Evolution of current mode control approaches for implementation in rapid capacitor charger technology
Vollmer, Travis T.
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With the interest in RF (radio frequency) and HPM (high power microwave) directed energy applications growing, rapid capacitor charger technology has advanced to meet the input power management parameters to these systems. Current mode control is seen as a desirable control method for the power inverter to quickly charge the capacitor bank. An analog current mode control platform has been demonstrated at the P3E (pulsed power and power electronics) Laboratory. Engineering design advancements have resulted in optimization for power density. Further developments in current mode control have yielded: 1) a current mode control approach that allows multiple inverters to be stacked for high power (100 kW capability) applications 2) a digital peak current mode control approach that allows for adaptive slope compensation with a reduction of analog peripheral circuitry. The method to handle slope compensation for the peak current mode control has also progressed along with the hardware developments. To artificially adjust the current upslope into the CS pin of the analog IC, the initial use of a BJT emitter follower matured into an op-amp circuit for a more eloquent solution. . The digital peak current mode control was then implemented with a dsPIC controller and demonstrated specifically with a pulse forming network charging application. The digital control method continuously monitors the peak output current and adjusts the current limit with relation to the PWM duty cycle. The continued development of these control methods has led to a digital control platform that shows improvements over the analog method while still providing peak current mode control with stable operation at duty cycles greater than 50%.