Power Converter for Solar Applications
This project sought to design a high efficiency, lightweight, and high power-density Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) DC/DC converter for PV generated DC microgrids in space applications. The 580W prototype utilizes GaN switching devices and a planar inductor and achieves over 98% efficiency for nearly the full operating range, with a 98.5% peak efficiency. The design also exceeded expectations with a 3.5 W/cm3 volumetric power density and 3.76 W/g specific power. Converter performance was maintained down to as low as -155 degrees Celsius, and the converter survived over 1000 temperature cycles from 0 degrees Celsius to -140 degrees Celsius before failure.