The image below shows the first stage of a power supply I am trying to design and build. The transformer is a toroidal type with two 18V coils on the secondary and a 230V winding on the primary.
The resistors and the relays are active inrush current limiting. The relay should short out the resistors 2 seconds after power on to give the capacitor bank enough time to charge up without setting my diodes on fire.
In the drawing below, I am expecting VM2 to read just under 18V and VM1 to read just under 36V. I am however getting a higher voltage on VM2 (about 27V) and a lower voltage on VM1 (only 11V)
- I have not activated the relay so all the current is still flowing through the resistors (which, I think, explains most of the voltage drop) but why the voltage swap.
- The resistors are actually a set of 10 470ohm 3W resistors in parallel for each of R1 and R2 in the diagram below.
- C1 is 14 470microF 50V Caps in parallel (6.58mF - not micro)
- C2 is 6 more 470microF 50V caps in parallel (2.82mF - not micro)
- Transformer: (I have connected Red and Orange together to form the centre tap)
- PRI: 230V/50-60 (Blue and Brown wires)
- SEC: 18V/80VA (Black and Red wires)
- SEC: 18V/80VA (Orange and Yellow wires)
What am I doing wrong?
Update based on Neil_UK post:
What I need out of this stage is one +18V rail (the bottom one in the diagram above) and one +36V rail (the top one in the diagram above) or as close as possible.
Neil, you've been very helpful and I will redo the circuit, but I'm keen to fully understand this before I continue, if you don't mind.
I've redrawn the diagram so that the individual components can be seen. I understand that D4 and D7 are in parallel on the output of the Rectifier, but I don't see the parallel part of the input signal. Are you referring to D3 and D5? They have separate outputs. I get that the caps AC couple them, but there should be no AC component on that side of the Bridge Rectifiers.
You said: "Consider what happens when the common AC input is negative, and BR1's AC input is positive. Draw it out." Would that be solvable by switching the wires around on one of the secondary winding to bring it back in phase (I get that I would have to be sure that this is the case first).
The first time I turned this thing on, my diodes actually blew quite dramatically. Investigation lead me to install the Inrush Current Limiting circuitry because with the amount of capacitance I have I calculated that I would be sucking roughly 160A-370A through my diodes when I first turn it on. These diodes have a max surge current of 70A each. But now I'm wondering if this was not caused by the fact that they are cross coupling (Still need to understand that as explained above, please ;-) The parallel nature of D4 and D7 should not cause that as they are parallel so should provide slightly higher current (assuming they are thermally locked and all, which they aren't, but for the purposes of this discussion...)
Another update for Neil Okay, so since I can not spot the difference between the two images I drew, I'll include an actual screen grab of my schematic with the transformer coils drawn in the way I connected them. (I simply turned the image around in the second image showing the common in the middle but I thought the circuit was the same as the first.)