Switching Power Supplies in DC Grids: The Smart Current Limiter
AIUE Proceedings of the 2nd Energy and Human Habitat Conference 2021
6 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2021
Date Written: July 26, 2021
The Smart Current Limiter is a switching DC to DC converter that provides a digitally pre-set input current control for inrush limiting and power management. Being able to digitally adjust the current level in combination with external feedback can be used for control systems like temperature control in high power DC appliances.
Traditionally inrush current limiting is done using a passive resistance whose resistance changes depending on the current level. Bypassing this inrush limiting resister with a Mosfet improves efficiency and controllability, but footprint and losses remain large. A switched current mode controlled inrush limiter can limit inrush currents and even control the amount of current passing to the application. This enables power management and inrush current limitation in a single device.
To reduce footprint and costs a balance between losses and cost-price on one side and electromagnetic interference on the other side is sought and an optimum switching frequency is chosen. To reduce cost and copper usage, switching happens on a high frequency of 300kHz. This increases the switching losses but greatly reduces the inductor size and cost compared to switching supplies running on lower frequencies. Additional filter circuits like snubbers are necessary to keep the control signals and therefore the output current stable.
Keywords: DC grid, Limiter, Inrush, Short Circuit Protection
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