Study of Capacitor & Diode Aging effects on Output Ripple in Voltage Regulators and Prognostic Detection of Failure

Preethi Sharma K, T. Vijayakumar


Objectives: To design and simulate a buck converter and detector circuit which can prognostically indicate the power supply failure. Failure of Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitor (AEC) is considered as the parameter causing the power supply failure. To analyse variation of output ripple voltage due to possible changes in the Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) and effective capacitance of the capacitor and design a detector to detect the failure of power supply prognostically.

Methods:  A DC-DC buck converter in SMPS topology is designed by assuming an input voltage of 12V with 3 volts possible fluctuations and an output voltage of 3.3 volts is desired. Simulation is carried out to measure the variation in output ripple voltage caused due to aging of electrolytic capacitor using TINA by Texas Instruments. A detector is also designed to compare the ripple voltage and a predefined threshold voltage so as to indicate the possible failure of Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS) well in advance by monitoring the output ripple increase.

Novelty:    Having a fault tolerant power supply is very important in safety critical applications. Here by monitoring the output ripple variation, the degradation of AEC is predicted by calculating the ESR and capacitance variation. This simple yet effective prognostic detection will support in the design of fault tolerant power supplies.

Highlight: It is found that, the ripple at the output increases with aging of the electrolytic capacitor, as with time the equivalent capacitance decreases and Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) of the capacitor increases. The designed detector output is found to prognostically indicate the failure of SMPS.

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