Stuart MacVeigh


A.H. Weinberg presented his classic boost topology in his 1974 publication intended for use in satellites. It comprises minimal external components and uses multiple coupled coil systems to provide a boost of up to 2x. Its simplicity makes it inherently robust and reliable as minimal components means lower chance of failure. While its simplicity makes it attractive it has limited boost capability which makes it unsuitable for many modern day applications. No significant investigation has been carried out on adapting the Weinberg topology for high boost operation so far as can be ascertained. An investigation into adapting the Weinberg converter for high boost operation is presented in this thesis. A novel topology is developed which preserves the simplicity, reliability and efficiency of the Weinberg design while achieving boost ratios >2x. An analysis of the proposed topology is provided and mathematical expressions are derived to quantify the voltages and currents in relevant component for a given set of operating conditions. All coupled windings share a single core and are arranged so the magnetic flux does not reverse direction which further reduces loss in the magnetic core material. The coupled coils clamp the MOSFET drain voltage to an amount much lower than the output voltage which allows lower breakdown versions with lower intrinsic ON-resistance to be used leading to reduced conduction losses. Modelling of circuit losses and their sources allows optimal selection and positioning of components and finds wound component and MOSFET conduction losses contribute around 70% of the total circuit loss. Modelling and trialling of wound component geometries is carried out to optimise magnetic coupling and reduce leakage inductance. Working prototypes are developed and used to verify the mathematical claims through experimentation. Overall system efficiency of 94.1% is achieved at a boost ratio of 8.8x and an output power of 257W. Overall system losses are reduced from 11% to 6% by simply optimising the magnetic assembly. However optimisation of the magnetic assembly is more involved and may be less tolerant to variation which may hinder repeatability but the results are very positive despite crude, hand-wound magnetic coils and standard quality silicon components being used; which is a promising sign.

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