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What is the best converter for low voltage fuel cell applications- a Buck or Boost?

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5 Author(s)
Nymand, M. ; Inst. of Sensors, Signals & Electro technics, Univ. of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark ; Tranberg, R. ; Madsen, M.E. ; Madawala, U.K.
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Among many converter topologies that have been proposed and developed for low voltage fuel cell applications, isolated full-bridge Buck and Boost converters appear to be the most popular. Although the Buck topology is considered to be superior in performance, particularly for being more efficient, this claim has never been proved with a `proper' comparison to the Boost topology. This paper presents a comprehensive comparison between Buck and Boost topologies, which are designed for the same specifications and tested under the same and stringent operating conditions using precision measuring equipment. Experimental results of two 1.5 kW prototype Buck and Boost converter units are presented with detailed discussions, and the paper explains why, in contrary to the popular belief, a properly designed Boost topology is superior in performance to Buck topology and more appropriate for low voltage fuel cell applications, as indicated by measured results.

Published in:

Industrial Electronics, 2009. IECON '09. 35th Annual Conference of IEEE

Date of Conference:

3-5 Nov. 2009