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Optical switch sensor powers solar trash cans

Posted: 23 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Solar  optical switch  sensor 

 Optek Technology's OPB810L51

TT electronics Optek technology's OPB810L51 wide-gap slotted optical switch functions as a non-contact sensor. It has been employed in BigBelly Solar trash compactors to determine the exact position of the compaction ram. Additional applications for it includes non-contact interruptive object sensing, assembly line and machine automation, equipment security, and machine safety.

Consisting of an input diode and output phototransistor, the slotted optical switch features a 0.375-inch wide gap and is offered with a choice of aperture size, minimum photocurrent, and opaque or IR transmissive shells. The switch housing is made from an opaque grade of injection-moulded plastic that minimises the assembly's sensitivity to visible and near-IR ambient radiation. Discrete shells, which are exposed on parallel faces inside the device throat, are comprised of IR transmissive plastic (for applications where aperture contamination may occur) or of opaque plastic with aperture openings (for maximum protection against ambient light).

Maximum forward DC current for the input diode is 50mA, with a peak forward current of 3A and reverse DC voltage of 2V. Collector-emitter voltage for the output phototransistor is 30V, emitter-collector voltage is 5V, and collector DC current is 30A. The OPB810L51 optical switch features power dissipation of 100mW and operating temperature range from -40°C to +85°C. The switch can be PC board-mounted and is also offered with 24-inch 26 AWG wires.

"Our slotted optical switch has been used on the current model of the BigBelly Solar trash compactors from the first beta units tested in 2006 through today," said Alan Bennett, vice president of worldwide sales for OPTEK technology. "These solar-powered machines compact up to five trash cans into a single can, directly reducing cost, fuel consumption and emissions from collection vehicles. We are proud to be part of such a green-friendly design."

"Not only is OPTEK's slotted optical switch a much more cost-effective solution than comparable "off-the-shelf' products available on the market, but it's extremely reliable. We've never had a single OPTEK switch fail in nearly 3,000 trash compacting machines shipped to date," said Jeff Satwicz, product manager for BigBelly Solar.

Typical pricing for OPB810L51 wide gap slotted optical switch is approximately Rs. 80.86 $1.73 each in quantities of 1,000 pieces. Lead time, if stock is not available, is from 4 to 6 weeks.

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