Optical Switch controls Bigbelly solar trash compactors

  • December 21, 2009
  • Case Study
December 21, 2009 — OPTEK Technology’s OPB810L51 wide gap slotted optical switch has been employed in BigBelly Solar trash compactors. The OPB810L51 device functions as a non-contact sensor to determine the exact position of the compaction ram.“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.Consisting of an input diode and output phototransistor, the slotted optical switch features a 0.375”-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-molded plastic that minimizes 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” 26 AWG wires.Typical pricing for OPB810L51 wide gap slotted optical switch is approximately $1.73 each in quantities of 1,000 pieces. Lead time, if stock is not available, is from 4 to 6 weeks.OPTEK is a leading manufacturing and solutions provider for sensing and illumination covering the infrared, visible and ultraviolet spectrum; with standard as well as application specific products for a variety of markets, including, but not limited to office machines, industrial equipment, encoders, automotive electronics, military and high-reliability applications, medical diagnostic equipment and solid-state lighting. Headquartered in Carrollton, TX, the company is ISO/TS16949:2002 and BS EN ISO 9001:2000 certified, as well as ITAR registered. OPTEK Technology was acquired by TT electronics in December 2003.TT electronics plc is a global electronics company manufacturing a broad range of advanced electronic components, assemblies and sensor modules for the automotive, industrial, telecommunication, computer and aerospace markets. Learn More

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