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In this paper, an analysis and design of a wide input range dc-dc converter is proposed along with a robust power control scheme. The proposed converter and its control are designed to be compatible with a fuel cell power source, which exhibits 2 : 1 voltage variation as well as a slow transient response. The proposed approach consists of two stages: a three-level boost converter stage cascaded with a current-fed two-inductor boost converter topology, which has a higher voltage gain and provides galvanic isolation from the input source. The function of the front-end boost converter stage is to maintain a constant voltage at the input of the cascaded dc-dc converter to ensure optimal performance characteristics and high efficiency. At the output of the first boost converter, a battery or ultracapacitor energy storage is connected to handle slow transient response of the fuel cell (200 W/min). The robust features of the proposed control system ensure a constant output dc voltage for a variety of load fluctuations, thus limiting the power being delivered by the fuel cell during a load transient. Moreover, the proposed configuration simplifies power management and can interact with the fuel cell controller. Simulation and the experimental results confirm the feasibility of the proposed system.
Date of Publication: March 2008