This example demonstrates the use of the TDFS method (Time Domain Frequency Sweep) to measure the input impedance of a switching DC/DC power converter. The converter circuit is identical to the design shown in the companion example: “Step-Down (Buck) DC to DC Converter - Switching”.

In this example, the TDFS impedance measurement model applies a 12V DC bias to the line input, in addition to a sinusoidal stimulus with 3V peak amplitude, and a frequency range from 3 kHz to 30 kHz. The input current is measured and the impedance vs. frequency is computed.

The results show that the impedance magnitude (blue waveform) is approximately 5.0 Ohms at low frequency, This is approximately the reflected value of the 1 Ohm load resistor, multiplied by the effective DC/DC conversion ratio squared:

1 Ohm * (12.0/5.0)**2 = 5.76 Ohm

The phase measurement (red waveform) shows -175 degrees at low frequency, indicating that this is effectively a "negative resistance". That is, the input current decreases when the line voltage increases. This behavior can be observed directly in the time domain waveforms, where the line voltage (brown waveform) and the input current (green waveform) are almost completely out of phase at 3 kHz.

This negative impedance, or constant power load characteristic, can be destabilizing in power distribution systems. This will be demonstrated in a related design, and in Part 3 of the TDFS Blog Series, coming soon!