Switching Power Supply Design

How to Find out About Switching Power Supply Design

All of the up to date gadgets we use need power to work. We get that power in a number of ways such as electricity, batteries and even in some cases solar power. As we want smaller and smaller equipment and for them to do more, we need to find the best way to power them.

Switching Power Supply Design

For more business related projects there are plenty of seminars to attend and many are targeting engineers who may have to make these changes in a very short timescale. There is the option to bring someone in to do this for you, but if it is a subject you are interested in why not do it yourself?

Energy is not always used in the way in which it is formed, meaning that it needs a system to transform it into the correct form. The gadgets power supply or possibly a better term would be power convertor.

How Does It Work?

With SMPS it is possible to have the right amount of electricity provided to a load – the name given to items such as computers that is high enough to power it but not so high that it will cause damage. For example, if a power source is single phase 220v and the load is a circuit in a laptop that requires 5v DC, then the power supply (convertor) is the equipment that makes the two compatible.

While it may seem obvious to say this, a major reason for switching power supply is to maintain or increase efficiency. SMPS fall into four different types. AC can be converted to DC (sometimes known as off-line DC power supply) DC to DC, AC to AC and DC to AC (inverter). DC currents flow forward while AC currents flow backwards.

A common problem for many is the fact that power fails when the load is increased. This is often caused by electromagnetic interference and this can be easily solved by using snubbers. They make sure that the wavelengths stay within the correct operating boundaries and can also help to lower switching power losses or divert the losses of the total design from overheating semi conductors to snubber resistors.

It has been accepted that snubber resistors play an important part and to make sure that you know all there is to know about them there are now books, newsletters and videos full of information about them and their uses.

To be totally successful you will have had to choose a topology and control that provides a better performance than was required. It is important to consider what sort of environments the circuit is likely to be used in and the extremes must be factored into the design process.

Where to Get Help

For 25 years "Switching Power Supply Design" by Abraham Pressman, Keith Billings and Taylor Morey has been considered the best guide for beginners. The third edition is now on sale for £64.99. In keeping with the upgrading and updating theme, it is also available on Kindle for £44.32. This will be a great help to users who need to switch the power supply on their own.