Analyzing the Impact of Cabling in Power Systems

April 18, 2017

Cabling can have a major impact on the performance of power systems. To determine the impact of cabling, we recently added the capability to analyze the impact of resistance in conductors to our PowerBench Whiteboard tool.

Consider the following application: a tethered drone requires 10A at 12V, and is connected via a cable with 2 Ohms resistance. Just connecting a 12V supply doesn’t work as there would be 7.6V dropped in the cable.

PowerBench Whiteboard Simulates Voltage Drop Due to Cable Resistance

Simply increasing the voltage at the supply end of the cable is one solution, but there would still be considerable power loss in the cable.

A better solution is to use HVDC to supply the drone, and then convert this to 12V using a lightweight power component. The following example shows a BCM in a ChiP package with a 380V HVDC power supply.

Using HVDC to Overcome Cable Resistance

Although there has been a slight addition to the drone’s weight – the BCM itself weighs just 45g – the power loss in the cable has been reduced almost a thousand-fold from 200W to 0.24W.

By adding simulation of resistance, the PowerBench Whiteboard makes it easy to identify the impact of cabling in power systems, and allows developers to try alternative solutions with just a few mouse clicks, dramatically shortening the design cycle.

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