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This paper describes a universal fuel-cell-based grid-connected inverter design with digital-signal-processor-based digital control. The inverter has a direct power conversion mechanism with a high-frequency zero-voltage-switched dc/ac primary-side converter followed by a pair of ac/ac cycloconverters that operates either in parallel or in series to simultaneously address the issues of universal output and high efficiency. The critical design issues focus on the impact and optimization of transformer leakage inductance with regard to effectiveness of zero voltage switching of a primary-side converter, duty-cycle loss, resonance, and voltage spike that has effect on the breakdown voltage rating of the cycloconverter devices. An additional concept of dynamic transformer tapping has been explored to address the impact of varying input voltage on secondary-side voltage spike and inverter efficiency. Finally, detailed grid-parallel and grid-connected results are presented that demonstrate satisfactory inverter performances.