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A systematic framework for reliability assessment and fault-tolerant design of multiphase dc-dc converters deployed in photovoltaic applications is presented. System-level steady-state models allow a detailed specification of component failure rates, and in turn establish the effects of ambient conditions and converter design on reliability. Markov reliability models are derived to estimate the mean time to system failure. Case studies applied to two- and three-phase, 250-W converters demonstrate that topological redundancy does not necessarily translate to improved reliability for all choices of switching frequency and capacitance. Capacitor voltage rating is found to be the dominant factor that affects system reliability.