Chapter 8 - MPLAB® Mindi™ Analog Simulator - Peak Current Mode Control Buck-Boost Converters

This chapter demonstrates the functionality and the performance of Microchip’s monolithic Buck DC-DC devices used in a buck-boost system, the MPLAB® Mindi™ analog simulator tool will be used in several examples.

8.1 Prerequisites

8.2 Buck-Boost Converter Experiments

The goal of these case studies is to understand the impact of input voltage and load current on the overall converter performance. There are applications in which a simple switching converter will be able to output a constant voltage (in this example 12 VDC) while input voltage is either below, close to, or above the required output.

The proposed examples to analyze include a typical MCP16301 step-down (buck) converter application with the addition of a logic-level NMOS transistor, a gate driver, an extra Schottky diode and few passives. For simulation with MPLAB Mindi analog simulator, the integrated gate driver (from the below schematic used for ADM00399 Evaluation Board) was replaced by a pair of bipolar transistors in totem pole configuration.


8.3 Case Study: MCP16301 used as buck-boost regulator

The goal of this section is to understand and analyze the MCP16301 in a buck-boost topology. Performing separate simulations for each input voltage to verify output voltage regulation is a tedious and unnecessary task if we consider the capability of MPLAB® Mindi™ to sweep certain parameters on-the-fly. Efficient use of the simulator can reduce the effort to only a couple of simulations during the preliminary application design.

8.3.1 MCP16301 Buck-Boost simulation


Open the '(MCP16301/H) Buck example, startup' schematic from Power Management > Switching Regulators > MCP16301. The next steps modify this standard buck topology schematic to the buck-boost configuration seen below.



Remove VEN supply, and tie EN to VIN.


Set RLOAD to the minimum output current (80 Ω in this case).


Increase the inductor’s inductance to 47 uH.


Place a Zener diode (BZX84-7V5) in series with the bootstrap diode.


Place a FDMA3028N NMOS Power FET, Q1 in the following figure.


Place the NPN (Q2N2222) and PNP (MMBT2907) bipolar transistors to be used as totem pole gate driver. For the NPN, click on Search under the Place > Semiconductors > NPN menu. Similarly, find the PNP.


Place two identical 2 kΩ resistors as divider for the gate driver.


Copy and paste the Schottky diode (B140) as a rectifier for the buck-boost output.


Edit RTOP according to the desired output voltage (140 kΩ for a 12 V output).


Place a voltage probe on VIN and set it to display using a separate grid and graph (named OUTPUT).


Alter the VIN source to step from 5 V to 30 V with a 50 ms rise time and no delay.


Place a “Voltage Controlled Current Source with Limiter” (U2 in the previous figure) setting the Gain to 20m, the minimum output to , and the maximum output to 13.


Run a transient analysis with a Stop time of 50 ms.


Stack all curves to view the results. Compare them to the similar graphs in the “MCP16301 High Voltage Buck-Boost Demo Board User’s Guide”.


The input voltage sweeps from 5 V to 30 V while simultaneously increasing the load current from 250 mA to 750 mA. Throughout the sweep, the output voltage remains in regulation.

8.3.2 Testing the application output regulation when powered by a car battery supply and with a stepping load


First we must change the input voltage range according to the car environment, as below.


The battery internal resistance is not included in this simulation. If you know the value of the battery internal resistance, you must add it on the schematic in series with the input voltage supply!


Delete the controlled current source, U2, and replace it with a current source.



Run the simulation and stack the three plots for VIN, VOUT and IOUT. Zoom as needed.


These plots demonstrate that for this input range, a load variation from 150 mA to 500 mA keeps the output overshoot and undershoots in an acceptable region of less than five percent. As expected, in the 500 mA load region the output ripple is a bit higher.

8.3.3 Additional Exercises

Observe the inductor current ripple and maximum values by adding an inline probe.


8.4 References


MPLAB Mindi Analog Simulator Available Models

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