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Class D transistor amplifiers
Radio amateur and short wave amateur 1971/03
Pulse circuits with transistors switched from cut-off to saturation have found wide application in digital and automatic control technology, among others due to their high efficiency. The search for a way to increase the efficiency of transistor acoustic amplifiers has led to an application for amplifying low frequency signals switching amplifiers working in class D. Such amplifiers show efficiency of 90%, unattainable in conventional systems of class A, B or C.
Principle of operation
Let us briefly consider the principle of amplifying harmonic signals in pulse amplifiers. Class D work is a type of amplifying element operation in which the element in the working cycle is only in two states: complete blocking when no current flows through it, or complete unblocking when the voltage drop on it is close to zero. If a current flows through the resistor in the form of rectangular pulses shown in Figure 1, then the average value of the current Io marked with a dashed line may be equal to zero (Figure 1a), greater than zero (Figure 1b) or less than zero (Figure 1c) . The ratio of the pulse duration to the repetition period is called the duty cycle γ.
For the waveforms in Figure 1, the γ factor is respectively: γ = 0.5, γ> 0.5 and γ <0.5. If the change of γ from the maximum to the minimum value is carried out according to the function e.g. sin (ωt), then in such a series of pulses the average value of the pulses will be the low frequency harmonic component sin (ωt).
Fig. 1. Rectangular waveforms with different fill factors.
Otherwise, the stage operating in the impulse system can amplify the low frequency vibrations, if we apply a pulse train in which the positive half-period of the low frequency signal is the pulses with the value of γ> 0.5 correspond to the negative half-period, and the pulses with the value of γ <0.5 correspond to the negative half-period (Fig. 2). We are dealing here with pulse width modulation. It goes without saying that the pulse repetition frequency should be much greater than the highest frequency of the amplified low frequency waveform.
Fig. 2. Pulse width modulation with a sine wave>
a - modulating waveform, b - impulse modulated waveform.
Pulse width modulation can be implemented by various methods. The simplest way is shown in Fig. 3. The triangular voltage is compared with the sinusoidal voltage representing the low frequency signal. Square-shaped pulses appear at the modulator output, the length of which depends on the amplitude of the amplified signal. The triangle waveform can be obtained from square pulses using a Miller integrator.