Design and implementation of Silicon-Carbide-based Four-Switch Buck-Boost DCDC Converter for DC Microgrid Applications

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Virginia Tech


With the increasing demand for clean and renewable energy, new distribution network concepts, such as DC microgrids and distributed power generation networks, are being developed. One key component of such networks is the grid-interfacing DC-DC power converter that can transfer power bi-directionally while having a wide range of voltage step-up and step-down capabilities. Also, with the proliferated demand for electric vehicle chargers, battery energy storage systems, and solid-state transformers (SST), the bi-directional high-power DC-DC converter plays a more significant role in the renewable energy industry.

To satisfy the requirements of the high-power bi-directional wide-range DC-DC converter, different topologies have been compared in this thesis, and the four-switch buck-boost (FSBB) converter topology has been selected as the candidate. This work investigates the operation principle of the FSBB converter, and a digital real-time low-loss quadrangle current mode(QCM) control implementation, which satisfies the zero-voltage-switching (ZVS) requirements, is proposed. With the QCM control method, the FSBB converter efficiency can be further increased by reducing the inductor RMS current and device switching loss compared to traditional continuous current mode(CCM) control and discontinuous current mode(DCM) control. Although the small signal model has been derived for FSBB under CCM control, the small ripple approximation that was previously used in the CCM model no longer applies in the QCM model and causing the model to be different. To aid the control system compensator design, QCM small signal model is desired. In this thesis, a small signal model for FSBB under QCM control is proposed.

A 50 kW silicon carbide (SiC) based grid-interfacing converter prototype was constructed to verify the QCM control implementation and small signal model of the FSBB converter. For driving the 1.2kV SiC modules, an enhanced gate driver with fiber optic (FO) based digital communication capability was designed. Digital on-state and off-state drain-source voltage sensors and Rogowski coil-based current sensors are embedded in the gate driver to minimize the requirement for external sensors, thus increasing the power density of the converter unit. Also, Rogowski-coil-based current protection and drain-source voltage-based current protection is embedded in the gate driver to prevent SiC switching device from damage.



DC-DC converter, Zero Voltage Switching, Gate driver, Solid State Power Substation, Silicon Carbide