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How DC to DC converters work

A Brief Explanation about How DC to DC Converters Work

  |   DC/DC Converters   |   No comment

You use devices that utilize DC-DC power conversion every day, even if you don’t realize it. Most battery powered devices like laptops, smart phones, etc, use this conversion for the right distribution of power to different components of the device. To achieve this, you need DC-DC converters. This converter needs to be present in the device, supplying the right amount of power to different components of the device. At KaRaTec, we have put together a brief explanation about DC-DC power conversion. Consider the following.

What is it?

People have heard of AC-DC conversion and that makes sense. After all, AC and DC are two different types of currents. But DC is DC. What sort of conversion would happen here? The idea is to convert direct current of a lower voltage to a direct current of a higher voltage.

In layman’s terms, it would be something akin to inflatable pools. For size and convenience sake, the power is shrunk and stored in the batteries and power transmissions. When in use, the power is inflated after it’s drawn through the circuits and supplied to areas where it’s needed.

Where is it Used?

The DC-DC power conversion is mostly used in systems that need different voltages of DC power in different components. For example, the 6V-cell battery of the laptop is a source of DC energy at a set voltage. That power needs to be reduced or increased to power laptop components like the screen, the motherboard, the hard disk drive, etc. The converter would achieve that. It would switch a partially lowered battery voltage to a higher voltage.

Devices would actually have several sub-circuits with different levels of voltage requirements. When the power passes through these sub-circuits, it’s converted partially to the right amount needed by that component. This eliminates the need to have several big batteries on the device. That leads to smaller, more energy-efficient devices.

DC converters are also used to maximize energy harvesting. It’s often used in wind turbines, photovoltaic systems, etc. These systems are known as power optimizers. DC-DC techniques lead to more affordable and compact systems. That makes them ideal for a variety of uses.

How does it Work?

The most basic converter is easiest to explain. It draws slightly unstable input energy from the source, which would be the battery, and stores it for a while. After that the energy is released in a stable output at a lower level or higher level voltage. This is done by the switched-mode DC-DC converters. There are two types of storage components; the magnetic field components and the electric field components. The energy can be stored in inductors and transformers or in capacitors.

This method of conversion is very energy efficient as the loss of energy is minimal. About 75% to 92% of the energy is successfully converted. Most of these systems are unidirectional and would transfer energy from one dedicated input source to other dedicated output source. These systems can be made bidirectional.

Magnetic DC-DC converters allow more control over the amount of power that can be transferred. This can be done by adjusting the charging voltage duty cycle. This can also be done on the input and output voltage, leading to more consistent power delivery.

It would take some time and patience to understand the DC-DC conversion system. However, many modern systems are based on this conversion.

If you want to know more about DC – DC or our custom power products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us at KaRaTec Power Supply Pty. You can give us a call at 612 9808 1127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading,
Karatec Power Supply Pty
612 9808 1127

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