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21Apr/170

20A Ideal Diode Circuit Board – v1.0

I've done a PCB (electronic circuit board) design for a 20A Ideal Diode circuit and thought I'd share it...

This performs the same function as a diode - only lets current through in one direction - but without the losses associated with a regular diode. It does this by using a controller IC to actively control two transistors based on the current operating conditions. This uses the LTC4359 controller IC by Linear Tech, and is essentially just the circuit they recommend in their datasheet.

This circuit is designed to pass up to 20A (>15A would require some sort of active cooling), at an input voltage of between 5V-60V. If you have an application using diodes, consider trying it out as it can reduce energy losses by >85%. I originally got the idea after helping someone with the electrical system for their widebeam 'narrowboat' and also thinking others with motorhomes, caravans or dozens of other projects which be able to use. This is the first v1.0 version so still requires some improvements and testing but works to a basic level.

The design is done using Kicad and is released open-source; see the github page. Here is the direct download link.

I've also added this design to the fantastic kitnic.it site - a catalogue of open-source hardware designs, with tools to make ordering the BOM (Bill of Materials) simple.

I will also be doing a v2.0 with some improvements (see the TODO.txt file on github), and then getting a small quantity of PCBs manufactured - let me know if you may be interested :)

Kevin

 

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