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Old 26th January 2006, 02:45 PM   #1
Stocker is offline Stocker  United States
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Lightbulb New idea for distributed power?

If this is somebody else's patent then nevermind. If not, it's now public domain.

This is a theoretical excercise for now.

Ok, so you have a wallwart power supply that puts out xVolts. You needed yVolts. You need another power supply. How about a PWM supply that has a modular control? I am thinking a few critical resistors/inductors, whatever is required to control the output voltage, in a small module. You need 3.3V? plug in the 3.3V module. You need 9V? put in a 9V module. Unless there is some layout problem where these critical components could not be centralized to one location on the board due to oscillation or instability, why not have the stuff on one fingertip-sized package? (think MSD's RPM limit modules)

Or would it be cheaper (or easier) to have the voltage selectable in, say, 0.5V increments from 1.5V for battery power stuff to maybe 24V, with some rotary switches or encoders?

This initially came from an idea for distributed DC in a house... you have a central, efficient, switching supply and several voltages available at the wall. Your phone needs 9V? get it from the wall. Your cell needs 3.6V? get it from the wall. The noise problems with distributed DC could be very large. So why not break it out to the point of use, with an efficient device instead of a transformer with a bridge and one little cap in there?

Or, would it be possible to clean up the DC at each location as required with the distributed DC system?

With the modern home there are many many watts wasted on the inefficiency of the traditional wallwart transformer. This could only pay for itself over time for the consumer. For the manufacturer, it would have to be economy of scale. But with rising energy costs these days, it may be getting closer to 'worth the effort' to have low cost selectable high efficiency power supplies for the home consumer.

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Old 26th January 2006, 05:42 PM   #2
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Im not sure it would be competitive with using a better core if higher efficiency is needed. Dont forget resistance losses at these voltages, theyd be big for a centralized system.

Multiple taps on a transformer would be another way to get switchable voltages.
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Old 26th January 2006, 05:53 PM   #3
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Default Distributed Power

Stocker-

I've been thinkin' about something similar to this for some time now. My system would put out something like 12V at, say, 5,6 A. Then one could plug in multiple modules, say, up to 4-5, to get the voltage they want. Want 19V @ 2A? Try LM2588 (5A Boost w/sync). Want 5V @3A? Try LM2670 (3A Buck w/sync). Want 3.3V @ 5A? Try LM2677 (5A Buck w/sync). Synchronize all modules to the same centralized clock, thus eliminating the possibility of beat frequencies. The only catch here, is that, including efficiencies of the individual regulator modules, the total draw can not exceed that of the bulk supply (obviously).

**NOTE: if the above-mentioned idea has NOT been copyrighted, then I declare this to be public knowledge. -SK **

Thoughts? Comments?

Steve
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