Pololu 12V, 4.5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator
Pololu 12V, 4.5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator
About this product
The Pololu 12V, 4.5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator is a powerful step-down (or buck) regulator that takes an input voltage of up to 50 V and efficiently reduces it to 12 V. The board measures only 1″ × 1″ yet delivers typical maximum continuous output currents between 2.3 A and 6.5 A, depending on the input voltage, which makes it well suited for powering moderate to large loads. An optional enable input with a precise cutoff threshold can be used to put the regulator in a low-power state with a current draw of 10 µA to 20 µA per volt on VIN. The regulator also features reverse voltage protection and a power-good output that indicates when the regulator cannot adequately maintain the output voltage.
The regulators have input reverse voltage protection up to 40 V, output Undervoltage and overvoltage protection, over-current protection, and short-circuit protection. A thermal shutdown feature also helps prevent damage from overheating and a soft-start feature limits the inrush current and gradually ramps the output voltage on startup.
- Input voltage: 13.3 V to 50 V (minimum input subject to dropout voltage considerations; see the dropout voltage section for details)
- Output voltage: 12 V with 4% accuracy
- Typical maximum continuous output current: 2.3 A to 6.5 A (see the maximum continuous output current graph below)
- Typical efficiency of 90% to 95%, depending on input voltage, output voltage, and load (see the efficiency graph below)
- Switching frequency: ~500 kHz under heavy loads
- Power-save mode with an ultrasonic operation that increases light load efficiency by reducing switching frequency, but keeps it above the audible range (20 kHz)
- 2 mA to 4 mA typical no-load quiescent current (see the quiescent current graph below)
- Enable input with the precise cutoff threshold for disconnecting the load and putting the regulator into a low-power state that draws approximately 10 µA to 20 µA per volt on VIN
- “Power good” output indicates when the regulator cannot adequately maintain the output voltage
- Output undervoltage and overvoltage protection
- Soft-start feature limits inrush current and gradually ramps output voltage
- Integrated reverse-voltage protection up to 40 V, over-current and short-circuit protection, over-temperature shutoff
- Compact size: 1″ × 1″ × 0.375″ (25.4 mm × 25.4 mm × 9.5 mm)
- Three 0.086″ mounting holes for #2 or M2 screws
This regulator has six connections, some of which are duplicated on multiple pins: power good (PG), enable (EN), input voltage (VIN), input voltage after reverse protection (VRP), and output voltage (VOUT), and ground (GND).
The “power good” indicator, PG, is an open-drain output that goes low when the regulator’s output voltage either rises more than 20% above or falls more than 10% below the nominal voltage (with hysteresis).
The regulator, which is enabled by default, can be put into a low-power sleep state by reducing the voltage on the EN pin below 1.2 V, and it can be brought out of this state again by increasing the voltage on EN past 1.35 V. The quiescent current draw in this sleep mode is dominated by the current in the 100 kΩ pull-up resistor from ENABLE to VIN and in the reverse-voltage protection circuit, which altogether will be between 10 µA and 20 µA per volt on VIN. The tight tolerance of the enable input allows a precise low-VIN cutoff to be set, such as with the output of an external voltage divider powered by VIN, which is useful for battery-powered applications where draining the battery below a particular voltage threshold could permanently damage it.
The input voltage, VIN, powers the regulator. Voltages between 4.5 V and 50 V can be applied to VIN, but generally, the effective lower limit of VIN is VOUT plus the regulator’s dropout voltage, which varies approximately linearly with the load (see below for graphs of the dropout voltage as a function of the load).
VRP provides access to the input voltage after reverse-voltage protection; this can be used as an output to power other devices, or the input voltage can be connected to VRP instead of VIN to bypass the reverse protection.
VOUT is the regulated output voltage.
All of the connections are arranged on a 0.1″ grid for compatibility with solderless breadboards, connectors, and other prototyping arrangements that use a 0.1″ grid. The PG connection is the only one not accessible along the edge of the board. A 1×12 straight male header strip is included with the regulator.
The power connections (VIN, VRP, VOUT, and GND) are duplicated across both rows of through-holes, allowing two header pins to be used for each connection. Note that the EN and PG pins are not duplicated and are adjacent on different rows, so if you intend to use the regulator on a breadboard, be careful to avoid installing header pins in a way that shorts EN to PG. (In the picture below, note that the PG pin is omitted to avoid shorting it to EN.)
Each header pin is only rated for 3 A (6 A combined per pair), and solderless breadboards are usually not intended to handle more than a few amps, so for higher-power applications, thick wires should be soldered directly to the board.
The efficiency of a voltage regulator, defined as (Power out)/(Power in), is an important measure of its performance, especially when battery life or heat are concerns.
Maximum continuous output current
The maximum achievable output current of these regulators varies with the input voltage but also depends on other factors, including the ambient temperature, air flow, and heat sinking. The graph below shows the maximum output currents that these regulators can deliver continuously at room temperature in still air and without additional heat sinking.
The quiescent current is the current the regulator uses just to power itself, and the graph below shows this for the different regulator versions as a function of the input voltage. The module’s EN input can be driven low to put the board into a low-power state where it typically draws between 10 µA and 20 µA per volt on VIN.
Typical dropout voltage
The dropout voltage of a step-down regulator is the minimum amount by which the input voltage must exceed the regulator’s target output voltage in order to ensure the target output can be achieved. For example, if a 5 V regulator has a 1 V dropout voltage, the input must be at least 6 V to ensure the output is the full 5 V. Generally speaking, the dropout voltage increases as the output current increases. The graph below shows the dropout voltages for the different members of this regulator family:
- 1 x Pololu 12V, 4.5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator
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