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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Comprehensive Loss Model and Comparison of AC and DC Boost Converters

  • Author(s): Gerber, Daniel L
  • Musavi, Fariborz
  • Ghatpande, Omkar A
  • Frank, Stephen M
  • Poon, Jason
  • Brown, Richard E
  • Feng, Wei
  • et al.

DC microgrids have become a prevalent topic in research in part due to the expected superior efficiency of DC/DC converters compared to their AC/DC counterparts. Although numerous side-by-side analyses have quantified the efficiency benefits of DC power distribution, these studies all modeled converter loss based on product data that varied in component quality and operating voltage. To establish a fair efficiency comparison, this work derives a formulaic loss model of a DC/DC and an AC/DC PFC boost converter. These converters are modeled with identical components and an equivalent input and output voltage. Simulated designs with real components show AC/DC boost converters between 100 W to 500 W having up to 2.5 times more loss than DC/DC boost converters. Although boost converters represent a fraction of electronics in buildings, these loss models can eventually work toward establishing a comprehensive model-based full-building analysis.

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