Buck converters in parallel or serial
I have a battery powered project that needs to step down the battery voltage to 12 volts and to 5 volts.
What is best and most efficient? To take the battery voltage (around 16 volts), step it down to 12 volts, and then step down to 5 volts from the 12 volts (serial)? Or to connect both buck converters directly to the battery source (parallel)?
In general parallel is usually the best configuration. The reason is that in series the 12 volt converter will need to supply current for both your 12 volt needs plus any current fed to the 5 volts. Since the source voltage is 16 volts a converter should not have problem stepping the voltage down directly to 5 volts.
Thanks. That's what I figured and that's also how my robots power distribution is currently laid out.
But I'm debugging a low current issue on the 5V part, and while searching for answers and inspiration, I came across someone doing the serial setup, and I wondered if I was missing a point in this way of setting it up.