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RPC-HVTS-DCS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 232377
Funded under: FP7-SME

Simulation environment for soft-switching power supplies

High-voltage (HV) power supplies and DCS with large output range are ubiquitous yet the most efficient configurations are still difficult to optimise. EU-funded scientists developed a simulation environment to decrease development time and cost while enhancing product performance.
Simulation environment for soft-switching power supplies
Switched-mode power supplies, just like other power supplies, transfer and regulate power from the source to the load, converting the electrical characteristics appropriately. However, a switching regulator is employed to convert electrical power efficiently by minimising dissipation losses. The switched mode power supplies are lighter and more compact than linear regulated ones.

Resonant-operated power supplies exploit soft switching enabling higher switching frequency for reducing filter and transformer volume, costs and settling time. They are increasingly used yet they are more difficult to optimise than hard-switched converters. Scientists initiated the EU-funded project RPC-HVTS-DCS to develop a simulation environment for the design of resonant-operated power supplies to be used in high-voltage test systems (HVTS), direct current (DC) programmable power supplies sources (DCSs)) and bi-directional HV converters.

HVTS are widely used to test power cables, generator windings and more. Programmable DCSs are ubiquitous on lab benches and in automated testing equipment for emulation of batteries, photovoltaic panels etc..Bi-directional HV converters are increasingly used in railway, hybrid vehicle, energy harvesting and space applications.

Scientists developed the specifications for the various uses identified in the project and compared resonant converter technologies available to match each application. They defined the modulation strategy to be used and the system topologies leading to development of the model-based computer-aided design (CAD) environment. They then used the system to design three demonstrators, which were tested to verify modelling advances by measurements. The model and experimental results showed convincing consistency, validating the design environment. The performance of designed systems was improved relative to existing systems with regard to power consumption and dynamic.

Thus, RPC-HVTS-DCS delivered a novel CAD environment for the design and optimization of resonant converters for reliable and powerful DCSs, overcoming the challenge of extreme wide output range. The development is expected to decrease costs, required expertise and time-to-market. This should increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in the field.

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