High Gain Transformerless DC-DC Converters for Renewable Energy Sources



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Renewable energy sources including photovoltaic cells, fuel cells, and wind turbines require converters with high voltage gain in order to interface with power transmission and distribution networks. These conversions are conventionally made using bulky, complex, and costly transformers. Multiple modules of single-switch, single-inductor DC-DC converters can serve these high-gain applications while eliminating the transformer. This work generally classifies multiple modules of single-switch, single-inductor converters as high gain DC-DC converters transformers. The gain and efficiency of both series and cascade configurations are investigated analytically, and a method is introduced to determine the maximum achievable gain at a given efficiency. Simulations are used to verify the modeling approach and predict the performance at different power levels. Experimental prototypes for both low power and high power applications demonstrate the value of multiple module converters in high gain DC-DC converters for renewable energy applications.