Skip to Main Content
This paper presents an alternative to the traditional dc-dc converter interfacing the battery with the inverter dc bus in plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) traction drives. The boost converter used in commercial HEVs meets with obstacles when it comes to upgrading the power rating and achieving high efficiency while downsizing the converter. A four-level flying-capacitor dc-dc converter is explored that can overcome these drawbacks by dramatically reducing the inductance requirement. A special case of the four-level converter, the 3X dc-dc converter, operates at three discrete output/input voltage ratios, thus further reducing the inductance requirement to a minimal value (almost zero). When further compared to its switched-capacitor dc-dc converter counterparts, the 3X dc-dc converter can be operated at variable output/input voltage ratios without sacrificing efficiency, and it lowers the capacitance requirement by utilizing the parasitic inductance. The operating principle, current ripple analysis, the transient control to limit the inrush current, and power loss analysis are introduced. Experimental results of a 55-kW prototype are provided to demonstrate the principle and analysis of this topology.