The Solar Power Expert Blog

Step Down Converter Prototype Parts

by Chris - October 4th, 2011.
Filed under: Charge Controller. Tagged as: , , , , .

I finally got some time to put together a prototype of my proposed dual voltage converter. I wrestled with myself over how to wind the converter transformer. Depending on how I wind it, I could create a 48v battery charger for my electric bicycle, or I could step it down to charge a 12 volt battery. By carefully selecting the number of turns on the transformer, you should be able to make several different types of voltage converters from this circuit.

Sticking with the idea of a charge controller, I decided to wind a 16:15 ratio on the transformer converter. That is, the original coil had 16 turns and I wound 15 turns. I was actually trying for 16 turns, but missed one along the way.

Transformer Converter

Hand-wound Converter Transformer and N-Channel MOSFET

I literally grabbed the MOSFET out of some N-channel ones that I had in the drawer. It’s an IRLB8748 and the Digikey number is IRLB8748PBF-ND. However, the point is that it shouldn’t make much difference what the specs on the MSOFET are. The important thing is to make sure it’s an N-channel MOSFET rated for the current you want to pass (5+ amps). You can also see the converter transformer wound with red, enameled wire.

The original inductor that I used to create the transformer is a PA0432LNL and has a digikey number of 553-1504-ND. It’s rated at 12.1 uH and 20 amps and has 16 turns around its core.

Step Down Power Converter

Step Down Power Converter - Proof of Concept Circuit

Following the MPPT charge controller schematic, I added a rectifier circuit on the output of the transformer. I used two 3-amp schottkey diodes in parallel to create a half-wave rectification circuit. This probably isn’t as efficient a full diode bridge, but it cuts down on the number of parts needed as I only needed one diode instead of 4.

A note about putting diodes in parallel: Many engineers recommend against it. However, there is nothing wrong with it. You just have to make sure the diodes come from the same batch/same package. As long as they were manufactured under nearly identical conditions, then their device properties should be nearly identical. That being said, it would be better to use a single high-power diode. I just needed to use whatever I had on hand.

Now that I’ve got the prototype built, I just need to do a frequency sweep to determine its frequency response. I’ll attach a 4-ohm resistor on the output, which will load the ciruit down to 3 amps at 12 volts on the output. Once I get the load dialed in, I’ll adjust the frequency of a square wave into the MOSFETs gate pin to find out how the circuit responds to different frequencies. I’ll also adjust the duty cycle as well as frequency.

I’ll post oscilloscope images later!

1 Response to Step Down Converter Prototype Parts

  1. good work has been great project mrb
    I wish you continued success yim Electronics
    I am writing from my name is happy Ankara Turkey.
    I would like to implement the project, but did not give the necessary schema in the picture above (paylamamışşınız) I want to make 24v 200 amp MPPT charge control circuit Can you help me in this regard there is an explanatory diagram yolarmısınız 400wat airx türbünümüz charge card is not working at the moment burned failed to implement turbines would like our help in your MPPT circuit I wish to thank you in advance bye good work

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