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A boost converter (step-up converter) is a DC-to-DC power converter that steps up voltage (while stepping down current) from its input (supply) to its output (load). It is a class of switched-mode power supply (SMPS) containing at least two semiconductors (a diode and a transistor) and at least one energy storage element: a capacitor, inductor, or the two in combination. To reduce voltage ripple, filters made of capacitors (sometimes in combination with inductors) are normally added to such a converter's output (load-side filter) and input (supply-side filter).
Power for the boost converter can come from any suitable DC source, such as batteries, solar panels, rectifiers, and DC generators. A process that changes one DC voltage to a different DC voltage is called DC to DC conversion. A boost converter is a DC to DC converter with an output voltage greater than the source voltage. A boost converter is sometimes called a step-up converter since it "steps up" the source voltage. Since power () must be conserved, the output current is lower than the source current.
For high efficiency, the switched-mode power supply (SMPS) switch must turn on and off quickly and have low losses. The advent of a commercial semiconductor switch in the 1950s represented a major milestone that made SMPSs such as the boost converter possible. The major DC to DC converters were developed in the early 1960s when semiconductor switches had become available. The aerospace industry’s need for small, lightweight, and efficient power converters led to the converter’s rapid development.
Switched systems such as SMPS are a challenge to design since their models depend on whether a switch is opened or closed. R. D. Middlebrook from Caltech in 1977 published the models for DC to DC converters used today. Middlebrook averaged the circuit configurations for each switch state in a technique called state-space averaging. This simplification reduced two systems into one. The new model led to insightful design equations which helped the growth of SMPS.
Battery power systems often stack cells in series to achieve higher voltage. However, sufficient stacking of cells is not possible in many high voltage applications due to lack of space. Boost converters can increase the voltage and reduce the number of cells. Two battery-powered applications that use boost converters are used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and lighting systems.
The NHW20 model Toyota Prius HEV uses a 500 V motor. Without a boost converter, the Prius would need nearly 417 cells to power the motor. However, a Prius actually uses only 168 cells [ citation needed ] and boosts the battery voltage from 202 V to 500 V. Boost converters also power devices at smaller scale applications, such as portable lighting systems. A white LED typically requires 3.3 V to emit light, and a boost converter can step up the voltage from a single 1.5 V alkaline cell to power the lamp.
An unregulated boost converter is used as the voltage increase mechanism in the circuit known as the 'Joule thief'. This circuit topology is used with low power battery applications, and is aimed at the ability of a boost converter to 'steal' the remaining energy in a battery. This energy would otherwise be wasted since the low voltage of a nearly depleted battery makes it unusable for a normal load. This energy would otherwise remain untapped because many applications do not allow enough current to flow through a load when voltage decreases. This voltage decrease occurs as batteries become depleted, and is a characteristic of the ubiquitous alkaline battery. Since the equation for power is (), and R tends to be stable, power available to the load goes down significantly as voltage decreases.
The key principle that drives the boost converter is the tendency of an inductor to resist changes in current by creating and destroying a magnetic field. In a boost converter, the output voltage is always higher than the input voltage. A schematic of a boost power stage is shown in Figure 1.
(a) When the switch is closed, current flows through the inductor in the clockwise direction and the inductor stores some energy by generating a magnetic field. Polarity of the left side of the inductor is positive.
(b) When the switch is opened, current will be reduced as the impedance is higher. The magnetic field previously created will be destroyed to maintain the current towards the load. Thus the polarity will be reversed (meaning the left side of the inductor will become negative). As a result, two sources will be in series causing a higher voltage to charge the capacitor through the diode D.
If the switch is cycled fast enough, the inductor will not discharge fully in between charging stages, and the load will always see a voltage greater than that of the input source alone when the switch is opened. Also while the switch is opened, the capacitor in parallel with the load is charged to this combined voltage. When the switch is then closed and the right hand side is shorted out from the left hand side, the capacitor is therefore able to provide the voltage and energy to the load. During this time, the blocking diode prevents the capacitor from discharging through the switch. The switch must of course be opened again fast enough to prevent the capacitor from discharging too much.
The basic principle of a Boost converter consists of 2 distinct states (see figure 2):
When a boost converter operates in continuous mode, the current through the inductor () never falls to zero. Figure 3 shows the typical waveforms of inductor current and voltage in a converter operating in this mode.
In the steady state, the DC (average) voltage across the inductor must be zero so that after each cycle the inductor returns the same state, because voltage across the inductor is proportional to rate of change of current through it (explained in more detail below). Note in Figure 1 that the left hand side of L is at and the right hand side of L sees the voltage waveform from Figure 3. The average value of is where D is the duty cycle of the waveform driving the switch. From this we get the ideal transfer function:
We get the same result from a more detailed analysis as follows: The output voltage can be calculated as follows, in the case of an ideal converter (i.e. using components with an ideal behaviour) operating in steady conditions:
During the On-state, the switch S is closed, which makes the input voltage () appear across the inductor, which causes a change in current () flowing through the inductor during a time period (t) by the formula:
Where L is the inductor value.
At the end of the On-state, the increase of IL is therefore:
D is the duty cycle. It represents the fraction of the commutation period T during which the switch is On. Therefore, D ranges between 0 (S is never on) and 1 (S is always on).
During the Off-state, the switch S is open, so the inductor current flows through the load. If we consider zero voltage drop in the diode, and a capacitor large enough for its voltage to remain constant, the evolution of IL is:
Therefore, the variation of IL during the Off-period is:
As we consider that the converter operates in steady-state conditions, the amount of energy stored in each of its components has to be the same at the beginning and at the end of a commutation cycle. In particular, the energy stored in the inductor is given by:
So, the inductor current has to be the same at the start and end of the commutation cycle. This means the overall change in the current (the sum of the changes) is zero:
Substituting and by their expressions yields:
This can be written as:
The above equation shows that the output voltage is always higher than the input voltage (as the duty cycle goes from 0 to 1), and that it increases with D, theoretically to infinity as D approaches 1. This is why this converter is sometimes referred to as a step-up converter.
Rearranging the equation reveals the duty cycle to be:
If the ripple amplitude of the current is too high, the inductor may be completely discharged before the end of a whole commutation cycle. This commonly occurs under light loads. In this case, the current through the inductor falls to zero during part of the period (see waveforms in figure 4). Although the difference is slight, it has a strong effect on the output voltage equation. The voltage gain can be calculated as follows:
As the inductor current at the beginning of the cycle is zero, its maximum value (at ) is
During the off-period, IL falls to zero after :
Using the two previous equations, δ is:
The load current Io is equal to the average diode current (ID). As can be seen on figure 4, the diode current is equal to the inductor current during the off-state. The average value of Io can be sorted out geometrically from figure 4. Therefore, the output current can be written as:
Replacing ILmax and δ by their respective expressions yields:
Therefore, the output voltage gain can be written as follows:
Compared to the expression of the output voltage gain for continuous mode, this expression is much more complicated. Furthermore, in discontinuous operation, the output voltage gain not only depends on the duty cycle (D), but also on the inductor value (L), the input voltage (Vi), the commutation period (T) and the output current (Io).
Substituting Io=Vo/R into the equation (R is the load), the output voltage gain can be rewritten as:
In electrical engineering, the power factor of an AC electrical power system is defined as the ratio of the real power absorbed by the load to the apparent power flowing in the circuit, and is a dimensionless number in the closed interval of −1 to 1. A power factor of less than one indicates the voltage and current are not in phase, reducing the average product of the two. Real power is the instantaneous product of voltage and current and represents the capacity of the electricity for performing work. Apparent power is the product of RMS current and voltage. Due to energy stored in the load and returned to the source, or due to a non-linear load that distorts the wave shape of the current drawn from the source, the apparent power may be greater than the real power. A negative power factor occurs when the device generates power, which then flows back towards the source.
A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC), which periodically reverses direction, to direct current (DC), which flows in only one direction.
A switched-mode power supply is an electronic power supply that incorporates a switching regulator to convert electrical power efficiently. Like other power supplies, an SMPS transfers power from a DC or AC source to DC loads, such as a personal computer, while converting voltage and current characteristics. Unlike a linear power supply, the pass transistor of a switching-mode supply continually switches between low-dissipation, full-on and full-off states, and spends very little time in the high dissipation transitions, which minimizes wasted energy. A hypothetical ideal switched-mode power supply dissipates no power. Voltage regulation is achieved by varying the ratio of on-to-off time. In contrast, a linear power supply regulates the output voltage by continually dissipating power in the pass transistor. This higher power conversion efficiency is an important advantage of a switched-mode power supply. Switched-mode power supplies may also be substantially smaller and lighter than a linear supply due to the smaller transformer size and weight.
A flexible alternating current transmission system (FACTS) is a system composed of static equipment used for the AC transmission of electrical energy. It is meant to enhance controllability and increase power transfer capability of the network. It is generally a power electronics-based system.
In electronics, a voltage divider is a passive linear circuit that produces an output voltage (Vout) that is a fraction of its input voltage (Vin). Voltage division is the result of distributing the input voltage among the components of the divider. A simple example of a voltage divider is two resistors connected in series, with the input voltage applied across the resistor pair and the output voltage emerging from the connection between them.
The Ćuk converter is a type of DC/DC converter that has an output voltage magnitude that is either greater than or less than the input voltage magnitude. It is essentially a boost converter followed by a buck converter with a capacitor to couple the energy.
In electronics, a chopper circuit is used to refer to numerous types of electronic switching devices and circuits used in power control and signal applications. A chopper is a device that converts fixed DC input to a variable DC output voltage directly. Essentially, a chopper is an electronic switch that is used to interrupt one signal under the control of another.
A low-dropout or LDO regulator is a DC linear voltage regulator that can regulate the output voltage even when the supply voltage is very close to the output voltage.
This article illustrates some typical operational amplifier applications. A non-ideal operational amplifier's equivalent circuit has a finite input impedance, a non-zero output impedance, and a finite gain. A real op-amp has a number of non-ideal features as shown in the diagram, but here a simplified schematic notation is used, many details such as device selection and power supply connections are not shown. Operational amplifiers are optimised for use with negative feedback, and this article discusses only negative-feedback applications. When positive feedback is required, a comparator is usually more appropriate. See Comparator applications for further information.
A buck converter is a DC-to-DC power converter which steps down voltage from its input (supply) to its output (load). It is a class of switched-mode power supply (SMPS) typically containing at least two semiconductors and at least one energy storage element, a capacitor, inductor, or the two in combination. To reduce voltage ripple, filters made of capacitors are normally added to such a converter's output and input.
The buck–boost converter is a type of DC-to-DC converter that has an output voltage magnitude that is either greater than or less than the input voltage magnitude. It is equivalent to a flyback converter using a single inductor instead of a transformer.
Ripple in electronics is the residual periodic variation of the DC voltage within a power supply which has been derived from an alternating current (AC) source. This ripple is due to incomplete suppression of the alternating waveform after rectification. Ripple voltage originates as the output of a rectifier or from generation and commutation of DC power.
The commutation cell is the basic structure in power electronics. It is composed of an electronic switch and a diode. It was traditionally referred to as a chopper, but since switching power supplies became a major form of power conversion, this new term has become more popular.
A switched capacitor (SC) is an electronic circuit element implementing a filter. It works by moving charges into and out of capacitors when switches are opened and closed. Usually, non-overlapping signals are used to control the switches, so that not all switches are closed simultaneously. Filters implemented with these elements are termed "switched-capacitor filters", and depend only on the ratios between capacitances. This makes them much more suitable for use within integrated circuits, where accurately specified resistors and capacitors are not economical to construct.
The single-ended primary-inductor converter (SEPIC) is a type of DC/DC converter that allows the electrical potential (voltage) at its output to be greater than, less than, or equal to that at its input. The output of the SEPIC is controlled by the duty cycle of the control switch (S1).
A flyback diode is a diode connected across an inductor used to eliminate flyback, which is the sudden voltage spike seen across an inductive load when its supply current is suddenly reduced or interrupted. It is used in circuits in which inductive loads are controlled by switches, and in switching power supplies and inverters.
An integrating ADC is a type of analog-to-digital converter that converts an unknown input voltage into a digital representation through the use of an integrator. In its basic implementation, the dual-slope converter, the unknown input voltage is applied to the input of the integrator and allowed to ramp for a fixed time period. Then a known reference voltage of opposite polarity is applied to the integrator and is allowed to ramp until the integrator output returns to zero. The input voltage is computed as a function of the reference voltage, the constant run-up time period, and the measured run-down time period. The run-down time measurement is usually made in units of the converter's clock, so longer integration times allow for higher resolutions. Likewise, the speed of the converter can be improved by sacrificing resolution.
In electronics, a transimpedance amplifier, (TIA) is a current to voltage converter, almost exclusively implemented with one or more operational amplifiers. The TIA can be used to amplify the current output of Geiger–Müller tubes, photo multiplier tubes, accelerometers, photo detectors and other types of sensors to a usable voltage. Current to voltage converters are used with sensors that have a current response that is more linear than the voltage response. This is the case with photodiodes where it is not uncommon for the current response to have better than 1% nonlinearity over a wide range of light input. The transimpedance amplifier presents a low impedance to the photodiode and isolates it from the output voltage of the operational amplifier. In its simplest form a transimpedance amplifier has just a large valued feedback resistor, Rf. The gain of the amplifier is set by this resistor and because the amplifier is in an inverting configuration, has a value of -Rf. There are several different configurations of transimpedance amplifiers, each suited to a particular application. The one factor they all have in common is the requirement to convert the low-level current of a sensor to a voltage. The gain, bandwidth, as well as current and voltage offsets change with different types of sensors, requiring different configurations of transimpedance amplifiers.
The operational amplifier integrator is an electronic integration circuit. Based on the operational amplifier (op-amp), it performs the mathematical operation of integration with respect to time; that is, its output voltage is proportional to the input voltage integrated over time.
An HVDC converter converts electric power from high voltage alternating current (AC) to high-voltage direct current (HVDC), or vice versa. HVDC is used as an alternative to AC for transmitting electrical energy over long distances or between AC power systems of different frequencies. HVDC converters capable of converting up to two gigawatts (GW) and with voltage ratings of up to 1,100 kilovolts (kV) have been built, and even higher ratings are technically feasible. A complete converter station may contain several such converters in series and/or parallel.
The hydraulic-ram pump ... structure parallels that of the boost converter making it a hydraulic analog
Indeed, this self-acting pump has much to offer in a parallel study with its electrical cousin.
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