Driving LEDs (II

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http://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/51768

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Driving LEDs (II)
By Emanuele Created 09/04/2008 - 10:00

BLOG Diodes by Franco Musiari [ DESIGN IN [1]] Buck Regulators This is the simplest topology - see Fig. 5 – and can directly replace the linear regulators previously described. The control circuit drives a transistor alternately in conduction status and interdiction status. During the conduction status the current flows from VIN to the diode (green dotted line on Fig. 5) and the energy initially associated to delta between VIN and the voltage fall on the LED, on the transistor and on RS is stored in the inductance. At the increasing of the stored energy in the magnetic circuit, the resistance decreases to the passage of the current, current that grows until the controller, that measures it on RS, does not drive the transistor to the interdiction status. At this point the energy, stored in the inductance, maintains the current flow through the LED, closing the circuit on D1 diode ( red dotted line on Fig. 5) and reducing itself when the transistor is driven again into the conduction status and the cycle starts once more. The maximum current value is determined by the resistance RS and by the set threshold in the controller. The minimum value is determined, on the contrary, by the duty cycle of the transistor ON / OFF cycle.

Why do we use regulators dedicated to LEDs? The answer is easier with a direct example reported to the Buck regulators topology,

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Driving LEDs (II)

http://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/51768

but is valid in general terms. Figure 6 shows the circuit of a Buck regulator of National Semiconductor – LM25007 – This Buck regulator can operate with input voltages from 9 to 42 V and it could be easily adapted, through the revisions described in the picture, to operate for drive a LED (or a LED array). The regulator works to maintain the voltage on the FB feedback pin to 2,5 V and, wishing a current on the Led of 350mA, it would be sufficient to put R4 equal to 2,5V/0,35A ? 7 ?. The error introduced not considering the input current at FB pin is unimportant due to the high impedance. But this resistance is passed through the current on the LED, dissipating a power equal to R • I2 = 7 • 0,352 ? 0,86 W (almost comparable to the power of each array LED ). And the dissipation on R4 should become even higher at the increasing of the LED requested current. The LM3402 from National Semiconductor – Buck regulator at constant current until 0,5 A for a LED driving – has a circuit equivalent to that one shown on figure 6, with the difference that the feedback voltage is reduced to 200 mV (0,2 V). To get a current in the LED of 350mA it is enough a resistance of 0,2V/0,35A 0,6?that will lead to a dissipation of only 73 mW. A reduction of 91% compared to the previous case, with a consequent dramatic increase of the energy efficiency. Boost Regulators If the voltage of the power supply is lower to the VF total direct voltage, it is necessary using a Boost regulator which is able to raise the output voltage. The topology – see Fig.7 – is a bit more complex especially for the necessity of a double control: on the LEDs current and on the charging current of the inductance on the input branch of the power supply. It should be noted that this topology is unable, in its minimal configuration, to operate when the input voltage exceeds the total VF of the serial LED chain. In this case the current should flow uncontrolled from the input to the LEDs with their probable damage. During the transistor conduction period, the current, that flows from the VIN input to ground, charges the inductance to a current maximum value that is controlled through the resistance RI. The D1 diode prevents that the charge of the CO condenser, during the transistor conduction period, is short-circuited to ground but supplies the LED chain. At the time of the transistor interdiction, the energy stored in the inductance is transferred, through the diode D1, on the LED chain and on the CO output condenser. The inductance and CO are the main makers of the charging and energy transfer.

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Driving LEDs (II)

http://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/51768

SEPIC Regulators SEPIC (single ended primary inductance converter) is a combination of Buck and Boost topologies coupled by a capacitor - CC in Fig.8- which is the weak point of the chain, since it must manage all the energy that must be converted for a proper LEDs driving. The necessity of two inductance is often named as a big topology handicap but they can be coupled on the same core allowing a space saving. On the other side the topology gives the possibility of having an input current without abrupt changes and this reduces significantly the EMI emissions with the opportunity of simplifying the input filters. This type of regulator is useful in situations where the output voltage is not always higher than the VIN input voltage. For example, a single cell at lithium-ions (Li-Ion) has a voltage that varies between 2.5 and 4.2 V, depending on its charge state. On the other side the output may request only 3 or 4 volts of a medium power LED. Another example: when the LED number and the supply voltage change from one platform to another one, but it can be advantageous to use a single circuit valid for all the platforms, overcoming the disadvantage of the higher cost due to additional components.

At the ignition CC charges itself to VIN value; when the transistor starts the conduction, it connects the CC positive armour to ground and the current flows through L2 (green dotted line in Fig. 8) charging it while simultaneously L1 is charged too. At the transistor interdiction status the energy charge, accumulated in L2, it is downloaded through D1 (red dotted line) while the one accumulated in L1 provides to CC recharge to VIN value; and the cycle starts again. It makes sense that the absorbed current from the VIN input is not more impulsive, as in the other topologies, but varies around a medium value. The output voltage is approximately equal to: VIN • [ton/(1-ton)] where ton is the transistor conduction time. The flexibility offered by this topology involves anyway a less efficiency related to the losses on the diode (schottky), especially if the output voltage is relatively low, and to the losses on the serial resistance of L2. Furthermore the efficiency tends to decrease at the growing of the input voltage. In fig.8 you can see one of lots of configurations of this topology. Boost/Buck Regulator

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Driving LEDs (II)

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The most stable and safe solution to drive LEDs in ambiguous situations is the combination of a Boost regulator followed by a Buck, tandem connected as you can see on Fig.9. This creates the fewer number of problems in the circuit optimization and in the EMI noise generation. Moreover the Boost regulator can provide the power supply to different Buck stages, shunt located, for LEDs multiple arrays driving. Anyway, also for this configuration there is the disadvantage of a lower energy efficiency compared to a single stage solution.

The dimming As mentioned at the beginning the intensity of the LED emitted light is proportional to the current that passes through it. Starting from this observation you may think that by adjusting the current - increasing or decreasing the level – we can obtain the control of the emitted brightness (dimming). This is certainly true but it has some major inconveniences: • The variation of the current intensity causes also, in monochrome LEDs, a movement of the dominant wavelength; • as it is shown on figure 10, the change of the current causes, in the white LEDs, a movement of the correlated colour temperature (Correlated Colour Temperature); • to optimize the efficiency of the driving circuit is much more difficult .

For the above causes, the optimal choice for the dimming is a driving at constant current modulated in PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) as you can see in Fig.11. If the PWM frequency is maintained higher or equal to 120 Hz, the brightness perceived by the human eye (which integrates the signal received during the time flow) will be proportional to the duty cycle D = tON/T. For this purpose, most of the commercial regulators for LED, even of the different topologies briefly analyzed, typically foresee the opportunity to be driven by a PWM signal that modulates the driving current in a coherent way.

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Driving LEDs (II)

http://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/51768

The electrical Noise All the switching regulators generate, as a result of the commutations and the rapid transitions of the current intensity, electrical noise known as EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference). The common DC/DC converters, that control and operate on voltage levels, normally offer well filtered input and output signals obtaining this result thanks the use of large filter condensers, both on the inputs and outputs, and bringing the switching frequency to higher and higher levels. The LEDs power supplies operate adjusting not the voltages but the currents and large filter capacity would create a slowdown in the responsiveness of the circuit to the change of the voltage, making the generated current subject to the power supply variations. Buck regulators are simple, energy-efficient and from the point of view of cost/performances, but they can generate serious problems on the EMI emissions side when they are applied on LEDs as power supply if they are not properly sized and if the circuit layout is not achieved according to precise rules. Rules to follow to get the minimum EMI emission: • low switching frequency; • short connections and current loops to LEDs the shortest possible; • very fast feedback diodes ; • commutation transistors in the middle of the circuit; • accurate connections to the power line and relative filtering. And, as soon as possible, use a Buck regulator. It’s the only one that does not require an output capacitor! Reference Documents: 1) Seminar: LED Applications and Driving Techniques - Chris Richardson; National Semiconductor, 2) Power supply/LED drivers – application note; Melexis , 3) Controlling luminous intensity of LEDs – application note; Nichia, 4) Electrical Properties of GaN LEDs & Parallel Connections –application note Nichia Fig. 5 • Buck Regulator. Fig. 6 • A canonic regulator Buck adapted to the piloting of LEDs. Fig.7 • Boost Regulator. Fig.8 • SEPIC Regulator (single ended primary inductance converter). Fig.9 • Boost/Buck Regulator. Fig.10 • Emission chromatic features of the NSCW215 diode to change the direct current (Courtesy of Nichia). Fig. 11 • For the LEDs dimming is recommended a piloting to the constant current with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). BOX Driver Manufacturers for LED Advanced Analogic Technologies Inc. www.analogictech.com [2] Allegro Microsystem INC. http://www.allegromicro.com [3] Austriamicrosystem www.austriamicrosystems.com [4]
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Driving LEDs (II)

http://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/51768

Exar Corporation www.exar.com [5] Intersil Corporation www.intersil.com [6] Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation www.fairchildsemi.com [7] Infineon Technologies AG www.infineon.com [8] IXYS http://www.claremicronix.com/products.html [9] LEDdynamics www.leddynamics.com [10] Linear Technology Corporation www.linear.com [11] Maxim Integrated Products www.maxim-ic.com [12] Melexis Microelectronic Systems www.melexis.com [13] National Semiconductor Corporation www.national.com [14] On Semiconductor www.onsemi.com [15] Power Integrations Incorporated www.powerint.com [16] ST Microelectronics www.st.com [17] Supertex Incorporated www.supertex.com [18] Texas Instruments Incorporated www.ti.com [19] Toko Incorporated www.toko.com [20] Zetex Semiconductors www.zetex.com [21]

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Source URL: http://dev.emcelettronica.com/driving-leds-ii Links: [1] http://www.design-in.tecnoimprese.it/page.asp?ln=2 [2] http://www.analogictech.com [3] http://www.allegromicro.com [4] http://www.austriamicrosystems.com [5] http://www.exar.com [6] http://www.intersil.com [7] http://www.fairchildsemi.com [8] http://www.infineon.com [9] http://www.claremicronix.com/products.html [10] http://www.leddynamics.com [11] http://www.linear.com [12] http://www.maxim-ic.com [13] http://www.melexis.com [14] http://www.national.com [15] http://www.onsemi.com [16] http://www.powerint.com [17] http://www.st.com [18] http://www.supertex.com [19] http://www.ti.com [20] http://www.toko.com [21] http://www.zetex.com

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