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SCYR 2010 - 10th Scientific Conference of Young Researchers FEI TU of Koice

DC/DC resonant converter for PV system

Erik ETVS,2Marcel BODOR
Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics and Industrial Engineering, FEI TU of Koice, Slovak Republic

Abstract Step-up DC/DC converter, as a part of the Considering that it is required to have the high efficiency
photovoltaic (PV) system is described in the paper. The system and an electrical isolation the series resonant LLC half-bridge
consists of the mentioned DC/DC converter and single phase converter was chosen [1]. Principal scheme of the LLC
inverter, and they together serve for transmission of the energy
converter is shown in Fig.1. It consists of the half-bridge
from PV panels to the grid. The converter is based on the LLC
resonant architecture. The task of the converter is to increase and inverter, created by power MOSFET switches, from which the
control of the output voltage, which is supply voltage for in the resonant tank is supplied.
cascade connected inverter. The converter also provides the The resonant tank of the converter comprises of series LS
electrical isolation of PV panels from the grid. It is controlled by and parallel inductance LP and the resonant capacitor CR.
an 8-bit microcontroller unit (MCU), which also tracks maximum On secondary side of the transformer there is a full-bridge
power point (MPP) to achieve maximum available power from
rectifier with a filter capacitor.
PV. The converter operates at high switching frequency to
achieve small size of the power transformer. The main benefit of
this converter consists in zero-voltage switching (ZVS) of the II. PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION
primary MOSFETs and zero-current switching (ZCS) of the The power MOSFETs are switched with variable frequency
rectifier diodes over the entire operating range. Laboratory with fixed 50% duty cycle and no overlapping. The resonant
model with maximum 95.5% efficiency was built to verify the
properties of the LLC resonant DC/DC converter.
tank has two main resonant frequencies. The higher resonant
frequency fR depends on the series inductance and the
KeywordsLLC resonant converter, ZVS, ZCS. resonant capacitor and is calculated by using (1). The lower
resonant frequency f0 of the resonant tank depends on the
series inductance, the resonant capacitor and also on the series
I. INTRODUCTION inductance (2). If switching frequency is higher than fR, the
converter operates always in the inductive area. It means that
In nowadays the renewable energy resources are used
the resonant tank current lags input voltage square waveform,
increasingly. The photovoltaics is the most dynamically and therefore switches work under ZVS condition. Below the
developing field of the renewable energy sources. It is desired f0 resonant frequency, the resonant tank behaves as a
to use the renewable energy sources with maximal efficiency. capacitive load. Therefore resonant tank current leads the
One of the possibilities how increase the efficiency of a PV input voltage. Switches works under ZCS condition. The area
system, is to increase the efficiency of an inverter. There are between f0 and fR is split by a borderline to the capacitive
quantities of inverters for PV systems on the market. Some and the inductive region. The operating point in this area
inverters include DC/DC step-up converter, depending on depends on the load of the converter. When the switching
whether the inverter is connected to the string of PV panels frequency is equal to the resonant frequency fR, the voltage
with voltage higher than the maximum value of the grid gain of the resonant tank is 1. It means that converter is load
voltage. There is a problem with capacitive currents flowing independent. At normal operation condition, the operating
through the inverter when using thin layer PV panels. One point should be placed near to this resonant frequency. Fig. 2.
possible solution is to use the DC/DC converter with a shows voltage gain curves of resonant tank for few load
transformer. conditions. We can see the capacitive region on the left side of
Described converter should work with input voltage range the borderline and the inductive region on its right side.
from 60V to 100V. The required output voltage (input voltage
1 (1) 1 (2)
for the inverter) is 400V and maximum output power should fR = f0 =
be about 600W. 2 LS C R 2 ( L S + L P )C R

1 (3)
M (Q , f N , ) =
2 2

1 +

+ Q2 fN

2 fN

2 Z 0 POUT Z 0 = 2 f R L R
Q= 2
(4) (5)
Fig. 1. Principal scheme of the LLC converter. 8 n 2V OUT
SCYR 2010 - 10th Scientific Conference of Young Researchers FEI TU of Koice

voltages rise slowly, because the output capacitance of

LS f SW MOSFET is charging.
= (6) fN = (7)

M: 600W
1,8 borderline
Resonant gain characteristics M

M: 500W
1,6 M: 400W

1,4 inductive M: 300W

M: 200W
1,2 region
M: 0W

1 borderline
0,6 Fig. 3. Characteristic waveforms of collector emitter voltage and
f0 0,80
fR 1,00 1,20 1,40 1,60
collector current of half-bridge switches.
Normalized frequency fn

Fig. 2. Voltage gain curves of the resonant tank.

On the bottom picture there are waveforms of current and
voltage of the rectifier diode D1. The current through the
The voltage gain curves are calculated using (3), where Q diode starts and stops flowing when voltage is near to zero.
is quality factor (4), is inductance ratio (6) and fN is the Therefore the switching losses are minimal.
normalized frequency (7).

The Z0is the characteristic impedance (5) and n in (4) is

the turn ratio of the transformer [2]-[6].
The operation of converter we can explain according to
Fig. 3. in the next six phases:
1. The resonant tank current from the previous phase is
flowing now through the body diode of Q1. It causes
that the voltage across Q1 drops to zero, and creates
the zero voltage condition for the lossless turn-on of
the switch.
2. Now the current flows through Q1, and has quasi
sinusoidal character. Therefore the turn-off current is
Fig. 4. Simulated waveforms of voltages and currents on switch Q1 and
much smaller. diode D1.
3. Q1 and Q2 are switched-off. The current of Q1 drops
to zero immediately, but the voltage across the switch
rises slowly due to the charging of the output III. LABORATORY MODEL OF THE CONVERTER
capacitance of the MOSFET. It reduces the turn-off The laboratory model of the resonant converter was built.
losses. Parameters of the model:
4. Like in the first phase, the resonant tank current flows Input voltage range VIN = 60-100V.
through the body diode but now of the switch Q2. Output voltage VOUT = 400V.
The voltage of Q2 falls to zero. The switch is turned Output power POUT = 600W.
on. When the circuit was designed, there was a need to solve
5. The current flows through Q2 similarly to the second few problems. Because the converter operates at high
phase. frequency and in addition with high currents, each part of
6. Switches Q1 and Q2 are switched-off again. The circuit must by able to withstand this condition. When
current of Q2 falls to zero, but the voltage rises
choosing discrete components, such as MOSFETs and rectifier
slowly again due to charging of the transistor output
diodes, we must care; that they should have minimal loses in
capacitance [7].
active mode and short switching times. But there is not
7. SIMULATION problem with the maximum operating voltage, because the
voltage stress is very low due to soft switching.
The resonant converter was simulated in LTSpice IV program. The input and resonant capacitors must handle very high
Components of the resonant tank were calculated by equations load current at high frequency. Quality capacitors of KPI
presented in chapter II. Working frequency was set to 150
type are suitable to fulfil these conditions.
kHz. The collector current and collector-emitter voltage of the
The transformer can be designed so that it integrates the
switch Q1 are shown in Fig. 4 (upper waveforms). It can be
series and the parallel inductance in one circuit. In classic
seen there that the switch Q1 starts to conduct when voltage of
the switch is zero and thus ZVS is achieved for primary transformer, the parallel inductance can by replaced by a
switches. When Q1 is turned-off, the current falls to zero, but magnetizing inductance, and series inductance by a primary
SCYR 2010 - 10th Scientific Conference of Young Researchers FEI TU of Koice

leakage inductance. But there is problem with inductance ratio connect to the inverter and verify the operation of the whole
between magnetizing and leakage inductance, because the converter.
ratio is very small. One solution is to integrate an air gap into
the magnetic circuit of the transformer. By adjusting the air Efficiency measurement
gap; we can control the size of the magnetizing inductance and
thereby also the inductance ratio (6). For winding we must use
litz-wire to avoid a skin effect in a conductor [8].

High/Low side driver is used for driving of the MOSFETs. 0,93

The driver is controlled by the 8-bit MCU. The circuit has a 0,92

voltage feedback with an optocoupler. 0,91


The converter was connected to the DC voltage source, and 0,88

loaded by an adjustable resistor. Input voltage was set to 90V. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Voltages and currents of primary MOSFETs and secondary Load (%)

rectifier diodes were measured by a digital oscilloscope. Fig. 6. Measured efficiency of converter.
Result is in Fig. 5. Waveforms of the voltage and the current
of the MOSFET Q1 are in the top picture and waveforms of
the voltage and the current of the rectifier diode are below.
We can see that the current starts to flow when voltage across ACKNOWLEDGMENT
MOSFET is zero and thus ZVS is achieved. Moreover, the This work was supported by Slovak Research and
switch-off current is minimal. The current through the rectifier Development Agency under project APVV-0095-07 and by
diode starts to flow when the voltage is near to zero. It means Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education of
small switching loss. The voltage of the diode starts to rise Slovak Republic under the contract VEGA No. 1/0099/09.
when current falls to zero. The ZCS of the diode is achieved,
too. If we look at waveforms of both voltages, we do not see
any voltage spikes. It means that there is no voltage stress REFERENCES
across MOSFETs and rectifier diodes. Therefore we can use
[1] Ya Liu, High Efficiency Optimization of LLC Resonant Converter for
these components with lower break down voltage, but with Wide Load Range, Blacksburg, Virginia 2007
better other parameters. [2] Bo Yang, Topology Investigation Front End DC/DC Power
Conversion for Distributed System, Virginia 2003
[3] ST Microelectronics, LLC resonant half-bridge converter design
guideline, October 2007
[4] Mingping Mao, Dimitar Tchobanov, Dong Li, Martin Maerz, Tobias
Gerber, Gerald Deboy, Leo Lorenz, Analysis and Design of a 1MHz
LLC Resonant Converter with Coreless Transformer Driver, 2007
[5] Hang-Seok Choi/Ph.D, FPS Application group, Half-bridge LLC
Resonant Converter Design Using FSFR-series Fairchild Power
Switch, 2007
[6] Christophere Basso, Understanding the LLC Structure in Resonant
Applications, 2008
[7] STMicroelectronics, Simplified Analysis and Design of Series-
resonant LLC Half-Bridge Converters, 2006
[8] Fu Keung Wong, B. Eng. and M Phil., High Frequency Transformer
for Switching Mode Power Supplies, Griffith University, Brisbane,
Australia, March 2004
[9] Kcsor, G. , pnik, P., Lokeninec, I.: Simulation Analysis of a Zero
Voltage and Zero Current Switching, DC/DC Converter. In
Fig. 5. Measured waveforms of currents and voltages on the primary proceedings: Transcom 03, ilina, Slovak Republic, 23 25 June
MOSFET and the rectifier diode. 2003, pp. 47-50
[10] Hamar, J., Buti, B., Nagy,I.: Dual Channel Resonant DC-DC Converter
Next was measured the efficiency of the converter. The Family. EPE Journal, Volume 17, Issue 3, Jul-Sep. 2007, pp.5-15.
converter was loaded from 10% to 100%. Results are in a
graph in Fig. 6. As we can see, the efficiency is high in wide
range of load, especially over 30% load. In 50% load the
efficiency reaches its maximum, and up to 100% load, slowly

The resonant converter with LLC topology has many
advantages compared to other converters. Due to the high
efficiency over the entire operation range, the converter is well
suitable for applications such as PV systems.
Next I am going to build the compact version of the
converter, implement the MPPT function and connect the
converter to the simulated PV panel DC source. Afterwards,