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Proceedings Paper

Modular DC-DC converter system for energy harvesting with EAPs
Author(s): L. Eitzen; C. Graf; J. Maas
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Paper Abstract

Energy harvesting with EAPs requires an energy-efficient power electronics providing a bidirectional energy transfer and operating voltages of up to several kilovolts. A possibility to achieve a high energy-efficiency for high voltage conversion is the use of a modular converter system consisting of several bidirectional converter modules, which are connected in series on the converter output side and in parallel at the input side. Since each converter stage provides only a part of the overall converter output voltage, the converter module output voltages can effectively be reduced by choosing the number of cascaded converter modules appropriately. This allows the use of standard semiconductor switches with superior electrical characteristics compared to high voltage semiconductors, enabling a high energy-efficiency and smaller passive components. Since EAP devices exhibit a mainly capacitive behavior and a limitation of the operating current is required for electrode protection, the utilized converter structure/topology has to be operated as a controllable current source on the lowest control level, which is achieved by operating the converter modules of the modular converter system with a subordinate closed-looped current control scheme. In order to avoid voltage unbalances among the single converter modules, a method for voltage balancing is presented. For validation, experimental results of a realized bidirectional flyback converter prototype are presented and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2013
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 86870P (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009721
Show Author Affiliations
L. Eitzen, Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe Univ. of Applied Sciences (Germany)
C. Graf, Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe Univ. of Applied Sciences (Germany)
J. Maas, Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe Univ. of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8687:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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