Power Inductors: Everything You Need to Know
The purpose of power inductors is to reduce core losses in an application that requires voltage conversion. This electronic component can also be used in a magnetic field created by a tightly wound coil to receive or store energy, reduce signal loss in a system design and filter EMI noise. The unit of measurement for inductance is the henry (H).
Here are more details about power inductors, which are designed to generate greater power efficiency.
Types of Power Inductors The primary purpose of a power inductor is to maintain consistency in an electrical circuit that has a shifting current or voltage. The various types of power inductors are categorized by the following factors:
- DC resistance
- case size or dimension
- nominal inductance
- maximum rated current
Prominent manufacturers that build power inductors include Cooper Bussman, NIC Components, Sumida Electronics, TDK and Vishay. Various power inductors are used for specific applications based on technical characteristics such as power supply, high power, surface mount power (SMD) and high current. In applications that need to convert voltage while energy is stored and EMI currents are filtered, it's necessary to use SMD power inductors.
Power Inductor Applications The three main ways a power inductor can be used are to filter EMI noise in AC inputs, filter low frequency ripple current noise and to store energy in DC-to-DC converters. Filtering is based on attributes for specific types of power inductors. The units usually support a ripple current as well as high peak current.
How to Select the Proper Power Inductor Due to the wide range of available power inductors, it's important to base selection on the current in which the core saturates and exceeds the application's peak inductor current. Size, geometry, temperature capacity and winding characteristics also play a key role in the selection. Additional factors include power levels for voltages and currents and requirements for inductance and current.