Isolated dc/dc converters are increasingly employed as key components in data center, aerospace and electrical distribution, because of their capability to guarantee controllability and improve system efficiency despite power electronics is still more prone to failure with respect to other components of such systems. Fault-tolerant operation, when needed, is typically achieved through redundancy, which entails higher costs. The goal of U-HEART is to obtain fault-tolerant operation of the isolated dc/dc converter avoiding redundancy. This will lead to larger acceptance in industry, typically very skeptical when it comes to higher costs. In 2017 we have applied for a patent covering isolated dc/dc converters based on a multi-winding transformer, which can ride-through failures by means of the reconfigurability of the system and of the self-healing capacity of the cells. The hardware is reconfigurable because a part of the magnetic core with the associated winding and associated power module can be removed and self-healing because in case of a failure, the healthy part of the system realizes a different power converter function. The software will guarantee that the resulting dc/dc converter will be able to operate with one cell less or with its reconfigured version. The goal is that after a failure the overall system maintains the original functionality.
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