# Car 12V to +-20V DC converter

Posted on Feb 13, 2013

The limitation of car supply voltage (12V) forces to convert the voltages to higher in order to power audio amplifiers. This supply is intended for two channels with 50W max each (of course it depends on the amplifier used). Though it can be easily scaled up or the voltages changed to obtain different values. It is a classic push-pull design , taking care to obtain best symmetry (to avoid flux walking). Keep in mind that this circuit will adsorb many amperes (around 10A) so take care to reinforce power tracks with lots of solder and use heavy wires from the battery or the voltage will drop too much at the input.

In fact the max audio power x speaker (with 4 ohm impedance) using 12V is (Vsupply+ - Vsupply-)^2/(8*impedance) 12^2/32 = 4.5Watts per channel, that is laughable... For powering correctly an amplifier the best is to use a symmetric supply with a high voltage differential. for example +20 - -20 = 40Volts in fact 40^2/32 = 50 Watts per channel that is respectable. The transformer must be designed to reduce skin effect, it can be done using several insulated magnet wire single wires soldered together but conducting separately. The regulation is done both by the transformer turn ratio and varying the duty cycle. In my case i used 5+5 , 10+10 turns obtaining a step up ratio of 2 (12->24) and downregulating the voltage to 20 via duty cycle dynamic adjust performed by the PWM controller TL494. The step-up ratio has to be a little higher to overcome diode losses, winding resistance and so on and input voltage drop due to wire resistance from battery to converter. The transformer must be of correct size in order to carry the power needed, on the net there are many charts showing the power in function of frequency and core size for a given topology. My transformer size is 33.5 mm lenght, 30.0 height and 13mm width with a cross section area of 1,25cm^2, good for powers around 150W at 50khz. The windings , especially the primary must be heavy gauged, but instead of using a single wire it is better to use multiple wires in...

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