Würth Launches Learning Kit to Study Power Supply Magnetics

November 14, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Würth Elektronik eiSos has introduced the TI-PMLK (Texas Instruments Power Management Lab Kit) Würth Elektronik Edition, developed in collaboration with Texas Instruments and Prof. Nicola Femia, University of Salerno, Italy. The TIPMLK is a learning kit that helps engineering students and electrical engineers study and understand the impact of magnetics on a buck power supply.

This kit is composed of a single board and an experiment book. The board consists of two independent buck circuits with six different inductors that can be individually selected.

The inductors and transformers are key components of dc-dc converters that are widely used in power management applications. Most universities do not offer courses in the area of power management, especially those addressing the challenges associated with design and optimization of power electronics, which is a key element of any electronic system.

“Since its introduction, the TI-PMLK has been used globally to bridge the gap between power theory and real-world applications for engineering students and professionals. With this new TI-PMLK edition, Würth Elektronik eiSos has added their expertise in magnetics to provide an even deeper learning experience around power electronics for engineers,” says Ayesha Mayhugh, University Program Product Manager at Texas Instruments.

The hands-on kit allows the users to investigate the performances of inductors with different core materials, inductance, and size to analyze their impact on the static and dynamic performance of regulators.

Each circuit features adjustable operating conditions including a flexible switching frequency (100kHz to 700kHz) to observe its effect on inductors and on switching regulators operating with different inductors.

Both regulators incorporate a passable EMI input filter, to analyze the influence of inductors on conducted noise attenuation, and to compare the performances of filters with inductors selected according to different design strategies.

Each regulator includes over-voltage, over-current and polarity reversal protections to prevent damage to the board.

Current sense transformers and integrated current shunt monitors on the board allow easy current measurements using standard voltage probes.

In addition to the hardware, an experiment book with structured labs helps the users investigate the board, by autonomously performing six detailed experiments for steady-state, transient and dynamic conditions seen in real-world applications.

The kit allows analyzing the inductance of different inductors, investigating inductors saturation and thermal behavior, estimating dc and ac power losses, measuring ripple current and ripple voltage, and observing continuous and discontinuous operation modes and transient response.

Summary of kit features:

  • 2 distinct Buck circuits with different operating conditions
  • 6 different inductors that can be individually selected to compare the effect of diverse inductor core material, inductance value and size
  • Adjustable operating conditions: switching frequency, by-passable EMI filter, inductor ambient temperature
  • Interactive digital book with 6 step-by-step experiments
  • Input and output over-voltage, over-current and polarity reversal protection by e-fuse to protect the board
  • Resistors underneath the board to overheat the inductor to study the impact of temperature rise
  • Temperature sensor glued on the inductor to monitor the inductor temperature without any additional equipment
  • Low noise test points for clean observation of the main voltage and current waveforms
  • Current sense transformers and integrated current shunt for easy current measurements using standard voltage probes
  • Multiple test points (42) for measurement
  • Minimum lab equipment required:
    • DC power supply 0-35 V / 4 A
    • DC electronic load 20 V / 10 A with dynamic current mode capability
    • 250 MHz 4-channels Digital Oscilloscope
    • Digital multimeters