DC to DC Conversion | Electrical Components | Electronics

DC to DC Conversion: Boost Converter Design

Bryan R. Reemmer Team 5 March 30, 2007

Executive Summary This application note will outline how to implement a boost, or step-up, converter. It will explain the electro-mechanical workings of the circuit, as well as common sources for error. As there are many chips available to perform this type of DC-DC conversion, a specific example of a chip-based solution is provided. Keywords: Boost converter, step-up converter, DC-DC converter, MAX5026

... 4 IC Implementation………………………………………………. 5 Results……………………………………………………………………… Conclusions………………………………………………………………… 6 References…………………………………………………………………... 7 5 3 2 ........Table of Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………… Objective…………………………………………………………………… 3 Design……………………………………………………………………… 3 Analysis……………………………………………………………………......

allowing one power supply to provide different driving voltages. A boost converter is simply is a particular type of power converter with an output DC voltage greater than the input DC voltage. regulated voltage. This is clearly desirable. The circuits belonging to this class. so it does not output a constant voltage level. The basic boost converter circuit consists of only a switch (typically a transistor).Introduction DC to DC converters are extremely important in battery-powered electronic devices. and a capacitor. The specific connections are shown in Figure 1. the efficiencies are seen in the 80-95% range. Design A boost converter is part of a subset of DC-DC converters called switch-mode converters. Objective The purpose of this document is for the reader to become familiar with the function and implementation of a boost converter. A basic design will be discussed along with a specific application of an integrated circuit (IC) solution. This type of circuit is used to ‘step-up’ a source voltage to a higher. thereby saving space instead of using multiple batteries to supply different parts of the device. Those electronic devices often contain several subcircuits. such as MP3 players and laptop computers. Even worse. They generally perform the conversion by applying a DC voltage across an inductor or transformer for a period of time (usually in the 100 kHz to 5 MHz range) which causes current to flow through it and store energy magnetically. 3 . flyback. an inductor. each requiring a voltage level different than that supplied by the battery. The output voltage is regulated by adjusting the ratio of on/off time. DC to DC converters offer a method of generating multiple controlled voltages from a single battery voltage. a diode. the voltage of a battery declines as its stored power is drained. and push-pull converters are very similar. including buck. Figure 1: Standard layout of a Boost Converter. As this subset does not use resistive components to dissipate extra power. buck-boost. then switching this voltage off and causing the stored energy to be transferred to the voltage output in a controlled manner. as it increases the running time of battery-operated devices.

depending on the state of the switch Applying Kirchhoff’s rules around the loops and rearranging terms yields an intuitive result: VO 1 = VIN 1 ! D That is to say. the gain from the boost converter is directly proportional to the duty cycle (D). assuming ideal components.Analysis Examining the circuit for two cases (switch open and switch closed) is fairly straightforward. Figure 3 graphically demonstrates this. the amount of energy required by the load is small enough to be transferred in a time smaller than the cycle length. This case is referred to as ‘continuous mode operation.’ Figure 2: Current flow through the converter. time In some cases. the current through the inductor falls to zero during part of the period. and provided that there is constant current flow through the inductor. This is called ‘discontinuous operation. or the time the switch is ‘on’ each cycle. In this case.’ 4 . Figure 3: Inductor current and duty cycle vs.

is determined by the ratio of fixed resistors R1 and R2. & VOUT # R1 = R 2$ ' 1! $V ! % REF " Equation 1 & R1 # VOUT = VREF $ + 1! % R2 " Equation 2 Equation 1 is directly from the MAX5026 data sheet.25V for the MAX5026. Figure 4: MAX5026 implementation of a boost converter. is one such solution. the DC-DC converter IC attempts to deliver additional power until FB reaches 1. the input voltage.The only difference. the difference has a strong effect on the output voltage equation. creating a closed-loop system. VOUT. is that the inductor is completely discharged at the end of the cycle. IC Implementation In order to implement the switching necessary for the converter to work. is 1. the output voltage. Results The output voltage obtained during this study was not a full 30V. and the output current. The system is at equilibrium when VOUT is generating the desired output voltage and the R1 and R2 voltage divider feeds back 1.25V to the FB pin. in discontinuous operation. it is desirable to find an IC solution. The discrepancy is most likely due to losses in the board. the output voltage not only depends on the duty cycle. then.25V). Compared to the expression of the output voltage for the continuous mode. Solving Equation 1 for VOUT yields Equation 2 where VREF. Although slight. from MAXIM. this expression is much more complicated. The typical circuit from the MAX5026 data sheet is shown in Figure 4. When VOUT is lower than the desired output voltage (the voltage fed back to FB is below 1. The actual output was approximately 28V. 5 .25V. the FB Set Point. In this circuit. as well as to non-ideal devices (most notably the inductor). These two resistors form a voltage divider that feeds a fraction of the output voltage back to the feedback (FB) pin. The 5026 chip. but also on the inductor value. Furthermore.

parasitic resistances exist in all circuits. especially as the duty cycle grows above 50%. This is reasonable because an inductor is made of one long wound piece of wire. This is why the efficiencies are not at a perfect 100%. If the inductor resistance is zero (an ideal inductor). For the sake of simplicity. the equation makes intuitive sense. It was assumed that the power is transmitted without losses from the input voltage source to the load. Furthermore. However. the possible gain drops off sharply from the theoretical value. all components were assumed ideal. the inductor is assumed the only non-ideal component.In the analysis above. due to the resistivity of the materials they are made from. as RL increases. As the inductor becomes less ideal. Also. Reworking the earlier equations with the added inductor resistance (RL) changes the gain equation to the following: VO = VIN 1 RL +1! D R( 1 ! D) Even without the full derivation. current flows through the inductor both in the on and the off states. the equation above becomes equal to the ideal case. the effect of RL increases with the duty cycle. Figure 5 displays these effects graphically. Therefore. and that it is equivalent to an inductor and a resistor in series. so any non-ideal effects will be more pronounced. Conclusions 6 . the voltage gain of the converter decreases compared to the ideal case. however. a fraction of the power managed by the converter is dissipated by these parasitic resistances. D. Figure 5: Non-ideal inductors can rapidly degrade boost converter performance. so it is likely to exhibit a non-negligible parasitic resistance.

7 . one can efficiently trade off between current strength and voltage levels to power a variety of sub-circuits without costly extra batteries.DC-DC converters are an excellent way to get the most use out of a single power supply. Though the total power must remain constant.

ortodoxism.pdf> Breakthrough efficiency levels: <http://www.jaycar.shtml> 8 .futurlec.com/InfoWeb/design_center/articles/DCDC/converter.or.References MAX5026 Datasheet: <http://www.htm> +30V DC-DC Converter: <http://www.shtm> Simple Converter: <http://www.com/t_dc-dc.pdf> DC-DC Converter Basics: <http://www.powerdesigners.elexp.au/images_uploaded/dcdcconv.interq.jp/japan/se-inoue/e_ckt28.ro/datasheets/maxim/MAX5025-MAX5028.com/News/National/DC_Converter.htm> DC-DC Converters: A Primer: <http://www.com.

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