Switch-mode power supplies are used in most electronic systems. Especially in applications where linear voltage regulators were used previously, they offer the advantage of higher power efficiency and reduced thermal impact. However, evaluating a switch-mode power supply circuit in the lab requires some special knowledge, techniques, and set-up.
Although measuring output-ripple voltage, conversion efficiency, inductor current and loop stability seem straightforward, not applying the correct procedures will yield useless measurement results. This article introduces some of the most important procedures:
•How to implement a good test setup
•Measuring the output voltage
•Measuring the inductor current
•Evaluating startup and line transient response
•Is the circuit stable?
•Measuring the efficiency
•Assessing thermal behavior
"Evaluating a DC/DC converter in the lab" originally appeared at EETimes-Europe; to read it, click here.
About the author
Frederik Dostal studied Microelectronics at the University of Erlangen, Germany and started to work in the Power Management Business in 2001. Dostal has been active in various applications positions including four years in Phoenix, Arizona working on switch mode power supplies. Dostal joined Analog Devices in 2009 and works as Power Business Technical Manager for Europe.
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