High efficiency resonant mode implementation using digital control

March 03, 2015 //By Subodh Madiwale
High efficiency resonant mode implementation using digital control
Subodh Madiwale explains how the digital implementation of resonant topology using an advanced digital controller can make control, design, and optimization an easy task.

The LLC resonant power stage has become an extremely popular power topology in the industry for high power applications that require an efficient power conversion up to and around a kilowatt. Resonant mode is a best fit choice as the second stage of the AC-DC converter as it is typically preceded by the boost Power Factor Correction (PFC) stage that provides a stable high voltage input.

In traditional Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) duty cycle controlled power converters the switching frequency is fixed while the duty cycle varies to maintain a regulated output voltage. In resonant power conversion the opposite occurs - duty cycle is fixed to 50% (minus deadtime) the frequency is allowed to vary.

Some of the advantages of the series resonant converter are:

  • High efficiency
  • ZVS/ZCS (Zero Voltage/current switching) of primary/secondary switches (depending upon operating mode)
  • Increased power density
  • Low noise and EMI due to ZCS
  • No transformer saturation due to DC current block by resonant capacitor
  • Good cross regulation between multiple outputs
  • Flatter efficiency curve across the load range

However, there are some drawbacks that complicate the operation of the converter are:

  • Soft start and light load operation
  • Synchronous rectification drive
  • Short circuit behavior
  • Difficult to design under a wide input operating range.

This article shows how the digital implementation of the resonant topology using an advanced digital controller (see Figure 1) makes the control, design, and optimization an easy task and solves the common problems described above. The topology under consideration is the half bridge LLC resonant converter with MOSFETs as switches. However, the same concepts apply to the full bridge SRC (Series Resonant Converter) or even the LCC resonant topology.

Figure 1. Simplified half bridge LLC power stage

Resonant mode basics

Resonance can be defined as the excitation (or stimulus) that provides a maximum transfer of energy from one part (or element) of the system to another. In an ideal (lossless) system, this transfer of

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