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The main purpose of this study is to design the power electronics to drive a 1 W piezoelectric actuator for micro-robotic applications, such as flapping-wing robotic insects. The voltage requirement of the piezoelectric actuators is about 200 V, but most of the energy sources do not exceed 5 V. In this paper, we propose a two stages converter suitable to drive this kind of actuators. The first stage of the proposed converter is a DC/DC converter which can have lightweight and high voltage gain for the biasing of the piezoelectric actuator. The second stage of the proposed converter is a DC/AC converter which is capable of producing an arbitrary unipolar AC voltage to supply the piezoelectric actuator. Because the switching loss is frequently the dominant loss in high-voltage/low-power switching amplifiers, a wideband zero-voltage-switching (ZVS) half-bridge circuit is introduced. In our design, two auxiliary shunt circuits are connected to the input terminal in order to ensure the ZVS condition in a wide bandwidth. Each auxiliary shunt circuit includes a diode, a switch and an inductor. The auxiliary inductor exhibits a small inductance and is not in the path of the major power flow, thus it can be implemented by the parasitic inductance of the connection wires or by PCB tracks.
Date of Conference: 15-20 Sept. 2012