How to Design More Efficient AC / DC Power Supply

Power is like an insurance policy - you know you need it, but you'd rather never use it. Similarly, your next generation of electronic products are inseparable from the power supply. On the other hand, the power supply is different from the insurance policy, because in the past 20 years, the insurance policy has been increasing the price, while the power supply is getting smaller and smaller, the power is getting higher and higher, and the cost is getting lower and lower. The trend of reducing the size of the power supply to allow more space for other functions of the system will continue. Moreover, the power supply must comply with the existing standard format to avoid system redesign.

For AC / DC "target ="_ blank "> for AC / DC power supply, what drives this trend is not a new breakthrough in technology, but good design and innovative combination of the advantages of various processes and technologies to develop power supply with higher than average performance. This paper will discuss the common 100w-200w AC / DC power supply design, which focuses on the combination of various schemes to design the power supply with the smallest shape and the lowest cost, and achieve the highest efficiency and application flexibility.

Let's first talk about several main objectives of design. First, the power supply must be as small as possible to leave more space for other functions of the system. Second, the higher the efficiency of the power supply, the better. In practice, the power supply is not the most energy consuming, but the microprocessor, but the power supply still needs to further improve its efficiency, because the higher the efficiency, the smaller the heat sink required, so as to further save system space. For 100w-200w power supply, it is unrealistic to achieve 90% efficiency. For every 1% increase in the efficiency of high-power power supply, the heat can be reduced by 10%, and the cooling degree required by the power supply will be greatly different. Third, of course, cost is always the most important factor, whether in terms of raw material cost or manufacturing complexity. Simple design is an important factor. Finally, consider functionality. Control and alarm signals, current sharing with similar equipment and maintaining stable performance under various AC input conditions are very important.

Let's take a look at the AC / DC power supply shown in Figure 1 below. Several methods here can minimize the size and cost on the premise of ensuring performance and function.

Figure 1: steps to reduce the shape of AC / DC power supply

Input filter. Using a two-order filter can minimize the power supply shape and achieve high common mode and differential noise reduction. If you stack components vertically, you can save board space and improve cooling.

Power factor correction circuit (PFC). As the price of silicon carbide diode has decreased in the past two years, it has become possible to use this product in power supply. Because of the reverse current characteristic, the silicon carbide diode does not need a buffer circuit, so 5-6 components can be saved. In addition, silicon carbide diodes can generally improve the efficiency by 1%. If a step sensor is used, it can provide high sensing at high input lines and support the most possible flow density at low input lines. Using continuous induction mode (CCM) operation in the input range can maintain minimum peak conversion current and input filter requirements.

Main converter. Here, the switching loss can be basically eliminated by using the resonant topology. This not only improves the efficiency of the power supply, but also enables the power supply to use smaller heat sinks. In practical use, sometimes ceramic substrates can be used instead of metal substrates in power transistors. Ceramic substrates can reduce noise and therefore simplify the filtering process. This is because the heat sink has no capacitance coupled with the loss of switching MOSFETs. In addition, the creepage distance when using ceramic heat sink is shorter than that required by metal heat sink, which further saves board space.

Output rectifier. Here, switching MOSFETs are used instead of output rectifier diodes for synchronous rectification. This can greatly reduce power consumption and improve efficiency. For example, a diode with a forward voltage of 0.5V consumes 10W at 20A. If a MOSFET with an on resistance of 14mohm is used, the maximum power consumption is only 5.6W, which is 44% less than that of the diode. Here, a ceramic substrate can also be used to replace the traditional heat sink.

Control circuit. Semiconductor manufacturers have recently been developing integrated control circuits for power supplies. This can reduce the number of components, reduce manufacturing costs and save board space, even if the integrated circuit itself may be more expensive than discrete components. For example, IR1150 - this is a PFC chip. It is used as a single cycle control (OCC) device, which can greatly reduce the number of components while maintaining the performance of the power system. Similarly, the main converter voltage control, over-current protection, over-voltage protection and over-temperature protection can be carried out through the special application chip, and the output rectifier conversion can be controlled. In addition, the application flexibility can be improved through control channels such as synchronous single start sub source, suppression circuit to turn off the power supply with the help of logic control, "power state good" signal, standby converter control function and so on. When AC power is present, the standby converter can provide 5V output separately.

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