by Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
A circuit or system designer’s job is a difficult one. Fraught with design compromises to be made and challenges to overcome that are sometimes seemingly insurmountable. That’s why our personalities are programmed to solve problems and “Think outside the box”. The best designers don’t even know there is a box!
I see so many new product offerings every day that “fill a hole in our line” or are simply another op amp or regulator for the portfolio among a sea of analog and power devices out there. I turn away the great majority of these so-called “new” products because my readers need innovative solutions with options that can meet their many and varied design needs. Time to market is the mantra in the industry.
Power management for wearables: Designer options - [Link]
The Juice4Halt module is a supercapacitor based energy storage. It contains two independent DC/DC converters. The first one is a bidirectional step-up/step-down converter working as the interface between the stable 5V supply rail and the supercapacitor. During charging the converter works in step-down mode and transports energy from the external power supply to the supercapacitor. In case of a power failure the load device (Raspberry Pi or another SBC) is supplied from the supercapacitor via DC/DC converter working in step-up mode.
The second DC/DC converter is a Front-end step-down converter. The only function is converting a high input voltage down to 5.1V for the 5V rail. It is necessary to use the Front-end converter in case of an external power supply.
The Batteryless UPS for the Raspberry Pi - [Link]
by Steven Keeping @ digikey.com
Switching DC-to-DC voltage converters (“regulators”) comprise two elements: A controller and a power stage. The power stage incorporates the switching elements and converts the input voltage to the desired output. The controller supervises the switching operation to regulate the output voltage. The two are linked by a feedback loop that compares the actual output voltage with the desired output to derive the error voltage.
The controller is key to the stability and precision of the power supply, and virtually every design uses a pulse-width modulation (PWM) technique for regulation. There are two main methods of generating the PWM signal: Voltage-mode control and current-mode control. Voltage-mode control came first, but its disadvantages––such as slow response to load variations and loop gain that varied with input voltage––encouraged engineers to develop the alternative current-based method.
Today, engineers can select from a wide range of power modules using either control technique. These products incorporate technology to overcome the major deficiencies of the previous generation.
This article describes voltage- and current-mode control technique for PWM-signal generation in switching-voltage regulators and explains where each application is best suited.
Voltage- and Current-Mode Control for PWM Signal Generation in DC-to-DC Switching Regulators - [Link]
Of the many low-dropout (LDO) regulators used to regulate voltage in electronic systems, some are specifically designed for low-noise operation. The MAX8887 low-noise LDO, for example, achieves a noise voltage of only 42µVRMS over the 10Hz to 100kHz range. Applications such as the ultra-low-noise oscillators required in instrumentation, however, require even lower noise. To fulfill that requirement, this project features the MAX6126 and a combination of low-noise components and filtering that achieves an output noise of only 6nV/√Hz at 1kHz
Ultra-Low-Noise LDO - [Link]
by pinomelean @ instructables.com:
Lithium based batteries are a versatile way of storing energy; they have one of the highest energy density and specific energy(360 to 900 kJ/kg) among rechargeable batteries.
The downside is that, unlike capacitors or other kinds of batteries, they can not be charged by a regular power supply. They need to be charged up to a specific voltage and with limited current, otherwise they turn into potential incendiary bombs.
And that’s no joke, storing such a high amount of energy in a small and normally tight packaged device can be really dangerous.
Li-ion battery charging guide - [Link]
Elmars Ositis has been working on a simple constant current driver:
In my previous post, I slapped together a quick LED lighting solution for my workbench… but it is truly a hack. What I really want to do is make a simple constant current driver, so the power LEDs can be used in other projects. One of those projects is an LED swimming pool light. It needs to be running at maximum brightness and low cost.
After much digging and testing, I found a simple circuit using a power FET, an OP Amp and 0.5 ohm resistor.
This simple circuit accepts a VCC up to 32v (limited by the Op-Amp). The 78L05 regulator provides a stable 5v reference and R1 is a potentiometer serving as a voltage divider, with the output on pin 2 serving as a reference voltage for the basic LM358 Op-Amp.
Simple constant current driver for a high power LED - [Link]
This Arduino Nano controlled solar battery charger can charge a standard lead acid 12V battery and runs with 90% efficiency under 70ᵒC (158ᵒF). The circuit can take up to 24V input from the solar panels. The maximum power point tracking is implemented in the circuit by measuring the output voltage and current from the solar panel to get the maximum possible power from it.
Solar battery charge controller - [Link]
Infrared remote control for home appliances is a popular project among hobbyists and students. Smart Outlet is a similar project that provides an infrared controlled AC outlet to connect any electric appliance and has an integrated timer in it. The appliance can be turned on and off from several feet away using an IR remote. The device is Arduino-controlled and has a LCD display to provide a menu based interface to the user for its operation and settings.
Infra-red controlled smart AC outlet - [Link]
Triac based Indecent lamp dimmer is a simple circuit and it doesn’t requires additional power supply, works directly with 110V AC or 230V AC. It is a low cost dimmer circuit for adjusting the light brightness of incandescent, Halogen Lamp, Light Bulb load up to 250 W.
Triac based lamp dimmer - [Link]
The LT®8310 is a resonant-reset forward converter controller that drives an external low side N-channel MOSFET from an internally regulated 10V supply. The LT8310 features duty mode control to generate a stable, regulated, isolated output using a single power transformer. With the addition of output voltage feedback, via opto-coupler (isolated) or directly wired (nonisolated), current mode regulation is activated, improving output accuracy and load response. A choice of transformer turns ratio makes high step-down or step-up ratios possible without operating at duty cycle extremes.
100 V Forward Voltage Controller - [Link]