5 Keys To LED Driver Design

- Aug 06, 2019-

To popularize LED luminaires, not only need to significantly reduce costs, but also need to solve technical problems. How to solve the problems of energy efficiency and reliability, Doug Bailey, vice president of marketing for PowerIntegrations, shared the experience of efficient and reliable LED driver design.


    First, do not use bipolar power devices


    Doug Bailey pointed out that because bipolar power devices are cheaper than MOSFETs, typically about 2 cents, some designers use bipolar power devices to reduce LED drive costs, which can seriously affect circuit reliability because with LEDs. As the temperature of the driver board increases, the effective working range of the bipolar device will shrink rapidly. This will cause the device to malfunction when the temperature rises, thus affecting the reliability of the LED lamp. The correct way is to select the MOSFET device and the service life of the MOSFET device. It is much longer than a bipolar device.


    Second, try not to use electrolytic capacitors


    Do you want to use electrolytic capacitors in the LED driver circuit? There are supporters and opponents. Supporters believe that if the temperature of the board can be controlled, the purpose of extending the life of the electrolytic capacitor can be achieved in turn. For example, a high-temperature electrolytic capacitor with a life of 105 degrees and a lifetime of 8000 hours is selected, according to the empirical formula for the life of the electrolytic capacitor. “Every time the temperature is lowered by 10 degrees, the life is doubled”, then it has a working life of 16,000 hours in a 95 degree environment, a working life of 32,000 hours in a 85 degree environment, and a working life of 64,000 hours in a 75 degree environment, if The working temperature is lower, so the life will be longer! From this point of view, as long as the choice of high-quality electrolytic capacitors has no effect on the life of the drive power!


    Other proponents believe that the low-frequency flicker caused by the high ripple current caused by electroless capacitors will cause physiological discomfort to some people's eyes. The large amplitude of low-frequency ripple will also cause some digital camera equipment to appear poor. A bright, dark grid of flickering lights. Therefore, high-quality light source lamps still need electrolytic capacitors. However, opponents believe that electrolytic capacitors will naturally age. In addition, the temperature of LED lamps is extremely difficult to control, so the life of electrolytic capacitors will inevitably decrease, thus affecting the life of LED lamps.


    In this regard, Doug Bailey believes that the input part of the LED driver circuit can be considered without electrolytic capacitors. In fact, the PI LinkSwitch-PH can save electrolytic capacitors. PI's single-stage PFC/constant current design allows designers to save large capacity. Capacitor, in the output circuit, high-voltage ceramic capacitors can be used instead of electrolytic capacitors to improve reliability. "Some people design a two-stage circuit, using a 400V electrolytic capacitor at the output, which will seriously affect the circuit. Reliability, it is recommended to use ceramic capacitors for single-stage circuits," he stressed. “For industrial applications that are less concerned with dimming, high temperature environments, and where high reliability is required, I strongly recommend not using electrolytic capacitors for design.”


    Third, the MOSFET's withstand voltage should not be lower than 700V


    600V MOSFETs are cheaper. Many people think that the input voltage of LED lamps is generally 220V, so the withstand voltage of 600V is enough, but in many cases the circuit voltage will reach 340V. In the case of surge, the 600V MOSFET is easily broken down. Therefore, the life of the LED lamp is affected. In fact, the selection of the 600V MOSFET may save some cost but the cost of the entire circuit board is paid. Therefore, "Do not use a 600V withstand voltage MOSFET, and it is better to use a MOSFET with a withstand voltage exceeding 700V. He emphasized.


    Fourth, try to use a single-stage architecture circuit


    Doug said that some LED circuits use a two-stage architecture, namely "PFC (Power Factor Correction) + Isolated DC / DC Converter" architecture, which will reduce the efficiency of the circuit. For example, if the efficiency of the PFC is 95% and the efficiency of the DC/DC section is 88%, the efficiency of the entire circuit will be reduced to 83.6%! "PI's LinkSwitch-PH device combines a PFC/CC controller, a 725V MOSFET and a MOSFET driver into a single package, increasing the efficiency of the driver circuit to 87%!" Doug points out, "This device greatly simplifies board layout." Designed to eliminate up to 25 components used in traditional isolated flyback designs! Eliminated components include high voltage bulk electrolytic capacitors and optocouplers.” Doug says LED two-stage architecture is suitable for use with a second constant current drive The circuit allows the PFC to drive the LED's constant current to the old driver. These designs are outdated and no longer cost effective, so in most cases it is best to use a single stage design.


    Fifth, try to use MOSFET devices


    If the LED luminaires are not designed to be very powerful, Doug recommends using an LED driver with integrated MOSFETs because the benefit of this is that the integrated MOSFETs have less on-resistance and generate less heat than discrete, in addition to integrated MOSFETs. The controller and the FET are generally together, and generally have a thermal shutdown function. When the MOSFET is overheated, the circuit is automatically turned off to protect the LED lamp. This is very important for the LED lamp, because the LED lamp is generally small and difficult to dissipate air. . "Sometimes LEDs can cause people to burn because of overheating, but our solution has never been like this," he said.