UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Comparative analysis of high input voltage and high voltage conversion ratio step-down converters equipped with silicon carbide and ultrafast silicon diodes Radić, Aleksandar


DC to DC step-down applications with high input voltage and high voltage conversion ratio operational requirements, such as photovoltaic battery chargers, are subject to high conduction losses, high switching losses and substantial reverse-recovery losses when minority carrier principle diodes are used. The recent introduction of silicon carbide diodes with high breakdown voltages has made possible the elimination of reverse-recovery losses at high voltage levels and as such has sparked interest in their use due to the potential efficiency improvements. This report presents the results of a comprehensive analysis on the use of silicon carbide diodes and their counterparts, ultrafast silicon diodes, in conventional buck converters and isolated current-fed buck converters in high input voltage and high voltage conversion ratio step-down applications. The analysis illustrates both theoretically, with the use of steady-state average models, and experimentally the substantial efficiency benefits of the use of reverse-recovery free silicon carbide diodes in the conventional buck converter and the small but significant improvement in the efficiency of the isolated current-fed buck converter. The improvements of the conventional buck converter paired with silicon carbide diodes are shown to be significant enough to grant the variant the most efficient position for power levels below 1 kW. In addition, the four variants are categorized based on their cost and performance; therefore, providing engineers with a convenient guide to aid their selection of the appropriate converter depending on the operational requirements.

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