Free Download: Applying Power Circulation Theory to More Accurately Measure Power Loss and Efficiency

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The race is on to push efficiency in power conversion beyond 99%. It is a contest with innovative new topologies running neck-on-neck with standard half-bridge solutions featuring SiC and GaN semiconductors. A wide range of applications requires bidirectional power conversion, and it has to be ultra-efficient for everything from solar inverters to UPS and industrial drives that may have PFC built-in or added on. If that remaining 1% loss is to be eradicated, its composition will have to be analyzed in depth to learn why it occurs. The main causes are semiconductors’ less-than-perfect static and switching properties. Semiconductors’ have to be characterized accurately to quantify these loss factors, but new semiconductor technologies and topologies’ unknown or undetected properties skew the data and therefore the accuracy of loss simulation and efficiency calculations. This is why a power converter’s performance has to be verified using power conversion efficiency measurements. Direct measurement is by nature a rather more inaccurate method of detecting losses. However, there is a more accurate option, and it is cost-effective to boot. The answer - a way of measuring losses meaningfully so components can be optimized accordingly - is to be found in the theory behind power circulation. (registration required)

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