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Arbitrary Waveform Generator Aids Design of Power Electronics

Written by Steve Sandler

Featured by Penton Media in EDN, Power Electronics, and Microwaves & RF

This article demonstrates how the G5100A Arbitrary Waveform Generator can be used to test various circuit topologies. This approach both saves development time as well as supporting a trade study to assure the optimum solution is selected.

Case Study

In this case, a trade study was performed for a low cost, sine wave power source design. The technology table shows the pros and cons of different power stage topologies. The overall winner of this particular trade study was a full bridge topology, providing the cleanest output.

The G5100A AWG was used to generate a pattern of pulses that mimic the Mosfet control pulses for each of the topologies. This allowed the Fourier coefficients for be measured, using the FFT function of an oscilloscope.

Each potential circuit was then simulated in IsSpice as well as constructed and tested on the bench.

The AWG is an invaluable design aid, greatly reducing the time required for the trade study phase, while providing a high degree of confidence in the selected approach. The AWG quantified the Fourier components so that the output filter requirements could be assessed, much prior to the development of the SPICE model and the first prototypes. All of the prototypes that were built were in excellent agreement with the original AWG results, as well as, the SPICE results.

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