DCDC Converter for charging and discharging
supercapacitors used in electric hybrid cars.
eovsk Zd. Pavelka Vl.
Czech Technical University Prague, Faculty of electrical Engineering
Technicka 2, CVUT FEL K314
CZ 16627 Prague 6, Czech Republic
Tel. ++420 224 352 157 Fax: ++420 233 339 972
email: cerovsky@fel.cvut.cz
email: pavelkv@fel.cvut.cz
Keywords:
Hybrid vehicles, Emerging technologies, Automotive components, DC power supplies, Test bench
Abstract:
Experimental working stand for electric and hybrid car drive research was projected in the Research
Centre JB at the Technical University in Prague. Super capacitors are implemented. They are able to
accept the kinetic energy during breaking the vehicle and regenerate it during next speeding up. The
power at which the energy can be transferred via DCDC converter is studied in this paper. It is
limited by the duty factor of the DC DC converter and by the resistance R in the converter circuit
mainly. The ratio of the super capacitor and intermediate traction circuit voltages and the inductivity
of the inductance in the DC DC converter influence the maximum power at which the energy can be
transferred via DCDC converter too but not so drastically.
1 Introduction.
The history of electric surface transportation is a history of successful electric component development
in electric locomotives. Demands of this electric drives branch have contributed to the electrical
engineering progress a lot. Electric car and hybrid electric car stood in the shadow of electric railway
rush development for a long time. But new technologies in electrical engineering refresh repeatedly
the interest of researchers, engineers and producers.
The fuelcells and supercapacitors are in present time the most promising new technologies. The
supercapacitors are not capable to store sufficient energy comparable with fuel tank or electric
batteries but nevertheless they are able to accept the energy during breaking the vehicle and regenerate
it during next speeding up. The dynamic of super capacitors is high. Special problems occur on
experimental working stand on the DCDC converter connecting the supercapacitor with the DC
intermediatecircuit of traction converters. The reasonable voltage of supercapacitors is rather low
and the voltage to which the energy should be regenerated may be rather high. They are some
limitations for the DCDC converter power transfer between super capacitor and intermediate traction
converter.
2 Experimental working stand description
Experimental working stand was projected in the Research Centre JB at the Technical University in
Prague. The scheme is depicted in Fig.1. The internal consumption engine ICE is simulated by a
controlled electric ac motor ACM1 supplied by the power converter EC1. Rotor of special
synchronous permanent magnet generator SGPM is firmly coupled with the ACM1 shaft. Stator is
firmly coupled with car wheels and rotates with the speed proportional to the car velocity. On this
shaft is inserted traction motor TM. Generator SGPM and traction motor TM are electrically
connected through EC3 power electronic converter set. Traction resistance is simulated with controlled
ac motor ACM2 supplied by the power converter EC2. A super capacitor is connected with power
converter set EC3 by a DCDC converter. It acts as an energy buffer.
2.1 Parameters of the experimental set
The output of both ACM1 and ACM2 motors is the same 7.5 kW, 3 x 400 V, 0 6000 min
1
,
maximum torque 31 Nm.
The output of the special permanent magnet synchronous generator SGPM with rotating stator and
rotor is 5 kW, 4000 min
1
, maximum speed 6000 min
1
, 267 Hz, 400 V.
The output of the traction motor TM is 3 kW, 1420 min
1
, max speed 6000 min
1
, 400 V.
The super capacitor capacity is 100F, full charged voltage 56V, maximum current 400 A.
2.2 Description of the function
During start of the car when ACM2 speed is zero the ACM1 torque is transmitted via SGPM
synchronous generator air gap to the SGPM stator. Conventional fixed stator would fasten this torque
by the foot but electric split device SGPM transmits it to the output shaft and adds it to the traction
motor TM torque. When the ACM2 shaft is
turning then SGPM torque transfers
mechanical power that increases with output shaft speed. Traction motor power decreases because
SGPM differential speed decreases too. Power and losses in electric machines fall and power
transmission efficiency increases. Electric power splitting generator SGPM supplies the traction motor
via EC3 converter. When stator SGPM speed is near to the rotor SGPM speed the clutch ELM will
switch on and power transmission from ACM1 to ACM2 takes place on a pure mechanical way.
SUPER CAPACITOR
With DCDC converter
EC2 EC1
Fig.2. Test room view
U
1
C
1
L R
C
2
U
2
T
1
T
2
Fig.3. Scheme of the DCDC converter
D
1
D2
i
1
i
2
3 Mathematical model of the DCDC converter
The scheme of the DCDC converter is on the Fig.3.
We want to analyse the energy transfer from the supercapacitor C
2
(the voltage of which is rather
low) into the capacitor C
1
(the
voltage of which is rather high).
The aim is to find what output can
be transferred at what voltage ratio
U2/U1 and how it is influenced by
inductance L and resistance R and
by different duty factors. We
assume in the first state ideal
transistors with zero switching
time. Later on we introduce the
real transistor properties with real switching time.
3.1 Ideal transistors.
Two current shapes can occur. In the first case current i
2
is uninterrupted, in the second case it is
interrupted. Both cases are depicted in the Fig. 4.
Let us denote:
R
L
=
factor duty
T
T
z
on
= =
frequency
T
f
1
=
T
p
is time when i
1
reaches the value zero
f
z
p
e U U
U U
T
=
2 1
2 1
ln
z
mez
is the minimal duty factor at which
current i
2
is uninterrupted
1
2 1
1
1
ln 1
U
f
e U U
f z
mez


.

\

+ =
I
min
is the minimal value of uninterrupted current i
2
pulsation.
f
f
z
e
e
R
U
R
U
I
1
1
1 2
min
1
1
=
I
max
is the maximal value of i
2
pulsation.
f
z
f
z
f
f f
z
e I e
R
U
e
e e
R
U
R
U
I
+


.

\

=
=
min
2
1
1
1 2
max
1
1
z
max
is duty factor for the wanted I
max
i
T
2
i
1
i
2
Current i
2
is un
interrupted.
(continuous)
i
T
i
1
T
p
i
2
Current i
2
is
interrupted
Fig.4. Possible current shapes


.

\

=
2
max
max
1 ln
U
RI
f z
p
for interrupted i
2
(
(


.

\



.

\

+ =
f
n
e
U
RI U
f z
1
1
max 2
max
1 1 1 ln for uninterrupted i
2
.
I
CAV
is average current value from or into appropriate capacitor
( )
R
U U f T zU
I
p
AVp C
1 2 2
2
+
= for interrupted current from supercapacitor C
2
( )
R
z U U
I
AVn C
=
1
1 2
2
for continuous current from supercapacitor C
2
R
U U
fT e I
R
U U
f I
p
T
AVp C
p
2 1
max
2 1
1
1


.

\


.

\

+
for interrupted current into the
capacitor C
1
( )
R
U U
z e I
R
U U
f I
f
z
AVn C
2 1
1
max
2 1
1
1 1


.

\


.

\

+
for continuous current into capacitor C
1
P
C2
is output power from the capacitor C
2
2 2 2
U I P
AV C C
=
P
C1
is input power into the capacitor C
1
1 1 1
U I P
AV C C
=
3.2 Real transistors
Real transistor cannot switch on and off immediately. How is the real transistor simulated is shown on
the Fig.5.
The switching off time consists
of delay time t
sv
, voltage rise
time t
v
, rapid drop and tailing
time t
i1
and t
i2
. The process takes
together approximately 10s.
The time at which the transistor
T2 should be off is at switching
frequency 5kHz and duty factor
0.9T 20s. We shall see that the
features of transistor are
important.
4 Results of simulation.
Calculations were made for ideal and real transistor.
4.1 Ideal transistor calculation.
4.1.1 Influence of duty factor.
In Fig. 6. are depicted efficiency , power P
1AV
which is pumped from the capacitor C
2
into C
1
during
switching period as function of duty factor z. Parameters for which the calculation holds are:
Switch off
Switch on
i
T
u
T
i
T
u
T
t
sv
t
v
t
i1
t
i2
t
sz
t
z
t
u1
t
u2
Fig.5. Switch off and switch on transistor characteristics
Switching frequency f=10kHz,
U
1
=400V, U
2
=56V (dash curve),
U
2
= 33V(full curve), L=0,9mH,
R=0,15.
From the I
max
curve follows that
at low duty factor the I
max
grows
slowly because the current i
2
is
interrupted. Therefore the
pumped power is low. Starting
from the point at which the
current begins to be continuous
P
1AV
grows and reaches its
maximum at some special duty
factor value z
Pmax
. The
conditions for power pumping
are worse when the capacitor C
2
voltage is low. Also the efficiency of the energy transfer is worse.
The influence of capacitor C
2
voltage U
2
on the power transfer is depicted on Fig. 7, where the voltage
U
1
=400V was hold constant and the voltage U
2
changes. It can be seen that the power at which the
energy can be pumped from the capacitor C
2
and transferred into the capacitor C1 is limited.
At our test bank the maximum C
2
voltage is 56V and the power transfer from the supercapacitor C
2
is
limited to 5.2kW. For the test bank with machinery power of 3kW it is quite enough. This fact
influences the control strategy for the optimal use of super capacitor on a hybrid vehicle. The strategy
has to balance the energy flow under changing conditions of different drive demands. This task lies
outside of the aim of this paper.
4.1.2 Influence of resistance R.
It can be seen from Fig.6 that there is a
special factor duty z
Pmax
at which the
power input into the intermediate circuit is at
its maximum. At higher z
Pmax
the power
output from the supercapacitor grows
further but the power input into the
intermediate circuit begins to fall down. It is
possible to prove that the power input into
the intermediate circuit is at its maximum
when the power transfer efficiency is 50%. It
holds for average current values:
5 . 0
2 2
1 1
2
1
=
U I
U I
P
P
AV
AV
AV
AV
It is evident that the power transfer
maximum takes place at uninterrupted
current only. When we assume that the time
constant is high (>>T) then the current time
course during different transistor switching
mode is linear. For average current values
then holds:
( ) z I I
AV AV
= 1
2 1
Fig.6. Energy pumping from the supercapacitor having
U
2
=56V, resp.33V by ideal transistor.
0.85 0.9 0.95 1
0
100
200
300
400
Cerpani energie ze superkondenzatoru
z []
I
max
P
1AV
U
2
=33V
U
2
=56V
U
1
=400V
f=10kHz
L=0.9mH
R=0.15
0
20
40
60
80
100
0
4
8
12
16
P [kW] I [A]
[%]
Energy transfer from C
2
into C
1
0,0
50,0
100,0
150,0
200,0
250,0
0,0 50,0 100,0 150,0 200,0 250,0
Voltage U2
P
u
m
p
e
d
p
o
w
e
r
P
1
Fig. 7. Power transfer from the super capacitor
into the intermediate circuit by ideal transistor
as function of supercapacitor voltage
Introducing this equation into the previous one where z equals z
Pmax
we get
( )
5 . 0
1
2
1 max
=
U
U z
P
For the average current value I
2AV
holds
( )
R
U U z
I
AV
2 1
2
1
=
For the maximum power input into the intermediate circuit we get using last three equations:
( )
( )
( )
R
U
R
U U
U
z
R
U U z
z
U
I U P
P
P
P
AV AV
4
2
1
2
1
1
1 2
2
2
2 2
2
max
2 1 max
max
2
1 1 1
=
=
= =
We can do following conclusion:
Maximum power that can be pumped from the supercapacitor into the intermediate circuit does not
depend on the intermediate circuit voltage. It depends only on the supercapacitor voltage and on the
circuit resistance. Fig.8 shows the maximum possible transferred power for different circuit resistances
R against the supercapacitor voltage. Let us stress on this place that this result holds for ideal
transistor with switching time zero. In next paragraph the influence of real transistor will be studied.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
SuperCapaciter Voltage
M
a
x
i
m
u
m
t
r
a
n
s
f
e
r
r
e
d
p
o
w
e
r
P
1
R=0,05
R=0,1
R=0,15
4.1.3 Influence of the inductance L.
Assuming ideal transistors with zero switching time the maximum power that can be pumped from the
supercapacitor into the intermediate circuit does not depend on the circuit inductance.
Fig. 8. Maximum possible transferred power for different circuit
resistances R.
4.2 Real transistor calculation
Mathematical model of the real
transistor is based on transistor
characteristics in the Fig. 5.
Two important features, different from
the previous case, when zero switching
time of transistor was assumed, are:
The first one is loss in transistor during
switching on and off. The second one is
the fact that the real switching time
produces in the real inductance real
voltage only.
The difference between ideal transistor
theory and real transistor theory is
shown in Fig.9. Three C
2
capacitor voltages 56V, 40V and 30V
were taken in account. Dashed curves
are results of ideal transistor theory and
full curves of real transistor theory. The
capacitor C
1
voltage was 400V for all
three cases. It is seen that the real
transistor diminishes the transferred
power.
The comparison of the maximum power
that can be transferred from the super
capacitor into the intermediate circuit is
depicted in Fig.10. The maximum power
depends not only on the super capacitor
voltage U
2
but also on the intermediate
circuit voltage U
1
, which is in our
simulation represented by the capacitor
C
1
voltage
5 Conclusion
SuperCapacitor is a high dynamic device able to store energy for later use during driving on hybrid
electric vehicles. With respect to the DCDC converter and used transistors the power transfer between
super capacitor and intermediate DC circuit is limited by resistance between supercapacitor and
traction intermediate circuit. Further more it is influenced by ratio of super capacitor and intermediate
circuit voltages. The lower resistance is advantageous not only for the power transfer dynamic but also
for the high transfer efficiency. The inductivity of the inductance influences the current pulsation. The
inductance selection has to be a compromise between low resistance and low current pulsation
0.85 0.9 0.95 1
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
z []
P
1
A
V
[
k
W
]
30V
40V
56V
U
1
=400V
f=10kHz
L=0.9mH
R=0.15
Fig.9. Energy pumping from the supercapacitor
having U
2
=56V, 40V .33V by ideal and real transistor.
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
U2 [V]
P
1
[
k
W
]
ideal
real
f=10kHz
L=0.9mH
R=0.15
U
1
=400V
U
1
=100V
Fig. 10. Power transfer from the super capacitor into
the intermediate circuit by ideal or real transistor as
function of supercapacitor voltage
demand. There is a special duty factor of the DCDC converter at which the transferred power is at its
maximum.
The comparison between ideal transistor and real transistor can reveal following results for real
transistor:
1. The maximum transferred power is limited by the circuit resistance R
2. The maximum transferred power is influenced by the intermediate circuit voltage.
3. The maximum transferred power takes place at higher duty factor for real transistor then for
ideal transistor.
4. There is a maximum duty factor that cannot be raised up because of blanking time of the
transistor in the DCDC converter. The real maximum duty factor is lower then 1
6 Reference list
1. Mohan N., Undeland T.M., Robbins W.P.: Power electronics, John Willey and Sons 1989.
2. Westbrook M.H.: The electric and hybridelectric car, Society of Automotive Erngineers,
ISBN 0 7680 0897 2, 2001.
3. Denton T.: Automobile Electrical and Electronic Systems, SAE International ISBN 0 340
73195 8.
4. eovsk Z., Flgl S., Hanu P., Mindl P.:Hybrid drives and hybrid energy transfer (in Czech),
Proceedings of XXVII Electric drive Conference Plzen 2001, P.7378, ISBN 8002014340