Ideal Diode Power Combiner
(with prototype 3D printed enclosure)
The Ideal Diode Power Combiner takes two power sources and combines them into one, creating redundancy without sacrificing efficiency.
Power combining is often done with a pair of diodes, but with larger currents the voltage drop across the diodes generates a lot of heat, which can be difficult to get rid of. This power combiner uses FETs configured as ideal diodes to minimise the voltage drop and avoid most of the heat build-up.
A power diode may drop a volt or more when carrying 25 Amps. This may not sound like a lot, but at 25 Amps this equates to 25W which is a lot of power to get rid of as heat. The Ideal Diode Power Combiner typically drops less than 100mV at the same current, equating to less than 2.5W.Features:
The Ideal Diode Power Combiner is distributed internationally from Europe by VISIONAIRtronics.
If you are located closer to Australia, you can choose to purchase from Millswood Engineering.
The Ideal Diode Power Combiner works just like a pair of diodes with their cathodes connected together: power enters at the anodes and exits at the cathode.
There is, however, a key difference to be aware of. Unlike diodes - which do not need a ground connection to work correctly - the Ideal Diode Power Combiner must have a ground connection because it contains active devices. A ground terminal is provided for both of the input terminals and also for the output terminal. These are all connected together internally. At least one ground terminal must be connected.Use with ESCs:
One possible application for this device is to power an ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) from a pair of batteries. Be aware that regenerative braking only works if there is a path for regenerated current to make its way back into the batteries, and any sort of diode – real or ideal – in the way will prevent this. Regenerative braking must be turned off in this situation or damage will occur.
More resources are available here.