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Buck boost DC/DC only requires only 750nA

12 Aug 2013  | Steve Taranovich

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A complete regulating energy harvesting solution was recently debuted by Linear Technology. The LTC3330 delivers up to 50mA of continuous output current and extends battery life when harvestable energy is available. The chip requires no supply of current from the battery when providing regulated power to the load from harvested energy and only 750nA operating when powered from battery under no-load conditions.

The regulator integrates a high voltage energy harvesting power supply, plus a synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter powered by a primary cell battery to create a single non-interruptible output for energy harvesting applications such as those in wireless sensor networks.

block diagram

Figure 1: A comprehensive block diagram shows the high level of integration in this power supply.

The energy harvesting power supply, consisting of a full-wave bridge rectifier accommodating AC or DC inputs and a high efficiency buck converter, harvests energy from piezoelectric (AC), solar (DC) or magnetic (AC) sources. The primary cell input powers a buck-boost converter that operates from 1.8V to 5.5V at its input when harvested energy is not available to regulate the output whether the input is above, below or equal to the output. The IC automatically transitions to the battery when the harvesting source is no longer available.

 application diagram

Figure 2: A typical application diagram.

The device's energy harvesting inputs operate from a voltage range of 3V to19V, AC or DC, making it ideal for a wide array of piezoelectric, solar or magnetic energy sources. Its input under-voltage lockout threshold settings are programmablebetween 3V and 18V, enabling the application to operate the energy harvesting source at its peak power transfer point. Other features include programmable DC/DC and LDO output voltage post-regulator for powering a microcontroller, buck-boost peak current limits, super-capacitor charger/balancer and an input protective shunt (up to 25mA at VIN >20V).

UPS

Figure 3: A UPS system for wireless mesh networks with output super-capacitor energy storage is one of many possible applications for this IC.

The LTC3330EUH is available in a 5x5mm QFN-32 package. Further information regarding the LTC3330 can be found here.




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