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Fuel-cell inverter applications typically have a relatively low voltage input, and require a battery bus for energy buffering. Circuit topology issues are examined based on these needs. The need for high step-up ratios, current control, low ripple, and battery storage leads to a current-sourced link converter as perhaps the best choice of conversion topology. High-frequency ac link conversion offers a possible way to reduce the number of power stages, in the form of a cycloconverter, known from previous work. It is shown that the control complexity in this converter can be addressed by adapting pulse-width modulation (PWM) techniques. Here, a multicarrier PWM approach is introduced as a convenient way to implement a high-frequency link inverter. The approach is a direct extension of conventional PWM, and supports square-wave cycloconversion methods that have appeared in prior literature. Simulation and experimental results are developed for a low-voltage ac link inverter, leading to a 48-V fuel cell input design.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2004