How to Get 12 Volts From My 24 Volt Bus
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The conversion of direct current, or DC, voltages presents a greater design challenge than the conversion of alternating current, or AC, voltages. AC voltages can be increased or decreased with a simple transformer circuit, but DC voltage conversion generally relies on linear or switching regulators. A 24 VDC bus is common in industrial, aeronautical, military and many other systems. The components in these systems, though, often require lower supply voltages, such as 12V or 5V. Other People Are Reading How to Change a 24 Volt to a 12 Volt How to Use a 12 Volt Bulb on a 24 Volt Battery Instructions Converter Modules 1
Purchase a DC-DC converter module that meets your requirements for input voltage range, output voltage accuracy and output current. An extensive selection of converter modules is available from numerous manufacturers and catalog distributors. These modules provide excellent functionality with minimal effort on your part; however, they are expensive, and they are usually larger than custom-designed solutions.
Connect the input terminals on the converter module to your 24V bus, and connect the output terminals to the equipment that needs 12V. Most modules come with screw terminals or large solder lugs that allow for simple wire connections, so there is no need for a circuit board.
Insert any passive components that are recommended by the module's data sheet. DC-DC converters often require external capacitors, inductors or resistors to function properly.
Linear Regulators and Switching Regulators 4
Use a linear regulator to convert your voltage if your required output current is low. If a linear regulator reduces the input current by more than a few volts, the power dissipation can quickly become dangerously large: dissipated power = (input voltage - output voltage) x (output current squared).
Choose a linear regulator that meets your requirements for input voltage, output voltage, output current and overall power dissipation. Linear regulators only have three basic terminals because the input and output share a common ground. Connect 24V to the input terminal, 12V to the output terminal and both grounds to the ground terminal. The data sheet will indicate additional capacitors, and sometimes resistors, that are required for optimal functionality.
Use a switching regulator if your output current is substantial, or if you need electrical isolation between the input ground and output ground. Switching regulators are complex devices that require careful (and sometimes extensive) circuit design and precise circuit board layout. However, they are much more efficient than linear regulators, and a custom-designed switching regulator circuit can be much smaller and cheaper than a purchased module.