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"Pump and dump" with a capacitor bank

Posted: 02 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power converters  capacitor bank 

Designers are often challenged with creating highly efficient power converters. The reason may be to reduce heating within a confined area, letting other sub-systems have more available input power, or just to save power in the quest to be "green." So what is a designer to do when asked to provide 50 or a 100 per cent more output power beyond what is available from the input? This seemingly impossible task can be accomplished but not without practical limits. Some loads require power beyond the input limits, but only for "relatively" short bursts of milliseconds, seconds or even minutes. This article by John Betten of Texas Instruments discusses how this can be accomplished by charging a capacitor bank to store energy until needed (Pump), and discharge it into the load (Dump) in a controlled manner.

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