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Non-Linear Inductors Characterization in Real Operating Conditions for Power Density Optimization in SMPS
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  • Daniele Scirè ,
  • Marco Ventimiglia ,
  • giuseppe lullo ,
  • gianpaolo vitale
Daniele Scirè
Università degli Studi di Palermo, Università degli Studi di Palermo

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Marco Ventimiglia
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giuseppe lullo
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gianpaolo vitale
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The exploitation of power inductors outside their linear region in switching converters can be achieved by raising the current until a decreasing of the inductance can be noticed. It allows using a smaller magnetic core increasing the power density of the converter. On the other hand, a detailed description of the magnetization curve including the temperature is required. Since this information is often not included in the inductor’s datasheets, this paper shows how to identify the behavior of an inductor when it is operated up to saturation and its temperature rises. In order to characterize the inductor in real operating conditions, a dedicated measurement rig has been developed. It consists of a switching converter that encompasses the inductor under test and is controlled by a virtual instrument developed in LabVIEW. The characterization system was tested by retrieving the inductance and the magnetization curves vs. current for two commercial inductors at core tem-peratures up to 105°C. The magnetic core is then characterized by the saturation current versus inductance, obtaining an expression for the whole family of inductor sharing the same core. Finally, we analyzed experimentally the thermal transient of the inductors in operating conditions con-firming the fundamental role of temperature in changing the current profiles and the core saturation condition.