RL Circuits. Inductive Kick.
Diode Snubbers.
Inductors are the third basic discrete component listed in . Uses for inductors in the NorCal 40A include filters and RF
“chokes.” The latter provides essentially a short circuit at DC
and nearly an open circuit at RF frequencies. (Essentially the
opposite function of a DC blocking capacitor!)
You will wind some of your own inductors for the NorCal 40A.
(The others are axial-lead inductors. They look like resistors, but
are green with colored bands.)
The inductors you wind will be wound on a toroidal-shaped
ferrite core. Toroid inductors are essentially “self shielding” at
RF frequencies since most magnetic flux ?m is contained in the
core.

Consequently, these inductors can be placed close to each other
on a PCB without too much mutual (and undesirable)
interaction. However, be careful in your own designs. (For
example, keep air-core inductors perpendicular to each other.)
Inductors store energy in a magnetic field. They also oppose a
change in the current through them.

This opposition can cause the inductor voltage to become
enormous if there is a big change in the current. Called
“inductive kick.” To see this explicitly, consider this simple circuit (an inductor connected directly to an AWG, for example)

The open circuit source voltage is

We will carefully analyze this circuit to predict the input voltage
Vin. In the following analysis we’ll assume that ? = L / R ??T / 2.
1. At “A” Vs has reached steady state so that I(t) is nearly
constant and approximately equal to V R + R , where RL is the resistance of the inductor.
The work done by the source against the magnetic force
produces energy stored in the magnetic field

2. From “B” to “C” the source Vs is switching from Vm to –Vm
volts. Since L V = LdI dt , I cannot change instantly, but it can
change rapidly.
3. From Faraday’s Law of Induction

where m ? = magnetic flux = B( t) ? N ? A, where N = number of identical turns of wire and A is the cross-sectional area.

Recall that as Vs goes from Vm to –Vm, there will be a rapid
decrease in I(t). It’s not an instantaneous change from
V_{m}|( R_{s} + R_{L} )to ?V_{m (R s+ RL) because of L, but a rapid change.
However, B (t )? I (t ) which implies there will be a rapid decrease in B(t ) and, hence, m ?( t) .
4. Therefore, the emf = ?d?m dt will be large and positive.
This emf (a net “push” on the charges) keeps current moving in
the same direction (from top to bottom in the figure) and thus
opposing change.
5. Using the equivalent lumped circuit above, we see that
Notice the negative sign! With m ? = LI , then
which is what we originally stated on page 2.
Now, we’ll use (1) to predict the voltage Vin =VL shown in the circuit on page 2.
In graphical form:
This rapidly changing current in an inductor can produce
enormous Vin (= VL). Sometimes this is useful, as in an
automobile spark ignition (see Fig. 2.19).
Similarly, this “inductive kick” can produce arcing in switches
when they turn off electric motors. (I had a switch in a vacuum
cleaner burn a hole through beryllium-copper sliding contacts
due to this source of arcing.)
In sensitive electronic circuits, such inductive kick can be
catastrophic and burn out transistors, for example.
You will study this phenomenon in Probs. 5 and 6. From Fig.
2.32(b) in Prob. 5:
When Q turns off, there would be a very large and negative
voltage VL if D were not present. This large voltage appears
across c and e of Q. If this voltage is too large, then Q could be
damaged. (Think of L as an equivalent inductance of an electric
motor, for example.)
With the snubber diode D, this reverse voltage on L is limited to
the forward voltage drop of D! (Note that D must be able to
withstand all of the current that initially exists in L just before D
begins to conduct.)
We’ll see the snubber diode again in Prob. 20 inside the
Magnecraft W171DIP-7 reed relay.
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