Power Management

Steve Taranovich
Editor/Tech Writer
In-depth technical information, product advancements, and industry news for engineers responsible for designing, specifying, or selecting power sources for electronics applications. Topics include power supplies, power management and regulation components, batteries, digital power, and alternative energy technology.

Power systems for patient-connected equipment

This paper discusses two approaches for power systems within medical equipment for patient-connected applications. Read More...

What is a BMS anyway?

If you have worked with battery systems, you have most likely heard of a battery management system. The term refers to a wide variety of electronic devices that monitor and protect the battery. Read More...

How 5G is changing data centers

While there is perhaps a general perception to the contrary, 5G systems are no longer just the subject of research within major telecoms companies or the topic of conference presentations at industry forums. Read More...

How smart is it to deploy smart meters on the smart grid?

Conventional power grids worldwide are beginning to strain against rising energy needs. How can we improve these systems in a sustainable way? Read More...

Power driver design handles difficult loads, helps characterize PSUs

Dynamically testing and characterizing power supply subsystems can be tricky. This well-behaved driver circuit will simplify the task. Read More...

Cheap FET driver? Buyers, beware!

What could possibly go wrong using FETs arranged in an H-bridge to control a motorized hospital bed? Turns out, a lot. Read More...

Product how-to: Novel technology to accurately gauge battery state-of-charge

This article examines how fuel gauging technology has evolved such that now technology exists that provides an accurate reading of battery state-of-charge without requiring characterization. Read More...

Power Tips #76: Flyback converter design considerations

Flyback converters can appear intimidating and the design choices are many, especially for those who have not designed one before. Let’s look at some key design considerations. Read More...

Analyze noise with time, frequency, and statistics

Random processes such as noise and jitter are associated with all electronic circuit components. Noise can be characterized using digital oscilloscopes utilizing tools that operate in time, frequency and statistical domains. Read More...

SEPIC/Ćuk converter sprouts second output

Here are the devilish details for creating a two-output SEPIC-Ćuk converter. Read More...

Foil shunt resistors contain integrated RTD

The RTD temperature sensor lets you monitor the device's temperature for thermal management in power circuits. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 560V Input, no-opto isolated flyback converter

This switcher operates at a wide input voltage range of 18V to 560V, delivering up to 15W of isolated output power. It requires no opto-coupler, and includes rich features such as low ripple burst mode operation, soft-start, programmable current limit, undervoltage lockout, temperature compensation, and low quiescent current. Read More...

Neutral woes

More AC line troubles and dangerous peaks, this time due to the 240V neutral. Read More...

Merging power and data: good, bad, or both?

Putting significant power onto an interconnect system originally intended for data is doable but brings both technical challenges and limitations which may be too difficult to overcome. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

SEPIC/Ćuk converter sprouts second output

Here are the devilish details for creating a two-output SEPIC-Ćuk converter. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 560V Input, no-opto isolated flyback converter

This switcher operates at a wide input voltage range of 18V to 560V, delivering up to 15W of isolated output power. It requires no opto-coupler, and includes rich features such as low ripple burst mode operation, soft-start, programmable current limit, undervoltage lockout, temperature compensation, and low quiescent current. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Bidirectional DC/DC regulator and supercapacitor charger

Combine a supercapacitor charge controller with a robust DC-DC to make a wide input-range supply with transient ride-out. Read More...

Protect your boost converter

This Design Idea addresses boost converters’ inherent short-circuit vulnerability while also providing reverse-polarity protection. Read More...

Body diodes simplify UPS & energy recovery circuits

This circuit sketch shows how to turn body-diode lemons into lemonade. Read More...

Capacitor self-diagnostics

Electrolytic capacitors are often a system’s weak link. This Design Idea helps you keep tabs on their condition. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 42V quad monolithic synchronous step-down regulator with 30μA quiescent current

This circuit impresses with four 2.2MHz bucks in a tiny package. Read More...

Charge-pump topology doubles voltage, breaks DC path

This unusual charge-pump voltage multiplier Design Idea not only doubles the input, but has a pseudo-floating output. Read More...

Circuit delivers constant power to a load

Here’s a novel way to supply constant power to an ill-defined load. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Determine balancing current for the LTC3305 lead-acid battery balancer

Delve into PTC thermistor intricacies to optimize battery-balancing designs. Read More...

LM317 smooths but doesn't regulate

I once needed to clean up a power supply output, but it didn't need to be regulated. Read More...

UVP protects rechargeable batteries

Protect rechargeable batteries from deep discharge with this UVP & load switch. Read More...

New slope compensation method stabilizes switchers

Add slope compensation to any switching controller and topology. Read More...

Circuit remotely adjusts PSU voltage

This DI circuit allows for remote regulator/PSU programmability or trimming. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 55V High efficiency buck-boost power manager and multi-chemistry battery charger

A versatile, efficient, multi-chemistry battery charger design operates in buck & boost modes. Read More...

Shunt circuit clips large transients or regulates voltage

This clipper/shunt Design Idea is scalable from low to very high currents. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Control the voltage of a remote load over any length of copper wire

Read about how a unique component compensates for DC conductor loss without using extra sense wires. Read More...

AC power measurement uses PWM & PAM

Use clever pulse modulation techniques to multiply signals and measure power. Read More...

MOSFET-based Joule Thief steps up voltage

This Design Idea illustrates a novel approach to the Joule Thief circuit. Read More...

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Efficient PMIC shrinks power supply size

Intersil’s ISL91211 programmable PMIC achieves 91% efficiency at an output voltage of 1.1 V to enable system power for CPUs and FPGAs. Read More...

Power supplies need no minimum load

Triple-output AC/DC power supplies in TDK-Lambda’s CUT35 series employ two independent and isolated converters. Read More...

Vicor expands family of bus converters

The latest addition to Vicor’s BCM series of DC/DC converter modules operates from a 384 V nominal input and produces a 24 V SELV output. Read More...

Eighth-brick converters achieve 95% efficiency

Two 40 A DC/DC converters, the PKB4211D and PKB4110D from Ericsson, offer tightly regulated 5 V and 3.3 V outputs, respectively. Read More...

Digitally-enhanced power analog solution controls DC-DC converters

Microchip's new digitally-enhanced power analog buck controller for DC-DC power offers an option that lies between the analog and digital power realms. Read More...

Lower-power converters minimize board space

Artesyn has expanded its ATA series of isolated DC/DC converters with 6 W and 8 W models to address a wide range of low-power applications. Read More...

Regulator reduces radiated EMI

The LT8645S step-down regulator from Linear Technology features improved EMI/EMC performance that is not sensitive to board layout. Read More...

Foil shunt resistors contain integrated RTD

The RTD temperature sensor lets you monitor the device's temperature for thermal management in power circuits. Read More...

Compact industrial supply eases integration

An encapsulated 100 W AC/DC power supply from Powerbox, the ENI100-5138 is a narrow 31.7 mm for use in industrial systems with limited space. Read More...

Silence is golden: 65V, 8A synchronous step-down switching regulator

Silence is golden, especially with switching regulators in automobiles that are very efficient, thus extending the battery life in an EV, but their switching noise can interfere with AM Radio reception and safety critical systems with radiated EMI. Read More...

SiC MOSFET comes in TO-247 package

Richardson RFPD offers the C3M0075120K 1200-V SiC power MOSFET, as well as design support for the N-channel enhancement-mode device. Read More...

Controller needs no sense resistor

Aimed at low to medium power applications, the LTC1871X wide-input, current-mode controller from Linear Technology operates at up to 175°C. Read More...

Switching and protecting electronics in battery-powered systems

Battery-powered electronics pose multiple challenges to the power system engineer. Read More...

Product How-to: What’s in your portable product?

An opportunity has presented itself for designing a wide range of battery-powered portable products to meet the growing appetite for communications, medical, and computer-related products. Read More...

Voltage detector ensures stable operation

Useful for automotive and industrial applications, the R3152 window voltage detector from Ricoh is less sensitive to supply voltage noise. Read More...

Regulator complies with CISPR 22 Class B

Linear Technology’s LTM8073 step-down regulator operates from unregulated or fluctuating 24V to 48V input supplies in noisy environments. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown: Is the Mighty Charger a good investment?

Is a charger for alkaline batteries a good investment? And what internal circuitry helps it accomplish this objective? This review and teardown project attempts to answer both questions. Read More...

Teardown: Apple iPhone 6 Plus battery

A look at Apple's iPhone 6 battery helps nail down the one variable that determines manufacturing cost. Read More...

Teardown: Cell-phone charger: nice idea done right

The Mophie juice pack powerstation mini smartphone and USB-device battery charger demonstrates the ability to provide more than twice the battery life to your smartphone while still keeping a low-profile shape that slips right into your pocket. Read More...

Teardown: Gigabit Ethernet switch shut down by lightning strike

A lightning bolt-generated EMP may have entered through the switch's port(s) and KO'd the controller inside. What are your theories? Read More...

Teardown: Samsung Galaxy S4

TechInsights examines the innards of Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone. Read More...

Cell-phone charger: nice idea, bad implementation

Now and again you come across a device that’s so simple, useful, and functional that you’re glad to add it to your already-overladen workbag; that is, until it breaks, for the dumbest of design reasons. Read More...

Teardown: The power inverter - from sunlight to power grid

This teardown of a solar inverter card traces the path of harvested DC power from the photovoltaic panel, through boost conversion, power inverter and massive filtering of the created AC power signal required by the power grid. Surrounded by monitoring and microcontroller magic along with safety standard adherence, we uncover the mysteries of solar energy harvesting electronics. Read More...

Evaluate your application's energy-harvesting vibrational profile with a Slam Stick

To know whether your application is suitable for vibrational energy harvesting, you must determine its vibrational profile. Mide Technology's Slam Stick data logger and open-source software can ease your profiling task. Read More...

What's inside a smart meter? iFixit tears it down

When iFixit's Kyle Wiens had the opportunity to tear down an Elster smart meter, he jumped at it—not to come up with a repair manual but to evaluate the health and safety issues that seem to surround the utilities’ installation of smart meters. Read More...

Simple battery technology packs in more features with complex chemistries

The basic components are the same across all rechargeable lithium-ion cells, the workhorses of portable energy storage. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Power systems for patient-connected equipment

This paper discusses two approaches for power systems within medical equipment for patient-connected applications. Read More...

What is a BMS anyway?

If you have worked with battery systems, you have most likely heard of a battery management system. The term refers to a wide variety of electronic devices that monitor and protect the battery. Read More...

How smart is it to deploy smart meters on the smart grid?

Conventional power grids worldwide are beginning to strain against rising energy needs. How can we improve these systems in a sustainable way? Read More...

Power driver design handles difficult loads, helps characterize PSUs

Dynamically testing and characterizing power supply subsystems can be tricky. This well-behaved driver circuit will simplify the task. Read More...

Product how-to: Novel technology to accurately gauge battery state-of-charge

This article examines how fuel gauging technology has evolved such that now technology exists that provides an accurate reading of battery state-of-charge without requiring characterization. Read More...

Analyze noise with time, frequency, and statistics

Random processes such as noise and jitter are associated with all electronic circuit components. Noise can be characterized using digital oscilloscopes utilizing tools that operate in time, frequency and statistical domains. Read More...

Using a supercapacitor for power management and energy storage with a small solar cell, Part 2

This article will use two case studies to illustrate how to use supercapacitors with small solar cells. Read More...

Using a supercapacitor for power management and energy storage with a small solar cell, Part 1

The first part of this series will examine solar cell performance, how to select and size the supercapacitor, requirements of supercapacitor charging circuits, and charging IC characteristics. Read More...

GaN applications: The next step in power management growth

EPC is leading GaN power element development toward a process perfection effort and on through to the creation of a growing set of high profile industry applications to performance heights that the power industry has never seen. Read More...

The power of the hybrid: Apex Microtechnology at APEC 2017

Apex Microtechnology presented two very interesting items for power designers at APEC 2017. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

How 5G is changing data centers

While there is perhaps a general perception to the contrary, 5G systems are no longer just the subject of research within major telecoms companies or the topic of conference presentations at industry forums. Read More...

Cheap FET driver? Buyers, beware!

What could possibly go wrong using FETs arranged in an H-bridge to control a motorized hospital bed? Turns out, a lot. Read More...

Power Tips #76: Flyback converter design considerations

Flyback converters can appear intimidating and the design choices are many, especially for those who have not designed one before. Let’s look at some key design considerations. Read More...

Neutral woes

More AC line troubles and dangerous peaks, this time due to the 240V neutral. Read More...

Merging power and data: good, bad, or both?

Putting significant power onto an interconnect system originally intended for data is doable but brings both technical challenges and limitations which may be too difficult to overcome. Read More...

Power Tips #75: USB Power Delivery for automotive systems

With USB Power Delivery, devices can negotiate for more power, enabling features that were previously not possible. Read More...

TI’s ‘Power Tips’ series is alive and well on EDN

EDN’s Power Management Design Center will continue the tradition of the ‘Power Tips” blog from Texas Instruments. Read More...

I Sing the Capacitor Electric

Most of us with a decent knowledge of components know that ceramic capacitors can sing, or, act as mechanical-to-voltage converters. But metalized film? Read More...

Der alte battery

What are the chances of a battery getting really old and thus achieving the status of "der alte battery"? Read More...

New LED lamp performance specs for California

Light bulb manufacturers who want their LED products to qualify for “Golden State” rebates will now have to meet new efficacy and performance requirements. Read More...

DC Transformer? Forward converter? Isolation amp? You decide!

Do you think this reader-submitted circuit is a revolutionary DC transformer, or just a slightly different viewing angle onto pre-existing concepts? Read More...

Measuring appliance power consumption

Most engineers like to be efficient and conserve. To that end, this engineer compared two ac power meters by testing them around the house. Read More...

Rescued analog oscilloscope works fine, still has value

When an LG OS-5020 analog oscilloscope was saved from destruction and came my way, I just had to try it out. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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