# EMI and t Layout Fundamentals for Switched-Mode Circuits

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1 v sg (t) (t) DT s V pp = n V pp V g n V T s t EE core insulation primary return secondary return Supplementary notes on EMI and t Layout Fundamentals for Switched-Mode Circuits secondary primary n : 1 C w C w R.W. Erickson L M signal L M 1 : 1 i DM V V g return 1 : 1 IDEAL i DM Q 1 D 1 v sg (t) ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1

2 EMI and Layout Fundamentals for Switched-Mode Circuits R.W. Erickson Introduction Idealizing assumptions made in beginning circuits Inductance of wires Coupling of signals via impedance of ground connections Parasitic capacitances The common mode Common-mode and differential-mode filters ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 1

3 Introduction EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) is the unwanted coupling of signals from one circuit or system to another Conducted EMI: unwanted coupling of signals via conduction through parasitic impedances, power and ground connections Radiated EMI: unwanted coupling of signals via radio transmission These effects usually arise from poor circuit layout and unmodeled parasitic impedances Analog circuits rarely work correctly unless engineering effort is expended to solve EMI and layout problems Sooner or later (or now!), the engineer needs to learn to deal with EMI The ideal engineering approach: figure out what are the significant EMI sources figure out where the EMI is going engineer the circuit layout to mitigate EMI problems Build a layout that can be understood and analyzed ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 2

4 Assumptions made in Circuits Wires are perfect (equipotential) conductors A Wire B V A = V B This assumption ignores wire resistance wire inductance mutual inductance with other conductors A B ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 3

5 A related assumption: 1a. The space surrounding a wire is a perfect insulator (dielectric constant = 0) This assumption ignores capacitance between conductors A B ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 4

6 2. The ground (reference) node is at zero potential Formally, this is a definition. But there is an implicit assumption that all parts of the system can be connected via ideal conductors to a common ground node. In practice, it is often quite difficult to ensure that each stage of a system operates with the same zero potential reference. Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 5

7 We reinforce the problem by freely using the ground symbol By use of this symbol, we avoid indicating how the actual wiring connection is made. In consequence, the possibility of conducted EMI via nonideal ground conductors is ignored ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 6

8 About inductance of wires Single wire in space B field I Self inductance L = λ i L = l log 4l 10 d 0.75 µh Terman, Radio Engineer's Handbook, p. 48ff, 1943 l = wire length d = wire diameter dimensions in inches Larger wire has lower inductance, because B-field must take longer path length around wire But how does the charge get back from end to beginning? There is no closed loop, and so formula ignores area of loop Formula ignores effects of nearby conductors ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 7

9 A more realistic scenario: current flows around a closed loop B field I loop area A c single-turn air-core inductor Simple-minded inductance formula: L = µ o A C l m µ o = 4π 10-7 H/m l m = effective magnetic path length To reduce inductance: reduce loop cross-sectional area (by routing of wires), or increase path length (use larger wire). ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 8

10 Example: Buck converter Use loop analysis Q 1 D 1 i 1 (t) i 2 (t) i 1 (t) i 2 (t) I LOAD Q 1 conducts 0 D 1 conducts switched input current i 1 (t) contains large high frequency harmonics hence inductance of input loop is critical inductance causes ringing, voltage spikes, switching loss, generation of B- and E- fields, radiated EMI I LOAD the second loop contains a filter inductor, and hence its current i 2 (t) is nearly dc hence additional inductance is not a significant problem in the second loop ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 9

11 Parasitic inductances of input loop explicitly shown: Q 1 i 1 (t) D 1 Addition of bypass capacitor confines the pulsating current to a smaller loop: Q 1 i g (t) i 1 (t) D 1 high frequency currents are shunted through capacitor instead of input source ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 10

12 Even better: minimize area of the high frequency loop, thereby minimizing its inductance Q 1 D 1 B fields nearly cancel i1 loop area A c i 1 ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 11

13 Forward converter Two critical loops: i 1 (t) i 2 (t) Solution: ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 12

14 Unwanted coupling of signals via impedance of ground connections 48 volts 15 volts input Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 output input output input Power supplies All currents must flow in closed paths: determine the entire loop in which large currents flow, including the return connections Ground (zero potential) references may not be the same for every portion of the system ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 13

15 Example: suppose the ground connections are 48 volts 15 volts i 1 (t) i 2 i 3 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 v out1 Z g vin2 i 2 i 3 v in2 = v out1 Z g (i 2 i 3 ) Noise from stages 2 and 3 couples into the input to stage 2 This represents conducted EMI, or specifically corruption of the ground reference by system currents ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 14

16 Example: gate driver line input 15 volt supply converter power stage i g (t) analog control chip PWM control chip gate driver power MOSFET i g (t) ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 15

17 Solution: bypass capacitor and close coupling of gate and return leads line input 15 volt supply converter power stage analog control chip PWM control chip gate driver power MOSFET High frequency components of gate drive current are confined to a small loop A dc component of current is still drawn output of 15V supply, and flows past the control chips. Hence, return conductor size must be sufficiently large ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 16

18 About ground planes Current i(t) flowing in wire return current i(t) flows in ground plane directly under wire wire ground plane Inductance of return connections is minimized Hence ground planes tend to exhibit lower impedance ground connections, and more nearly equipotential ground references Ground planes are especially effective in the analog control portions of switching regulator circuits But it is still possible to observe significant coupling of noise in ground, by poor layout of ground plane, or high resistance of ground plane ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 17

19 A poor ground plane layout power supply power supply return sensitive circuit sensitive circuit ground plane Noisy circuit Return current of noisy circuit runs underneath sensitive circuits, and can still corrupt their ground references power supply power supply return sensitive circuit ground plane sensitive circuit v Noisy circuit A solution is to remove the noisy circuit from the ground plane. One could then run a separate ground wire for the noisy circuit. The only drawback is that noise can be coupled into the input signal v. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 18

20 Coupling of signals via magnetic fields i(t) Loop containing ac current i(t) generates B field mutual flux which links another conductor, inducing an unwanted voltage v(t) v(t) = L M di(t) dt ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 19

21 This phenomenon can sometimes be a problem when ground loops are present. Circulating ground currents are then induced, which lead to variations in the ground reference potential dc power supply converter under test reference input network analyzer Measurement of audiosusceptibility: observed unusual and unexpected results Fixed by breaking ground loops Audiosusceptibility then was as expected ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 20

22 Stray capacitances Most significant at high voltage points in circuit Two major sources of EMI: Transformer interwinding capacitance MOSFET drain-to-heatsink capacitance Drain-to-heatsink capacitance v(t) power MOSFET i(t) = C dv(t) dt Drain-to-heatsink capacitance When the switched drain voltage is applied to this capacitance, current spikes must flow. The currents must flow in a closed path (a loop). What is the loop in your circuit? To control the effects of these currents, provide a short path for them to return to their origin add common-mode filters slow down switching times ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 21

23 Common mode noise generation by drain-to-heatsink capacitance full bridge converter B W G drain-toheatsink capacitance common mode filter Heatsink/chassis ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 22

24 Common mode noise generation by transformer interwinding capacitance Flyback converter example V g Q 1 n:1 D 1 V v sg (t) Transformer interwinding capacitance causes currents to flow between the isolated (primary and secondary) sides of the transformer, and can cause the secondary-side ground voltage to switch at high frequency: v sg (t) contains a high-frequency component. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 23

25 Modeling transformer interwinding capacitance Suppose the transformer is wound as follows: EE core insulation primary return secondary return secondary primary A simple lumped element model, including interwinding capacitance: n : 1 C w C w ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 24

26 Flyback converter ground potentials V g C w C w Q 1 D 1 V v sg (t) One can solve the circuit to find the high-frequency ac component of v sg (t). The result is v sg (t) DT s V pp T s t Flyback converter circuit, with interwinding capacitance modeled V pp = n V g n V The secondary ground potential switches at high frequency with respect to the primary ground. The peak-peak voltage V pp is typically approximately equal to V g. v sg (t) can also have a dc component, not predicted by the circuit model. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 25

27 Secondary-side stray capacitances now lead to common-mode currents Example: diode case-to-heatsink capacitance v sg (t) V V g D 1 DT s V pp T s t Q 1 v sg (t) (t) V pp = n V g n V t These currents usually corrupt the ground reference voltage ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 26

28 Discussion Transformers can successfully provide dc and low-frequency ac isolation Transformer interwinding capacitances couple the primary and secondary voltages, greatly reducing the high-frequency ac isolation and leading to common-mode currents and conducted EMI Some possible solutions: Redesign the transformer to reduce the interwinding capacitance. This usually leads to increased leakage inductance Add common-mode filters: Capacitors which connect the primary- and secondary-side grounds Common-mode filter inductors This greatly reduces conducted EMI, and can also reduce radiated EMI. But the capacitors do not allow the secondary ground potential to switch at high frequency. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 27

29 Addition of capacitance between primary and secondary grounds V g Q 1 D 1 V 0 C sg v sg (t) = 0 Capacitor C sg is much larger than the stray capacitances, and so nearly all of the common-mode current flows through C sg. If C sg is sufficiently large, then it will have negligible voltage ripple, and v sg (t) will no longer contain a high-frequency component. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 28

30 Measurement of common mode current current probe i DM interwinding capacitance The common mode current due to transformer interwinding capacitance can be easily measured using a current probe to oscilloscope The differential-mode current i DM (t) cancels out, and the oscilloscope will display 2 (t). ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 29

31 A Common-Mode Choke signal L M 1 : 1 i DM return Equivalent circuit, including magnetizing inductance: signal L M return 1 : 1 IDEAL i DM ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 30

32 Operation of Common-Mode Choke Differential mode signal return IDEAL 1 : 1 i DM 0V L M i DM i DM i DM cancels out in windings, with no net magnetization of core. To the extent that the leakage inductance can be neglected, the commonmode choke has no effect on the differential-mode currents. Common mode signal return 2LM d dt 1 : 1 L M 2 IDEAL The common-mode currents effectively add, magnetizing the core. The common-mode choke presents inductance L M to filter these currents. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 31

33 Use of a common-mode choke to reduce the magnitude of currents in transformer interwinding capacitances L M 1 : 1 i DM V V g D 1 Q 1 v sg (t) Common-mode choke inserts inductance L M to oppose flow of highfrequency common-mode currents ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 32

34 Use of common-mode chokes to filter the power supply input and output C CMF V g 1 : 1 C CMF D 1 1 : 1 V C CMF C CMF The common-mode chokes, along with the capacitors C CMF, form two-pole low pass filters which oppose the flow of high-frequency common-mode currents ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 33

35 Use of a common-mode choke to prevent corruption of ground reference voltage Back to example of slide #14: Attempt to prevent coupling of signal (i 2 i 3 ) into input signal v in2 by adding another ground connection, for conduction of return current (i 2 i 3 ). This requires that i a = (i 2 i 3 ). 48 volts 15 volts i 1 (t) i 2 i 3 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 v out1 Z g1 vin 2 i b Z g2 i 2 i 3 v in2 = v out1 Z g1 i b new ground connection i a ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 34

36 48 volts 15 volts i 2 i 3 i 1 (t) Stage 1 v out1 Z g1 i b 1 : 1 vin 2 Stage 2 Stage 3 i b Z g2 i 2 i 3 i = a i 2 i 3 The common-mode choke forces the high frequency return current (i 2 i 3 ) to flow through the alternate ground path: i a = (i 2 i 3 ). The return current i b is equal to the signal current flowing between stages 1 and 2. ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 35

37 Summary EMI ("Noise") is caused by the violation of idealizing assumptions: Imperfect conductors Corruption of zero-potential ground reference Stray capacitances Inductance of wires Keep areas of high frequency loops as small as possible Coupling of signals via impedance of ground connections Steer ground currents away from sensitive circuits Examples: power return, gate drive return, coupling of signals from one stage to the next Use ground planes in sensitive analog portions of system Coupling of signals via magnetic fields Ground loops and circulating ground currents Example: audiosusceptibility measurement ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 36

38 Coupling of signals via electric fields Stray capacitances Example: drain-to-heatsink capacitance Example: transformer interwinding capacitances Common mode noise Usually caused by stray capacitances Can be filtered using common-mode chokes and common-mode filter capacitors It is possible to figure out where the EMI is being generated, and to engineer the circuit to mitigate its effects ECEN 5797 Power Electronics 1 37

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