Linear and Non-Linear Inductors

An ideal inductor would have zero capacitance and zero resistance.

The Figure below shows a graph of inductive reactance X_{L} versus frequency f. Inductive reactance increases linearly with frequency.

Figure: Inductive reactance X_{L} vs frequency f (ideal inductor)

A real inductor can be modeled by the following elements:

  • a series inductor L
  • a series resistor R_{DC} or R_{S}
  • a parallel capacitor C_{P} or C_{d}: It is the distributed capacitance between the turns of the wire and is derived from the Self Resonant Frequency (f_{o}).
  • a parallel resistor R_{P}: It represents the magnetic core loss of the inductor core.

The figure below shows a real-life impedance vs frequency graph.

Figure: Inductive reactance X_{L} vs frequency f (real inductor)

Self-Resonant Frequency (SRF) or f_{o} in Hz: This is the frequency at which the inductance of the inductor L resonates with the inductor’s distributed capacitance C_{P}. Increasing L or C lowers f_{o}. Decreasing L or C raises f_{o}.

f_{o} = \frac{1}{2 \pi \sqrt{LC}}

At f_{o}

  • the inductor will act as a pure resistor,
  • the input impedance is at its peak,
  • the Quality factor of the inductor is zero,
  • the reactance of the inductor X_{L} is zero,
  • the capacitance is given by C_{P} = \frac {1}{(2 \pi f_{o})^2L_{o}}

At frequencies below f_{o} the reactance is inductive and increases as the frequency increases.

At frequencies above f_{o} the reactance is capacitive and decreases as the frequency increases.