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  1. Broad-scale modeling and optimization play a vital role in the design of advanced power converters. Optimization is normally implemented via brute force iterations of design variables or utilizing metaheuristic techniques which are time consuming for a wide range of potential topologies, device implementations, and operating points. Recently, discrete time state-space modeling has shown merits in rapid analysis and generality to arbitrary circuit topologies but has not yet been utilized under rapid optimization techniques across multiple converter parameters. In this work, we investigate methods to incorporate rapid gradient-based optimization techniques to leverage discrete time state-space modeling and showcase the approach in the power converter design process. The method is validated on a 48-to-1V converter designed using the proposed techniques. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 25, 2024
  2. Schematic-level optimization and steady-state loss modeling play a vital role in the design of advanced power converters. Recently, discrete time state-space modeling has shown merits in rapid analysis and generality to arbitrary circuit topologies but has not yet been utilized under rapid optimization techniques. In this work, we investigate methods for the incorporation of rapid gradient-based optimization techniques leveraging discrete time state-space modeling and showcase the utility of the approach for use in the converter design process. 
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  3. In this paper, a wireless charging architecture employing a multilevel switched-capacitor (MSC) AC-DC rectifier is investigated. The proposed MSC rectifier features a multilevel design which is scalable to accommodate different power ratings and load ranges. The topology showcases advantages for wireless power transfer (WPT) systems in terms of compactness, efficiency, impedance tunability, and harmonic attenuation. The single-stage active topology is capable of varying its low-distortion staircase input voltage to tune the wireless power transfer system for high system-wide efficiency. A 7-level, 20 W prototype is used to verify the WPT loading and loss analysis. The prototype operates at 150 kHz with up to 3:1 step-down conversion ratio to an output voltage of 5.0 V. The experimental peak DC-to-DC efficiency is 93.8% and the rectifier peak efficiency is 98.3%. The rectifier demonstrates low waveform distortion and high efficiency across many WPT loading conditions, solidifying its place as a strong candidate for wireless power applications. 
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  4. Power electronic inverters for photovoltaic (PV) systems over the years have trended towards high efficiency and power density. However, reliability improvements of inverters have received less attention. Inverters are one of the lifetime-limiting elements in most PV systems. Their failures increase system operation and maintenance costs, contributing to an increased lifetime energy cost of the PV system. Opportunities exist to increase inverter reliability through design for reliability techniques and the use of new modular topologies, semiconductor devices, and energy buffering schemes. This paper presents the implementation and design for reliability for a GaN-based single-phase residential string inverter using a new topological and control scheme that allows dynamic hardware allocation (DHA). In the proposed inverter architecture, a range of identical modules and control schemes are used to dispatch hardware resources within the inverter to variably deliver power to the load or filter the second harmonic current on the DC side. This new approach more than triples the lifetime of GaN-based inverters, reducing system repair/replacement costs, and increasing the PV system lifetime energy production. 
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  5. Active rectifiers enhance WPT systems via tunability, high efficiency, and low waveform distortion. However, utilizing these benefits requires that two circuit characteristics are managed simultaneously: the switching frequency must be synchronized to the transmitter and the output must be regulated. Furthermore, the fundamental benefit of impedance tunability inherent to the active rectifier necessitates that this dual-objective control problem remains stable over a wide range of operating points. Either control loop can be designed in isolation, and under this premise, this work contributes a closed form derivation for the cross-coupling behaviors in the control architecture for a 7-level switched capacitor WPT system. Finally, regions of attenuated cross-coupling effects are identified and used to experimentally demonstrate wide-range control with stable output regulation and frequency synchronization. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    In wireless power transfer (WPT) applications, the multi-level switched capacitor topology achieves significant advantages in terms of efficiency, system loading, THD, and output regulation. The topology requires dual-loop control in order to harness these benefits. First, a small signal discrete time model for the 7-level rectifier WPT system is developed. Then, a control loop is designed that enables the rectifier to regulate DC load voltage by varying its modulation scheme. Next, the WPT carrier frequency is sensed and a phase-locked loop is used in combination with the small signal power stage model to design a closed-loop controller that synchronizes frequency and regulates control phase through adjustments of the switching period. Finally, cross-coupling interactions between the two control loops are modeled, and stable dual-loop operation is shown. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Steady-state modeling plays an important role in the design of advanced power converters. Typically, steady-state modeling is completed by time-stepping simulators, which may be slow to converge to steady-state, or by dedicated analysis, which is time-consuming to develop across multiple topologies. Discrete time state-space modeling is a uniform approach to rapidly simulate arbitrary power converter designs. However, the approach requires modification to capture state-dependent switching, such as diode switching or current programmed modulation. This work provides a framework to identify and correct state-dependent switching within discrete time state-space modeling and shows the utility of the proposed method within the power converter design process. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    In wireless power transfer systems, active rectifiers demonstrate improved efficiency and regulation capability. To enable impedance or output regulation, ensure stable operation, and maximize the efficiency, switching actions of the rectifier have to be synchronized with the magnetic field generated from the transmitter coil. This work presents an implementation of a phase- locked-loop synchronization controller using commercial components, including a low-cost microcontroller. A discrete-time small-signal model is used to derive the transfer function of the inherent feedback and design a compensator stabilizing the synchronization loop. Large-signal state-space modeling is used to design a high-efficiency, soft-switching, 6.78MHz power stage. A low-profile, 40W, GaN-based rectifier prototype is designed and built to experimentally verify the ability to synchronize and achieve high efficiency due to soft-switching. 
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  9. This paper presents the design and implementation of a boundary current mode (BCM) modulated GaN-based single phase inverter using a combination of bipolar and unipolar switching. Both unipolar and bipolar BCM-switched full bridge inverters are explored in detail in the context of efficiency, output current distortion and leakage current. Although the unipolar switched BCM inverter results in a higher efficiency in comparison to the bipolar switched inverter, it leads to a higher output current distortion at the low frequency zero crossing. On the other hand, the bipolar switched BCM inverter yields a low leakage current and reduced output current distortion, but exhibits lower efficiency. To overcome the low frequency zero crossing current distortion while maintaining a high efficiency, a combination of bipolar and unipolar switching in a BCM inverter is proposed. An experimental prototype has been built to validate the proposed control technique and modulation scheme. The proposed approach achieves a 2% efficiency improvement in comparison to the standard bipolar switched BCM inverter and a THD of 1.15%. 
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