Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Gerry Moschopoulos


Power electronics converters are implemented with switching devices that turn on and off while power is being converted from one form to another. They operate with high switching frequencies to reduce the size of the converters' inductors, transformers and capacitors. Such high switching frequency operation, however, increases the amount of power that is lost due to switching losses and thus reduces power converter efficiency.

Switching losses are caused by the overlap of switch voltage and switch current during a switching transition. If, however, either the voltage across or the current flowing through a switch is zero during a switching transition, then there is no overlap of switch voltage and switch current so in theory, there are no switching losses. Techniques that ensure that this happens are referred to as soft-switching techniques in the power electronics literature and there are two types: zero-voltage switching (ZVS) and zero-current switching (ZCS).

For pulse-width modulated (PWM) Dc-Dc converters, both ZVS and ZCS are typically implemented with auxiliary circuits that help the main power switches operate with soft-switching. Although these auxiliary circuits do help improve the efficiency of the converters, they increase their cost. There is, therefore, motivation to try to make these auxiliary circuits as simple and as inexpensive as possible.

Three new soft-switching Dc-Dc PWM converters are proposed in this thesis. For each converter, a very simple auxiliary circuit that consists of only a single active switching device and a few passive components is used to reduce the switching losses in the main power switches. The outstanding feature of each converter is the simplicity of its auxiliary circuit, which unlike most other previously proposed converters of similar type, avoids the use of multiple active auxiliary switches.

In this thesis, the operation of each proposed converter is explained, analyzed, and the results of the analysis are used to develop a design procedure to select key component values. This design procedure is demonstrated with an example that was used in the implementation of an experimental prototype. The feasibility of each proposed converter is confirmed with experimental result obtained from a prototype converter.