# Snubber circuit types

meaning???

meaning???
That various circuits can generate various transients depending on their topologies and modes of operation. And they use various components (some require more care than others in that respect, some don't at all)

jim hardy
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
1mA and 10k makes 10V, which is unacceptable. Therefore - a diode.

I'd have said instead

"which if unacceptable requires a diode." 12V supply + 10V more from inductor is probably okay with 40 volt transistors.

A clever little circuit that one, using the inductor to keep PNP in conduction until coil has discharged.

With diode present, i wonder what would be effect of beta on relay dropout time ?

Baluncore
Science Advisor
With diode present, i wonder what would be effect of beta on relay dropout time ?
Beta variation would have no significant effect. Drop-out time with the diode would be longer because there is less reverse voltage to decelerate the inductor current. di/dt = V/L

Another way to quickly turn off a relay is with a flyback diode to the unregulated supply. That way the reverse inductor voltage is significantly higher but controlled, and part of the energy is recycled.

jim hardy
Averagesupernova
Science Advisor
Gold Member
No one has mentioned the fact that if supply voltage suddenly disappears on that PNP relay driver the only place for the flyback current is completely through the base-emitter-junction of the PNP. It will kill the transistor for sure.

Edit: Or not? Trying to wrap my head around it yet.
Edit: Think I got it. Power supply simply opened would cause damage. A shorted supply would not. I will stick with the simple diode.

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hello everyone.
thanks for the advice and i been reading it. but i really need some help.. there are 3 types snubber circuits.. which mention it before in this thread..

i would like to know:
• how to calculate the values of Cs and Rs of each snubber circuits???
• for the Cs value, it is the same for all snubber circuits?
pls help

Svein
Science Advisor
i would like to know:
• how to calculate the values of Cs and Rs of each snubber circuits???
• for the Cs value, it is the same for all snubber circuits?
pls help
The value of C is not important. Usually 0.1μF is a good choice.The value of R depends on
• The current capacity of the driver transistor (when turning on, R appears in parallel with the coil)
• How fast you want the spike to die out (a basic time constant is L/R)

confusing

would you mind explaining more about the current capacity of the driver transistor???

jim hardy
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
i would like to know:
• how to calculate the values of Cs and Rs of each snubber circuits???

A proper answer will take a few pages. No need to type it all here.
Here's an appnote by an old-line capacitor manufacturer. It speaks to your question.
You might print yourself a copy, it's worth keeping.

http://www.cde.com/resources/technical-papers/design.pdf

I've used their "Quencharc" product line for decades. They're quite effective at suppressing interference from relay coils.

Windadct
Hi folks, another Q on snubber circuits. Are they the same as freewheeling diode?

Svein
Science Advisor
Hi folks, another Q on snubber circuits. Are they the same as freewheeling diode?
No. Short and sloppy: A snubber circuit converts flyback voltage spikes into heat, a freewheeling diode converts flyback voltage spikes into voltage.

Perfect,thank you Svein

meBigGuy
Gold Member
a freewheeling diode converts flyback voltage spikes into voltage.

What does that even mean? Is there a typo?

My answer would be:
A freewheeling diode is one form of a snubber circuit. Although, some might consider a snubber to only be RC circuits, many consider snubbers as consisting of RC snubbers and Diode snubbers and other more complex circuits to dissipate inductive energy.

Not that flyback voltage is a "symptom" of the energy stored in an inductor when there is no path (or a changed path) for it to maintain its current flow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snubber
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyback_diode

Baluncore
Science Advisor
No. Short and sloppy: A snubber circuit converts flyback voltage spikes into heat, a freewheeling diode converts flyback voltage spikes into voltage.
My answer would be:
A freewheeling diode is one form of a snubber circuit.
You are both wrong. The difference between a freewheel diode and a flyback diode is the way it is used in the circuit.

A freewheel diode conducts in series with the inductor and load to keep the current flowing through the load. It is an "inherent commutation switch" that is applied in switching power supplies to conduct the output current during the period that the active switch is off. A freewheel diode is not a snubber. The inductive energy is transferred efficiently to the load. The circuit inductor is wound to have a minimum internal resistance.

A flyback diode can be connected directly across the inductor to snub the inductive reverse voltage spike at current turn-off. It is used to protect the semiconductor driver and inductor insulation. A flyback diode is a snubber. The inductor is wound to have a resistance that will limit the current while it is turned on. When turned off, the snubbed iductive energy goes to heat the internal resistance of the inductor.

meBigGuy
Gold Member
I certainly understand *your* distinction. And it seems logical. But the world seems to disagree.
Personally I find your distinction fine, and will probably adopt it for the future.

I was just lazily relying on wikipedia for the definition:
"A flyback diode (sometimes called a snubber diode, freewheeling diode, suppressor diode, suppression diode, clamp diode or catch diode[1]) ...."

If you google freewheeling diode you get lots of snubbers. In fact, mostly snubbers.
http://diotec.com/tl_files/diotec/files/pdf/service/applications/freewheeling-diodes.pdf [Broken]

There are a few app notes that show freewheeling diodes in bridge motor drivers, which fits your definition.

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Svein
Science Advisor
My take on it (and apologies to people who already have introduced parts of the terminology in previous posts):

The purpose of a Snubber Diode is to protect, by dissipating the energy in a coil in a safe way when the current flow is broken.
One example of a snubber circuit.

The purpose of a flyback diode is to create a (high) voltage by storing the excess energy from the coil in a capacitor.

One example of a flyback diodes.

The purpose of a freewheeling diode is to allow current to flow when the switching element is off.

One example of a freewheeling diode.

As others have observed, there is substantial confusion on the internet between these three terms.

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So much overlap:

Snubber to me is to usually to dissipate energy itself and usually effective on Voltage ( I have not seen a current snubber - I have not looked - they may exist, and there are other functions) - this can include many different components, MOV, Caps, Resistors, even regular, fast or zener diodes in a basic or relatively complex circuit considering it is just for protection ( not a core function of the system).

Flyback - to typically a DESIRED behavior when you are trying to boost a voltage (yet it may STILL a Free wheeling diode) - Ideally it may not dissipate any energy ( typically this energy loss is NOT desired - but always exists)

A freewheeling diode is applied to a circuit with some (or some expected) inductance, it provides a CURRENT path to prevent significant overvoltage due to V=dI/dt. The current can free-wheel (circulate) back to the inductance.

Still I see these a subtle distinctions in terminology that are often used interchangeably, my German colleagues correct me when I call the Diode mated to the IGBT as a FWD - they call it an Anti-Parallel diode (APD)- this simply describes it's location and not its function since the function ( flyback or FWD (or even rectifier) ) is up to the application..

One of the first / longest used books on this is the GE SCR Manual - out of print, but available on Amazon and it looks like on SCRIBID - behind a paywall.

Baluncore
Science Advisor
A freewheeling diode is applied to a circuit with some (or some expected) inductance, it provides a CURRENT path to prevent significant overvoltage due to V=dI/dt. The current can free-wheel (circulate) back to the inductance.
Where do you get that definition from ?

I agree there is now a whole generation of poorly informed beginners out there. The first surprising thing they learn is that they must put a diode across a DC relay coil to allow the current to keep flowing and so prevent a voltage spike.

A free-wheel ratchet, one way clutch or a diode permits a flow to continue when energy is not being actively inserted into the cycle.

The bicycle free-wheel analogy is being misapplied to inductive flyback snubbers. Beginners wrongly believe the voltage measured across the forward biassed diode is the only voltage across the inductor. The major component of the reverse inductor voltage is actually appearing across the inductor's internal series resistance. They do not see the internally generated voltage across the inductor which is acting to reduce the current at a similar rate to the original turn-on. The same resistance, current and v = L.di/dt works both ways, just the sign is changed.
There is no free-wheeling there, it is maximum brakes for minimum components.

Baluncore
Science Advisor
Attached is part of page 371 from the SCR Manual, 5th Edition, GE, 1972.
D1 is used there to prevent a sudden change in motor torque, the motor current must keep flowing.

It confuses the issue by referring to voltage with the free wheeling diode. That voltage commutates the diode, but the current flows through the motor as the load.

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