Power inductors (also known as chokes, differential mode inductors, or buck boost inductors) are used in switch mode power supplies (SMPS) and are used to step down or boost voltage, or to filter high frequency ripple current. The frequency of operation for power inductors used in switch mode power supplies is 10 kHz (10 kilohertz) to 1 Mhz (megahertz). At low power levels (less than 250 watts) switching frequency is usually 250 kHz to 500 kHz. At medium power levels (up to 5 kilowatts) switching frequencies are 50 kHz to 250 kHz) At the high power levels of 10 kHz and up, switching frequencies are less than 50 kilohertz and 10 kilohertz is very common. There are a variety of core materials suitable for making power inductors and buck boost inductors. Some of the more common are iron powder, nickel iron powdered blends, ferrites and kool mu. STANDARD POWER INDUCTOR PRODUCTS


West Coast Magnetics has a number of standard product solutions for your power inductor products. Our new foil technology leads the industry for low loss inductors in high ripple buck and boost applications. We also have a number of toroidal power inductor standard products that use powdered cores. Inductor design is complex due to the large number of different core materials that are suitable for power inductors. The choice of a core depends on power level, DC current, AC ripple and frequency. Core materials include ferrites, silicone steel laminations, many classes of powdered cores and amorphous metal.  If you would like more information on buck boost, differential mode power inductor design check out our application notes and resources page.


The first step in designing a power inductor is to choose a core. Next, the number of turns is calculated to achieve the required inductance, and then it must be determined if the inductor will saturate under peak current conditions. Finally wire gauge and type is chosen and core and copper losses are estimated. Every power inductor design is unique. West Coast Magnetics has done hundreds of inductor designs including buck inductors, boost inductors, differential mode inductors and chokes. CUSTOM DESIGNED INDUCTOR SOLUTIONS