Self-Oscillating Unified Linearizing Modulator

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Virginia Tech

The continuous conduction mode (CCM) boost, buck-boost and buck-boost derived pulse-width modulation dc-dc converters suffer from the large-signal control-to-output nonlinearity. Without feedback control, the large-signal control-to-output nonlinearity would lead to output overregulation and even damage the components.

The control gain is defined as the ratio of output voltage to control signal. The small-signal control gain is defined as differentiating output voltage with respect to control signal.

Feedback control helps to make the output trace the reference signal. A large-signal control-to-output linearity is established. Compared with open loop control, the feedback loop design is complex; and the feedback control might suffer from the instability caused by the negative small-signal control gain, which is due to the loss and parasitic in practice.

Except feedback control, open loop linearization methods can also realize the large-signal control-to-output linearity.

A modulated-ramp pulse-width modulation generator is introduced in [6]. A current source works as the control signal. A capacitor is charged by the current source, whose voltage works as the carrier and compared with a constant dc bias voltage to determine the duty cycle. When applying this method to boost, buck-boost and buck-boost derived PWM dc-dc converters, a large-signal control-to-output linearity is established. However, the control gain is dependent on the input voltage; it cannot maintain constant when input voltage varies.

A feedforward pulse width modulator is introduced in [39] to realize a large-signal control-to-output linearity. The static conversion ratio is divided into numerator and denominator as the functions of duty cycle. An integrator with reset clock signal helps to determine the right timing. The control gain is ideally constant and independent of input voltage. However, the mismatch between the integrator time constant and the switching period would result in a nonlinear control gain, which is dependent on the input voltage.

In the thesis work, a self-oscillating unified linearizing modulator is introduced. It first provides a unified procedure to establish a large-signal control-to-output linearity for different pulse-width modulation dc-dc converters. Feedforward is employed to mitigate the impact from line voltage. Self-oscillation is adopted to provide the internal clock signal and to determine the switching frequency. A constant control gain is obtained, independent on the input voltage or the mismatch between clock signals. The modulator is constructed by three simple and standard building blocks. With the considerations of parasitic components and loss, how to design the constant gain, which excludes the negative small-signal control gain within the entire control signal range, is analyzed and discussed.

The performance of this self-oscillating unified linearizing modulator is verified by experiments. The impacts from propagation delay in practical components are taken into considerations, which improves the quality of generated signals. Combined with a boost converter, a good large-signal control-to-output linearization is demonstrated.

In the future work, the small-signal control-to-output transfer function is first deduced based on the SOUL modulator. Bode plots show the unique characteristic based on the SOUL modulator compared with the conventional modulator. Next, the impacts from this unique characteristic to feedback loop design and dynamic performance are discussed.

large-signal control-to-output linearization, pulse width modulator, switching power converters, boost converter