In this post, we’ll be going over the best quad lipo charger 2017 has to offer.
I am going to talk to you about the operation of this component in broad strokes. It would be great to understand what is happening when you connect the diode (which is what happens in the N-type and P-type and why …) and, in fact, it will be something that I will talk about in another post. However, I do not want this to be too technical. I want this entry to help you know how to use the Zener diode, that is, to learn which one you should use in your project. For this, it is necessary that you know how the element behaves. Without having any idea what will happen to the voltage and current in your circuit, you will hardly be able to use the Zener diode correctly.
As the really interesting thing about this diode is its inverse behavior (when it is inversely polarized), I am going to leave its operation in direct mode (similar to any other diode).
When you reverse polarize it, that is, when you put a small positive voltage on the cathode (the pin of your diode where you see the line), a very small current called saturation current begins to flow through the diode. As you increase the voltage, this current remains almost unchanged until it reaches a point (called Zener voltage or Vz) in which the resistivity of the Zener is drastically reduced and, consequently, the current increases. It is at that moment when you can use the Zener diode for what was designed.
Once you have your Zener around that voltage, all the small changes of voltage that you apply to the diode will cause great changes in the current, so you must take care that the voltage does not go too low or the Zener will stop acting as such. In the same way, if it goes too high, you could break the element.
When you are going to use the Zener diode you can see what those limit values are in their corresponding Datasheet, so do not worry.
As it is a fairly common element, my recommendation is that you get some set with diodes of different Zener voltages. In the following link I leave my referral link of a really good set (300 diodes of 30 different values to plus or minus a cent each) in case you decide to get one.
How to make sure the Zener works without breaking
Now that you know how to use the Zener diode of the proper voltage, you also have to make sure that you meet the current and power dissipation parameters.
Different diodes with the same value Vz can resist some power values or others. Normally, the more they hold you, the more expensive they will be (as you can imagine).
In spite of the fact that in almost all the DIY projects that you are going to make, one with 0.5W support will suffice (like the ones in the set that I suggested before), it never hurts to check that this is the case. For this, the ideal is that you follow the following procedure:
Perform the corresponding mathematical calculations.
Simulate your circuit in some software such as LTspice IV.
Mount the prototype and analyze it with a multimeter or with an oscilloscope.
Solder the result (If you want to have a good result I advise you to take a look at this post before doing it).
I will not explain each of the steps for not extending the post. But if you decide to use the Zener diode, I recommend that you at least simulate the circuit before making the prototype.
Up to here the post. I hope you liked it and have learned to use the Zener diode. There is still much to be said about this element. Even so, now you have the necessary knowledge to start using it.
If you do not know what are the calculations that you should do or have any kind of doubt, remember that you can ask in the comments section below.