4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 30, 2019 2:25 PM by mudz

    Design Challenge Preview: Are You Ready To Experiment with Inductors?


      I guess my Poll: Do You Know The Scientists Who Developed Classical Electromagnetic Theory? and the newly launched Inductors Quiz probably were hints that something else was coming up for the community on the topic of inductors. Right you were!


      Experimenting with Inductors

      In several weeks, we will be launching a design challenge called, "Experimenting with Inductors." It will be similar to the contest we ran on polymer capacitors. The challengers will be sent a kit of inductors and ask to write two blogs: the first blog will describe what inductor experiments they want to conduct; the second and final blog will show the results of their experiments. The best blog will be the winner. We have a great prize lined up for the winner.


      We will provide 10 people an inductors kit. The inductors will come from the KEMET MPX Series. These inductors are metal composite inductors used in DC to DC switching power supplies, as power inductors as well as EMI filter inductors. The metal composite core has high saturation characteristics maintaining function in rush current mode and characterized by temperature stable inductance. Click here to learn moreClick here to learn more


      Here's the kit we plan on putting together for the experimenters:

      So, what will your inductor experiments be about?

      An experiment is just that: you want to test some characteristic of the component. To compete in this competition, you don't have to build or design a wholly new circuit. (You can if you want,.) You just have to experiment with it and write about it. To generate some ideas of what previous comonent experimenters did, go here: Grand Prize Winner's Announcement: Experimenting with Polymer Capacitors

        • Re: Design Challenge Preview: Are You Ready To Experiment with Inductors?

          I'm thinking of ideas...


          The inductor on my How Low Can You Go #5 - Toner Transfer project (a small PSU) used a 4.7uH 10mR unit by another manufacturer. I could make another board to see how the Wurth compares but I suspect other component tolerances, board manufacture defects and my measurement skill would soon cancel any perceivable differences. The existing inductor does however limit the 'how low' aspect of my project.


          A micro 'Joule Thief' type of circuit might be fun (and useful in the Northern hemisphere with winter coming along).

          • Re: Design Challenge Preview: Are You Ready To Experiment with Inductors?



            This sounds like a great opportunity to study the effects of the various parameters (inductance, DC resistance and rated current (Isat)) in a boost regulator circuit.  I have designed several Boost Regulator circuits, including the power pack for my Movers and Shaker completion entry (WalkyII - Walky the Biped Robot - Power pack ). I see this as an opportunity to dig a little deeper and explore a fuller range of the performance specifications of a specific design, using a range of inductors. My plan would be to create a new design, with sufficient measurement points (and circuits) to evaluate the full range of inductors.




            • Re: Design Challenge Preview: Are You Ready To Experiment with Inductors?

              Most of the inductors I encounter are in power supplies, which is a big topic. When "designing" power supplies I generally stick pretty closely to proven reference designs or I try to avoid using inductors at all, partly (or mainly) because I don't see how to reasonably stock a useful selection of inductors. I have lots of inductors in stock, but the chances of having the right one for any new design is extremely low. It seems very hard to create designs that work well with any old inductor that is close to the intended part. I have often been surprised at how poorly a close substitute worked.

              I have done quite a bit of work in designing custom coils for non-contact power transfer, but they aren't traditional inductors. I also am working on magnetic levitation which has very demanding needs for low resistance coils, but these are pretty specialized applications. I would be very interested if the kit had suitable electromagnets for magnetic levitation in it.

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              • Re: Design Challenge Preview: Are You Ready To Experiment with Inductors?

                This community is getting way too involved by these quizzes and learning. It is fun.
                Personally, I loved it. Bring it on.