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SMPS Design Tutorial

SMPS Design Tutorial



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Published by Ruve Baba
Switching Mode Power Supply Design
Switching Mode Power Supply Design

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Published by: Ruve Baba on Sep 21, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Switching-Mode Power Supply Design
As explained in theintroduction, a power supply is a buffer circuit that is placedbetween an incompatible source and load in order to make them compatible. In thissection we explore some simple circuits that can be placed between a 12 Vdc batteryand a 5 Vdc load to make them compatible. The buffer circuits are simple in that wewill restrict the parts to one each or less of the following parts:
Parts List
variable resistor
breakdown diode
single winding inductor
capacitorWe will be concerned only with the power conversion part of the circuit, not thecontrol. We will assume that the circuits are open loop and the output voltage iscontrolled manually by the value of a variable resistor or the duty cycle of a switch.Although simple from a parts basis, the circuits we will explore with these parts arenot necessarily simple from an analytical viewpoint. Some of them will contain right-half-plane zeroes, an interesting topic that will be discussed later in this tutorial.The first two topologies discussed will not be switching-mode circuits, but dissipativepower supplies. The motivation for this is to show the importance of efficiency inpower conversion -- the major reason switching-mode power supplies are used.In all of the following examples we will assume a 12 Vdc source and the goal of providing 5 Vdc at a maximum load of 20 A, which equates to a maximum load powerof 100 W and a minimum load resistor of 0.25 ohms.In comparing regulators we will be using efficiency as one of the figures of merit.Efficiency is defined as:Efficiency = (Pout/Pin)or in terms of power loss= 1/(1 + (Ploss/Pout))where efficiency is a fraction that can be converted to percent bymultiplying by 100
Dissipative Power Supplies
Dissipative regulators achieve regulation by a purposeful conversion of excessivepower to heat, unlike switching-mode power supplies which do not rely on a heatconversion for regulation. Switching-mode power supplies would be 100% efficient if components were ideal. Dissipative regulators convert heat with either a series or ashunt element.
Series Regulators
We start our investigation of simple topologies by selecting the variable resistor fromourparts listand connecting it between the power source and load. What we get is asimple open-loop series regulator shown in Figure 2-1. R1 is often a transistor.
D Figure 2-1: Series Regulator
Vin = 12 Vdc
R2 = 0.25 ohm
Vo = 5 VdcSolving and listing the parameters of interest:
I = 20 A
R1 = 0.35 ohms
Pin = 240 W
Pout (R2) = 100 W
Power R1 = 140 W
Efficiency = Pout/Pin = 0.417 => 42%R1 is varied to obtain 5 Vdc at Vo resulting in 20 A current flowing in the loop andthe load resistor R2. Notice that the 5 V output is obtained by dropping voltageacross the series resistor R1, hence the name series regulator. To provide 100 W to theload, 240 W is required of the source and 140 W of power is wasted in R1 -- not veryefficient. If the load power is reduced, so is the input power and the efficiency remains
the same for all loads. Since the current cancels when made explicit in the efficiencyequation, the efficiency of this circuit simplifies to Vo/Vin. As we shall see in the nextsection, this is not true of shunt regulators.Notice that the topology is that of a voltage divider. Voltage and current dividers areused extensively in power supply circuit design and modeling. A future section will bedevoted to them.
Shunt Regulators
From ourparts list, we now add a breakdown diode across the load in Figure 2-1 toget the shunt regulator shown if Figure 2-2.
D Figure 2-2: Shunt Regulator
This is a very popular topology because it provides voltage regulation with only twoparts, a fixed value R1 and the breakdown diode. The circuit also has inherent short-circuit protection as long as the wattage of R1 is selected so that it can operate into ashort circuit. The major disadvantage of the circuit is poor efficiency, especially atlighter than full load. If the load power is a small fraction of total system power, thiscan often be tolerated. It should be noted that the topology is also the same as a seriesregulator using a breakdown diode as over voltage protection. As we will see in thesection on switching-mode power supply topologies, over voltage protection is a veryimportant consideration.Assume the same conditions as Figure 1-1 and that the breakdown diode breaks aninfinitesimal amount above 5 Vdc so it draws no current. Then the the efficiency of the circuit is the same as the 42% of the series regulator circuit.Now reduce the load to one half by increasing the load resistor R2 from 0.25 ohms to0.5 ohms so only 10 A flow in the load and the load power is 50 W. The voltage wouldrise, but the breakdown diode constrains it to 5V and the excess current flows in thebreakdown diode. The efficiency is now 50/240 W => 21% compared to 42% for theseries regulator example. At zero load current, the efficiency is 0%.In practice, some current always flows in the breakdown diode. This leads to theconclusion that a series dissipative regulator is always more efficient than a shuntdissipative regulator, everything else being equal.

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