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Buck converter HTML5


Transformers are powerful electrical components which enable the conversion of a sinusoidal voltage into another sinusoidal voltage of the same frequency, but with a different amplitude.

The physical principle of induction, which is the basis of the transformer, does not work with direct current (DC).

A chopper or Buck converter is analogous to a transformer, but it does work with direct current.  A voltage, V, is reduced (stepped down) or increased (stepped up) to a different level of direct current.

We call this a DC-DC converter, as opposed to the transformer, which converts from alternating current (AC) to a different alternating current (AC-AC).

The chopper  (Buck converter) underlies  switching power supplies  and the speed controllers for direct current machines.

Use the sliders to change the settings.

Roll over the graph to display the status of the components.

Learning goals

  • To explain the role of each component.
  • To illustrate the influence of duty cycle on the output voltage, and so the speed of rotation of the motor.
  • To teach the principle underlying the functioning of a switching power supply.
  • To justify the appearance of each curve.

Learn more

It is by using one or several controlled switches that one is able to cut up, or chop, in a periodic fashion, input direct current.

If the frequency of chopping is sufficiently high, and with…

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