-off of the unidirectional thyristor

From the above analysis, it can be seen that after the unidirectional thyristor is turned on, the base of T2 always has the collector current IC1 of T1 flowing, and the value of IC1 is much larger than the IG applied at the beginning. So even if the control electrode voltage disappears and IG = 0, it can still rely on the positive feedback of the tube itself to maintain conduction. Therefore, once the unidirectional thyristor is turned on, the control electrode will lose the function of controlling. After the unidirectional thyristor is turned on, if you want it to turn off again, the anode current IA must be reduced so that it cannot maintain positive feedback. To this end, the anode can be disconnected or a reverse voltage can be applied between the anode and the cathode.

To sum up, under the condition that a forward voltage is applied between the anode and the cathode of the unidirectional thyristor, if a forward voltage is added between the control electrode and the cathode at a certain time, the unidirectional thyristor will change from the blocking state to the conducting state. This is triggered into conduction. After the unidirectional thyristor is turned on, the control electrode will lose the function of controlling. If you want to turn off the unidirectional thyristor again, you must make its anode current less than a certain value IH (called the holding current) or reduce the voltage UAK between anode and cathode to zero.

2.3 Working Principle of TRIAC

A TRIAC is a three-terminal element with a five-layer structure of N1P1N2P2N3. It has three electrodes: a main electrode A1, a main electrode A2, and a control electrode (or gate) G. It is also a gate control switch. Regardless of its structure or characteristics, it can be regarded as a pair of anti-parallel ordinary thyristors. Its structure, equivalent circuit and symbols are shown in figure 3.

 Figure 3. Symbol, Structure and Equivalent Circuit of the TRIAC

Figure 3. Symbol, Structure and Equivalent Circuit of the TRIAC

The main electrodes A2 and A1 of the triac are connected in series with the control object (load) RL, which is equivalent to a non-contact switch. The "on" or "off" of this switch is controlled by a signal uG (called a trigger signal) on the control electrode G. When there is a voltage (u ≠ 0) between the main electrodes A2 and A1, the moment the trigger signal uG appears, it will be conductive between A2 and A1 of the TRIAC, which is equivalent to the closed state of the switch. And once it is turned on, even if uG disappears, it can be kept on until u = 0 or the current in the series circuit of the main electrode and the load is reduced to a certain value, then it is turned off. After the cutoff, it is equivalent to the off state of the switch. In this way, the small current signal on the control electrode can be used to control the large current in the main electrode circuit.

 Figure 4. Volt-ampere Characteristic Curve of TRIAC

Figure 4. Volt-ampere Characteristic Curve of TRIAC

Generally speaking, regardless of the voltage polarity between the two main electrodes A2 and A1 of TRIAC, as long as a certain amplitude of positive and negative pulses is applied to the control electrode, it can be turned on. So i represents the current in the main electrode and u represents the voltage between A2 and A1. The functional relationship between the two (called the volt-ampere characteristic curve) is shown in figure 4. It can be seen from the curve that the TRIAC has basically the same symmetrical performance in the first quadrant and the third quadrant.

According to the voltage u on the main electrode and the polarity of the trigger pulse voltage uG on the control electrode, combined with the volt-ampere characteristic curve, the TRIAC can be divided into four trigger modes, which are defined as follows:

(1) I+trigger: In the first quadrant of the characteristic curve (A2 is positive), the control electrode is a positive trigger relative to A1.

(2) I-trigger: In the first quadrant of the characteristic curve (A2 is positive), the control electrode is a negative trigger relative to A1.

(3) Ⅲ+trigger: In the third quadrant of the characteristic curve (A2 is negative), the control electrode is a positive trigger relative to A1.

(4) Ⅲ-trigger: In the third quadrant of the characteristic curve (A2 is negative), the control electrode is a negative trigger relative to A1.

Among these four trigger modes, I+ and III- have higher sensitivity, and are two commonly used trigger modes.

In the control circuit of the new type electric heating electric appliance, the trigger signal applied to the control electrode of TRIAC is output by a single chip microcomputer or an integrated circuit. Some output a continuous positive (or negative) voltage signal, and some output a series of zero-crossing trigger pulses synchronized with a 50Hz sinusoidal AC power supply. The former is called a potential trigger, while the latter is called a pulse trigger. Their waveforms are shown in figure 5 and figure 6, respectively.

 Figure 5

Figure 5.

Figure 6 

Figure 6. 

 The Main Characteristics of Thyristors

3.1 Basic Structure of Thyristor

A thyristor (also known as semiconductor controlled rectifier) is a high-power semiconductor device with a four-layer structure (PNPN). It has three lead-out electrodes, namely anode (A), cathode (K) and gate (G). Its symbolic representation and device cross-section are shown in figure 7.

Figure 7. Symbol Representation and Device Cross-section 

Figure 7. Symbol Representation and Device Cross-section

Ordinary thyristors bidirectionally diffuse P-type impurities (aluminum or boron) in an N-type silicon wafer to form a P1N1P2 structure, and then diffuse N-type impurities (phosphorus or antimony) to form a cathode in most regions of P2, and at the same time lead out a gate electrode on P2 and form an ohmic contact is formed in the P1 as the anode.

3.2 Volt-ampere Characteristics of Thyristors

The on and off states of the thyristor are determined by the anode voltage, anode current and gate current. Volt-ampere characteristic curves are usually used to describe the relationship between them, as shown in figure 3.

 Figure 8. Volt-ampere Characteristic Curve of Thyristor

Figure 8. Volt-ampere Characteristic Curve of Thyristor

When the thyristor VAK applies a forward voltage, J1 and J3 are forward biased, and J2 is reverse biased. The applied voltage almost falls on J2, and J2 plays a role of blocking the current. With the increase of VAK, as long as VAK <VBO, the passing anode current IA is small, so this region is called a forward blocking state. When VAK increases beyond VBO, the anode current suddenly increases, and it will be in a low voltage and high current state at the moment the characteristic curve passes the negative resistance. The on-state current IT determined by the load flows through the thyristor, the device voltage drop is about 1V, and the state corresponding to the CD section of the characteristic curve is called the on-state. VBO and its corresponding IBO are usually referred to as forward breakover voltage and breakover current. After the thyristor is turned on, it can maintain the on-state by itself. The transition from the on-state to the off-state is usually controlled by an external circuit without using a gate signal, that is, the device can be turned off only when the current is below a certain threshold value called the holding current IH.

When the thyristor is in the off-state (VAK <VBO), if the gate electrode is made positive with respect to the cathode and the gate electrode is supplied with current IG, the thyristor will breakover at a lower voltage. The breakover voltage VBO and the breakover current IBO are both functions of IG. The larger the IG, the smaller the VBO. As shown in figure 3, once the thyristor is turned on, the device is turned on even if the gate signal is removed.

When the anode of the thyristor is negative with respect to the cathode, as long as VAK <VBO, IA is small and has nothing to do with IG. However, when the reverse voltage is large (VAK≈VBO), the reverse leakage current through the thyristor increases sharply, showing thyristor breakdown. Therefore, VBO is called the reverse breakover voltage and breakover current.

3.3 Static Characteristics of Thyristors

The thyristor has 3 PN junctions, and the characteristic curve can be divided into (0 ~ 1) blocking area, (1 ~ 2) breakover area, (2 ~ 3) negative resistance area and (3 ~ 4) conducting area.

3.3.1 Forward Working Area

Forward blocking (0 ~ 1) area

When a forward voltage is applied between AK, J1 and J3 bear the forward voltage, while J2 bears the reverse voltage, and the applied voltage falls almost entirely on J2. The reverse-biased J2 acts to block the current, and the thyristor is not conducting at this time.

Avalanche area (1 ~ 2 is also called breakover area)

When the applied voltage rises close to the avalanche breakdown voltage VBJ2 of J2, the width of the space charge region of the reverse-biased J2 expands, and the internal electric field is greatly enhanced, which causes the multiplication effect to be strengthened. As a result, the current through J2 suddenly increases, and the current flowing through the device also increases. At this time, the current passing through J2 is transformed from the original reverse current to the current which is mainly attenuated by J1 and J3 through the base region and multiplied in the space charge region of J2. This is the avalanche area where the voltage increases and the current increases sharply. Therefore, the characteristic curve turns in the area, so it is called the breakover area.

Load area (2 ~ 3)

When the applied voltage is greater than the breakover voltage, a large number of electron-hole pairs generated by the avalanche doubling of the space charge region of J2 are extracted by the reverse electric field. The electrons enter the region N1 and the holes enter the region P2. Due to the inability to recombine quickly, carrier accumulation occurs near both sides of J2: holes in region P2 and electrons in region N1, compensating for the charge of the ionized impurities and narrowing the space charge region. As a result, the potential in region P2 increases and the potential in the region N1 decreases, which acts to offset the external electric field. As the applied voltage at J2 decreases, the avalanche multiplication effect also weakens. On the other hand, the forward voltage of J1 and J3 has been enhanced, and the injection has increased, causing the current through J2 to increase, so a negative resistance phenomenon has occurred in which the current increases and the voltage decreases.

Low resistance on-state region (3 ~ 4)

As mentioned above, the multiplication effect causes the accumulation of electrons and holes on both sides of J2, causing the reverse bias voltage of J2 to decrease; at the same time, the injection of J1 and J3 is enhanced, and the circuit is increased, so that charges continue to accumulate on both sides of J2, and the junction voltage continues to decrease. When the voltage drops to the point where the avalanche multiplication stops and all the junction voltages are cancelled, holes and electrons still accumulate on both sides of J2, and J2 becomes forward biased. At this time, J1, J2, and J3 are all forward biased, and large currents can pass through the device  because it is in a low-resistance on-state region. When fully conducting, its volt-ampere characteristic is similar to that of a rectifier element.

3.3.2 Reverse Working Area (0 ~ 5)

When the device is operating in reverse, J1 and J3 are reverse biased. Due to the very low breakdown voltage of the heavily doped J3, J1 withstands almost all of the applied voltage. The volt-ampere characteristic of the device is the volt-ampere characteristic curve of the reverse bias diode. Therefore, the PNPN thyristor has a reverse blocking region, and when the voltage increases above the J1 breakdown voltage, the current increases sharply due to the avalanche multiplication effect, at which time the thyristor is broken down.

3.4 Characteristic Equation of Thyristor

A two-terminal device of a PNPN four-layer structure can be regarded as P1N1P2 and N1P2N2 transistors with current amplification coefficients of α1 and α2, respectively, where J2 is a common collector junction. When a forward voltage is applied to the device, the forward-biased J1 injects holes and passes through region N1 to reach the collector junction (J2). The hole current is α1IA; while the forward-biased J3 injects electrons and passes through region P2. The current carried to J2 is α2IK. Because J2 is in the reverse direction, the current through J2 also includes its own reverse saturation current, ICO.

The current through J2 is the sum of the above three, that is,

formula (1)1)

Assuming the emission efficiency γ1 = γ2 = 1, according to the principle of current continuity IJ2 = IA = IK, so formula (1) becomes:

formula (2)2)

The formula shows that when the forward voltage is less than the avalanche breakdown voltage VB of J2, the multiplication effect is small and the injection current is also small. So α1 and α2 are also very small, thus

formula (3)3)

The ICO at this time was also small. Therefore, J1 and J3 are forward biased, so increasing VAK can only increase the reverse bias of J2. It cannot increase the ICO and IA a lot, so the device is always in the blocking state, and the current flowing through the device is the same order of magnitude as the ICO. Therefore, formula (3) is called a blocking condition.

When the increase in VAK causes the reverse bias of J2 to increase and avalanche multiplication occurs, assuming multiplication factor Mn = Mp = M, then ICO, α1, and α2 will all increase by M times, so (2) becomes

formula (4)4)

At this time, the denominator becomes smaller, and IA will increase rapidly with the growth of VAK, so when

formula (5)5)

The avalanche steady-state limit is reached (VAK = VBO), and the current will tend to infinity, so equation (5) is called the forward breakover condition.

formula, formula, formula

Using this feature, the breakover point conditions are derived from the characteristic curve equation (4). Because α1 and α2 are functions of current, M is a function of VJ2, which can be approximated with M(VJ2)=M(VAK), ICO is a constant and derive formula with respect to (4). The outcome is

formula (6)6)

Since the breakover voltage is lower than the breakdown voltage, formula must be a constant value. Because formula, the numerator must also be zero and obtain

formula (7)7)

According to the definition of transistor DC voltage amplification factor,

                     formula (8) 8)

We can get the small signal current amplification factor

                      formula (9)9)

Using formula (9), formula (7) can be changed to

                     formula (10)   10)

That is, at the breakover point, the product of the multiplication factor and the sum of the small signal formulais exactly 1. As long as the PNPN structure satisfies the above formula, it has switching characteristics, that is, it can be switched from an off-state to an on-state.

Because α changes with the current IE, when IA increases, both α1 and α2 increase. It can be seen that, when the current is large, the value of M satisfying (6) can be reduced instead. This shows that IA increases and VAK decreases accordingly.

α is both a function name of the current and a function of the collector junction voltage. When the current increases as α is constant, the corresponding reverse bias of the collector junction decreases. When the current is large,

                            formula (11) 11)

According to equation (2), J2 provides an on-state current (ICO <0). Therefore, J2 must be forward biased, so J1, J2, and J3 are all forward biased, and the device is conducting.

The off-state of the device changes to the on-state. The key is that J2 junction must be changed from reverse-biased to forward-biased. The condition for J2 to reverse to the forward direction is that holes and electrons should accumulate in regions P2 and N1, respectively. The condition for the accumulation of holes in region P2 is that the amount of holes α1IA injected by the J1 and collected by J2 into region P2 is greater than the amount of holes that disappear by recombination with (1-α2) IK, that is

                         formula (12)  12)

Since IA=IK, α1+α21 is obtained. As long as the conditions are true, the hole accumulation in region P2 is the same, and the region electron accumulation condition is

formula (13)13)

Thus

 formula (14)14)

It can be seen that when the condition of α1+α21 is satisfied, the potential of region P2 is positive, and the potential of region N1 is negative. J2 becomes forward-biased and the device is in a conducting state, so α1+α21 is called a conducting condition.

 The Main Parameters of Thyristor

4.1 Main Parameters of Unidirectional Thyristors

In order to correctly use a unidirectional thyristor, it is necessary not only to understand its working principle, but also to master its main parameters.

(1) Forward repetitive peak voltage UFRM

Under the condition that the control electrode is disconnected and the unidirectional thyristor is in the forward blocking state, when the junction temperature of the unidirectional thyristor is the rated value, it is allowed 50 times per second, and the duration should not exceed 10 ms. The forward peak voltage that can be repeatedly applied to the unidirectional thyristor is called the forward repetitive peak voltage, which is expressed by UFRM. Generally, the secondary voltage is specified as 80% of the forward breakover voltage.

(2) Reverse repetitive peak voltage URRM

Under the same conditions as the forward repetitive peak voltage, the reverse peak voltage that can be repeatedly applied to the unidirectional thyristor is called the reverse repetitive peak voltage, which is expressed by URRM and is generally 80% of the reverse breakover voltage.

(3) Rated voltage UN

Usually, the smaller one of UFRM and URRM is used as the rated voltage of the unidirectional thyristor. This is because the voltage added to the tube in practice is generally a positive and negative symmetrical voltage, so the voltage with a smaller value shall prevail. But because the transient over-voltage will also damage the tube, when selecting the tube, for safety reasons, the rated voltage of the tube is required to be greater than 2 to 3 times the actual peak voltage.

(4) Rated forward average current IF

The average value of the power frequency sinusoidal half-wave current allowed to pass through the unidirectional thyristor under the ambient temperature of 40°C and specified heat dissipation conditions is called the rated forward average current IF. How many amp of the unidirectional thyristors we generally say refers to this current value. The amount of IF is related to factors such as the ambient temperature, heat dissipation conditions, and the conduction angle of the component. The rated current of the unidirectional thyristor is calibrated by the power frequency sinusoidal half-wave average current under certain conditions. This is because the load connected to the rectifier output often requires the average current to measure its performance. However, from the perspective of the unidirectional thyristor heating, regardless of the current waveform flowing through the unidirectional thyristor and the conduction angle of the unidirectional thyristor, as long as the effective value of the designed current is equal to the effective value of the rated current IF, then the heating of the unidirectional thyristor is equivalent and allowed.

(5) Holding current IH

At room temperature, under the condition of the control electrode short circuit, the minimum anode current required to maintain the unidirectional thyristor to continue conducting is called the holding current IH. If the anode current of the unidirectional thyristor is less than this value, the unidirectional thyristor will change from the conducting state to the blocking state.

(6) Control electrode trigger voltage UGK and trigger current IG

At room temperature, under the condition that the voltage between the anode and cathode of the unidirectional thyristor is 6V, the minimum DC current value of the control electrode required to change the unidirectional thyristor from the blocking state to the conducting state is called the trigger current IG. The DC voltage UGK between the control electrode and the cathode corresponding to the trigger current IG is called a trigger voltage. Generally, UGK is about 1 to 5V, and IG is tens to hundreds of mA.

4.2 Main Parameters of TRIAC

In various control circuits, the TRIAC is a relatively easy-to-damage component. Once the TRIAC is found to be damaged, you just need to replace the TRIAC with the same parameters. There are many characteristic parameters of TRIAC, and the following are the main parameters that should be considered during maintenance.

 Off-state repetitive peak voltage-rated voltage VDRM

When the control electrode is disconnected and the component is at the rated junction temperature, the voltage corresponding to the sharp bending point of the forward and reverse volt-ampere characteristics is called the off-state non-repeating peak voltage. 80% of it is called the off-state repetitive peak voltage. It is also called rated voltage, which is expressed by VDRM.

When the TRIAC works, the peak value of the applied voltage momentarily exceeds the reverse non-repetitive peak voltage, which can cause permanent damage to the TRIAC. Moreover, due to the increase in ambient temperature or poor heat dissipation, the reverse non-repetitive peak voltage value may decrease. Therefore, when a TRIAC is selected, its rated voltage value should be 2 to 3 times the possible maximum voltage in actual operation. If the power supply voltage is 220V, a TRIAC with a rated voltage above 500V should be selected so that the selected components can withstand the surge voltage.

Rated on-state average current—rated current IT(AV)

Under the specified conditions, the maximum average on-state current allowed when the TRIAC is on is called the rated on-state average current. According to the standard series of TRIAC, this current is taken to the corresponding current level, which is often referred to as the rated current for short and represented by IT(AV).

Because the current overload capacity of the TRIAC is much smaller than that of ordinary motors and electrical appliances, the rated current of the TRIAC should be 1.5 to 2 times the maximum current in actual operation when selected.

 Gate trigger current IGT (voltage UGT)

This refers to the minimum trigger signal current (voltage) value that can make the TRIAC conduct reliably and add to the control electrode. If the trigger current (voltage) obtained by the TRIAC control electrode is less than the number of times, the TRIAC may not be turned on.

— On-state average voltage UT(AV)

Once the TRIAC is turned on, it is equivalent to the closed switch. Because the TRIAC is connected in series with the load, the smaller the voltage between the two main electrodes, the better. After the TRIAC is turned on, the average value of the voltage between the two main electrodes is called the on-state average voltage, which is usually referred to as the tube voltage drop. If the tube pressure drop of the TRIAC is too large, the motors and solenoid valves it controls may not work properly because they cannot get the full voltage.

— Holding current

When the control electrode is disconnected at room temperature, the TRIAC is reduced from a large on-state current to a minimum main electrode current that is just necessary to maintain conduction, which is called a holding current. The TRIAC is turned off only when the main electrode current decreases below the holding current.

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