Mochuan Drives - Professional design, manufacturer HMI Touch Screen Panel & PLC Controller, provide industry solutions and system integration since 2009.

  • Professional design, manufacturer HMI Touch Screen Panel & PLC Controller, provide industry solutions and system integration since 2009.


Switching Power Supply Synchronization in Parallel Configurations



Switching power supplies are widely used in various electronic devices to convert electrical energy efficiently. In certain applications, multiple power supplies may need to be synchronized in parallel configurations to achieve higher output power or redundancy. This article explores the concept of switching power supply synchronization in parallel configurations, its benefits, challenges, and techniques used to achieve this synchronization.

Understanding Parallel Power Supply Configurations

Parallel power supply configurations involve connecting several individual power supplies in parallel to achieve a combined output power. The advantage of parallel configurations lies in their ability to provide higher output current or power while ensuring reliable performance. In parallel, the power supplies share the load, distributing the current evenly among themselves. However, synchronization is crucial to ensure seamless operation and avoid potential issues.

The Importance of Switching Power Supply Synchronization

Synchronization is vital in parallel power supply configurations to maintain stability, avoid current imbalances, and prevent undesirable effects such as stability oscillations, overloading, and overheating. Without synchronization, individual switching power supplies may operate independently and produce current fluctuations that can disrupt the overall system performance or cause damage to the power supplies themselves.

1. Understanding the Challenges of Synchronization

Synchronizing switching power supplies in parallel configurations can present several challenges. One such challenge is ensuring the same switching frequency across the power supplies. If the switching frequencies differ, there can be interactions between the supplies, leading to undesirable phenomena like beat frequencies or energy loss due to undesired phase differences.

Another challenge lies in achieving accurate current sharing among the power supplies. Variations in components or operating conditions may result in slight differences in the output voltages or response times of each supply. Consequently, without proper synchronization, supplies with slightly higher voltages or faster response times may take a larger share of the load, reducing the overall efficiency and potentially exceeding the maximum ratings of those specific supplies.

2. Techniques for Achieving Synchronization

To overcome the challenges associated with switching power supply synchronization, various techniques have been devised. These techniques primarily focus on synchronizing the switching frequency and current sharing among the parallel power supplies. Here are five common methods:

2.1 Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) synchronization

PLL synchronization involves using a feedback control loop to synchronize the switching frequency. A master unit generates a reference signal, and all the slave units are adjusted to lock in phase and frequency with this reference signal. This technique ensures that all power supplies operate in harmony, reducing the chances of interference and instability.

2.2 Current Mode Control (CMC) synchronization

In current mode control, an external sensing circuit is used to measure the current flowing through each power supply. The sensed current is then fed back to adjust the PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) signals of all the supplies to achieve balanced current sharing. This technique provides excellent regulation and accurate current sharing but requires additional circuitry and complexity.

2.3 Voltage Droop Control

Voltage droop control is a technique that adjusts the output voltage of each power supply according to the instantaneous load current drawn. The voltage droop compensates for slight variations in the response times and voltage drops due to the output impedance, ensuring equal current sharing. However, this technique requires close monitoring of the output voltage and compensatory control.

2.4 Sync Pin Synchronization

Many switching power supplies include a sync pin that allows them to be externally synchronized. By connecting the sync pins of all the power supplies, their switching signals can be synchronized, ensuring a coordinated operation. This method simplifies synchronization but relies on the availability of the sync pin on the power supplies.

2.5 Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)

In time division multiplexing, the power supplies are switched sequentially in small time intervals. By employing a multiplexer, a master controller selects individual power supplies to operate, ensuring a time-division-based shared load. This technique achieves synchronization and accurate current sharing but requires additional circuitry and complexity.


Switching power supply synchronization is essential in parallel configurations to ensure reliable operation, prevent current imbalances, and optimize overall system performance. By understanding the challenges and utilizing appropriate synchronization techniques such as PLL synchronization, CMC synchronization, voltage droop control, sync pin synchronization, or time division multiplexing, the parallel configuration's benefits can be fully harnessed. Efficient synchronization methods contribute to the stability, scalability, and seamless operation of parallel switching power supplies, opening doors to countless applications in various industries.


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