TDFS Loop Stability for Step-Down DC to DC (Buck) Converter - Switching

This example demonstrates the TDFS (Time Domain Frequency Sweep) Loop Stability Instrument Model. It is used to compute the open-loop transfer function of an operating (closed-loop) switching power converter. There is no need for state-average or continuous equivalent models for the modulator section of the design, as normally needed for frequency-domain (or "AC") analysis. Rather, the actual circuit component models can be used directly, because the open-loop transfer function is computed from time-domain simulation results.

In this case, the converter is operating at 200kHz switching frequency, and is converting the 12V DC input to a regulated 5V output, while supplying a 5A current to the 1 Ohm load resistor. The TDFS measurement instrument indicates that the open-loop gain crossover frequency is at 26 kHz, and the phase margin is just under 60 degrees. This verifies that the opamp-based lead-lag compensator is providing adequate stability margin under these operating conditions.

Note that the TDFS instrument model characterizes the open loop transfer function by injecting a small sinusoidal stimulus signal in series with the loop, and then measures the complex ratio of the return signal to the injected signal, is described in:
D. Venable, “Testing Power Sources for Stability”, Venable technical paper #1, Venable Industries.

The companion example, "Step-Down (Buck) DC to DC Converter - Switching", shows the line and load transient response of this converter design. Another companion example, "Step-Down (Buck) DC to DC Converter - Continuous", uses a state-average model of the switching (or modulator) section of the converter, so it supports traditional "AC" or frequency-domain analysis.

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Mike Donnelly

Joined November 8, 2013
Design added Wednesday, January 11, 2017 | 10:28 pm PST