DC-DC power converters are widely used in renewable energy-based power generation systems due to the constant demand of high-power density and high-power conversion efficiency. DC-DC converters can be classified into non-isolated and isolated topologies. For non-isolated topologies, they are typically derived from buck, boost, buck-boost or forth order (such as Cuk, Sepic and Zeta) converters and they usually have relatively higher conversion efficiency than isolated topologies. However, with the applications where the isolation is required, either these topologies should be modified, or alternative topologies are needed. Among various isolated DC-DC converters, the LLC resonant converter is an attractive selection due to its soft switching, isolation, wide gain range, high reliability, high power density and high conversion efficiency. In low power applications, such as battery chargers and solar microinverters, increasing the switching frequency can reduce the size of passive components and reduce the current ripple and root-mean-square (RMS) current, resulting in higher power density and lower conduction loss. However, switching losses, gate driving loss and electromagnetic interference (EMI) may increase as a consequence of higher switching frequency. Therefore, switching frequency modulation, components optimization and soft switching techniques have been proposed to overcome these issues and achieve a tradeoff to reach the maximum conversion efficiency. This dissertation can be divided into two categories: the first part is focusing on the well-known non-isolated bidirectional cascaded-buck-boost converter, and the second part is concentrating on the isolated dual-input single resonant tank LLC converter. Several optimization approaches have been presented to improve the efficiency, power density and reliability of the power converters. In the first part, an adaptive switching frequency modulation technique has been proposed based on the precise loss model in this dissertation to increase the efficiency of the cascaded-buck-boost converter. In adaptive switching frequency modulation technique, the optimal switching frequency for the cascaded-buck-boost converter is adaptively selected to achieve the minimum total power loss. In addition, due to the major power losses coming from the inductor, a new low profile nanocrystalline inductor filled with copper foil has been designed to significantly reduce the core loss and winding loss. To further improve the efficiency of the cascaded-buck-boost converter, the adaptive switching frequency modulation technique has been applied on the converter with designed nanocrystalline inductor, in which the peak efficiency of the converter can break the 99% bottleneck. In the second part, a novel dual-input DC-DC converter is developed according to the LLC resonant topology. This design concept minimizes the circuit components by allowing single resonant tank to interface with multiple input sources. Based on different applications, the circuit configuration for the dual-input LLC converter will be a little different. In order to improve the efficiency of the dual-input LLC converter, the semi-active rectifiers have been used on the transformer secondary side to replace the low-side bridge diodes. In this case, higher magnetizing inductance can be selected while maintaining the same voltage gain. Besides, a burst-mode control strategy has been proposed to improve the light load and very light load efficiency of the dual- input LLC converter. This control strategy is able to be readily implemented on any power converter since it can be achieved directly through firmware and no circuit modification is needed in implementation of this strategy.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Chen, Xi, "Analysis, Design and Efficiency Optimization of Power Converters for Renewable Energy Applications" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6464.