Power Electronics / Power Management


Load share controller eliminates 'OR'ing diodes for N+1 redundant supplies

9 May 2001 Power Electronics / Power Management

Linear Technology introduces the LTC4350, a controller that allows the load current to be equally shared among multiple power supplies. By using isolation FETs and very low value sense resistors, it provides overvoltage and reverse current protection without the losses associated with ORing diodes. The LTC4350 isolates the power supply from output failures, provides a status indicator and allows the power supply to be hot-swapped without turning off system power. The part communicates with other devices through a share bus and adjusts the power supply voltage to assure equal load sharing among all the power supplies in high power and high reliability systems such as network servers, telecom and basestation equipment or other distributed power supply applications.

Parallelling power supplies is an economical way to achieve redundancy and increase the power capability whether using with modules or switching regulators. To optimise these systems, the load current must be shared equally. In some cases, a failure in any one supply will require that the others carry the load and the faulty supply be disconnected and replaced. The LTC4350 uses a share bus connected to other LTC4350 circuits to communicate the load current. It then adjusts the power supply voltage through the SENSE+ or feedback node on the power supply to assure that the load current is shared equally. The load share function is combined with a Hot Swat controller to allow a power supply to be inserted or removed.

The LTC4350 can control output voltages from 1,5 to 12 V. Specified for the commercial and industrial temperature ranges, the LTC4350 is available in the 16-pin narrow SSOP package in 1000 piece quantities.

Summary of features

* Load share control for N+1 redundant supplies.

* Allows power supply to be hot-swapped.

* Isolates supply failures from output.

* Eliminates ORing diodes.

* Identifies and localises output low, output high and open-circuit faults.

* Controls output voltages from 1,5 to 12 V.

Insight Memec

(021) 674 4124





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