An electronic device or electromechanical system that transforms a direct current (DC) supply from one voltage level to another is known as a DC to DC converter. It is a form of converter for electric power. Output levels vary from very small (small batteries) to very large (power transfer with high voltages). DC-DC converters are commonly employed from a medium that may or may not be well controlled to a load that may or may not be constant to effectively generate a controlled voltage. This article discusses DC-DC converters briefly and the applications of them.

High-frequency power transformation systems that use high-frequency switching, inductors, transformers and capacitors to filter out distortion switching into controlled DC voltages are DC-DC converters. When adjusting input voltages and output currents, closed feedback loops retain steady voltage outputs. They are normally much more effective and smaller than linear regulators, at 90 percent efficiency.

DC-DC converters come in variants that are non-isolated and isolated. Isolation is determined by whether or not the ground of input is related to the ground of output.

Applications of DC-DC converters:

In portable digital devices such as mobile phones and notebook computers, which are mostly supplied with battery power, DC to DC converters are used. Such electrical devices also have multiple sub-circuits each with its own demand for a voltage standard different from that provided by the battery or by an external source (sometimes higher or lower than the supply voltage). Additionally, as the accumulated capacity is exhausted, the battery voltage decreases. Switched DC to DC converters have a means to raise voltage from a partly diminished battery voltage, thus saving energy rather than requiring several batteries to achieve the same thing.The output voltage is also regulated by most DC to DC converter circuits.

Power optimisers are named DC to DC converters designed to improve energy harvesting for photovoltaic systems and wind turbines.

For power above a few watts, transformers used for voltage conversion at mains frequencies of 50–60 Hz must be big and powerful. This renders them costly because in their coils and due to eddy currents in their centers, they are susceptible to energy losses. DC to DC converters operate at much higher frequencies using transformers or inductors which are much smaller, lighter, and affordable. As a result, these methods are used except where a mains transformer could be used. For example, it is preferred to rectify mains voltage to DC for domestic electronic equipment, use switch-mode techniques to convert it at the required voltage to high-frequency AC, then generally rectify to DC. Cheaper and more powerful than a basic mains transformer circuit with the same output than the whole complex circuit. For various voltage level applications, the DC-DC converter is commonly used in DC microgrid applications.

Here at Components Bureau we offer a range of DC to DC converters from 1W to 1300W in a single brick and up to 80A in a POL. All units are designed and approved for use in industrial applications such as medical, rail, instrumentation, transportation, military, ITE, scientific instruments, and fabrication.

By designing and partnering with top leading manufacturers including Autronic, Cosel, Cincon, Artesyn, Meanwell and Minmax we consistently deliver the very best solution from a full suite of SIP, DIP, SMD, Chassis mount, DIN Rail, Isolated, Non-Isolated and from 2:1 to 18:1 Input ranges. Options include high efficiency, high reliability, and ultra-high Isolation.

For unrivalled technical and commercial engineering support please contact us today on 01480 412233 to see how we can help you find the perfect power conversion solution


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