Basic Power Inductor Design
A basic procedure for designing a power inductor is presented. Many papers and textbook chapters offer more sophisticated methods, but it is harder to find a clear outline of a basic design process. Studying and practicing a basic design process is useful for beginners to understand the fundamental tradeoffs in design and to build intuition. For more advanced work, the basic design process is useful as it avoids relying on assumptions that might not be valid with, for example, high-frequency loss effects that are ignored in the development of some more sophisticated methods, or that constrain other methods to narrow, specific cases.
Two options are outlined: starting with a saturation constraint, and then checking the core/winding loss balance; or, starting by optimizing the core/winding loss balance, and then checking the saturation constraint.