New current sensing solutions for low-cost high-power-density digitally controlled power converters

Silvio Ziegler

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    1387 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] This thesis studies current sensing techniques that are designed to meet the requirements for the next generation of power converters. Power converters are often standardised, so that they can be replaced with a model from another manufacturer without an expensive system redesign. For this reason, the power converter market is highly competitive and relies on cutting-edge technology, which increases power conversion efficiency and power density. High power density and conversion efficiency reduce the system cost, and thus make the power converter more attractive to the customer. Current sensing is a vital task in power converters, where the current information is required for monitoring and control purposes. In order to achieve the above-mentioned goals, existing current sensing techniques have to be improved in terms of cost, power loss and size. Simultaneously, current information needs to be increasingly available in digital form to enable digital control, and to allow the digital transmission of the current information to a centralised monitoring and control unit. All this requires the output signal of a particular current sensing technique to be acquired by an analogue-to-digital converter, and thus the output voltage of the current sensor has to be sufficiently large. This thesis thoroughly reviews contemporary current sensing techniques and identifies suitable techniques that have the potential to meet the performance requirements of the next-generation of power converters. After the review chapter, three novel current sensing techniques are proposed and investigated: 1) The usefulness of the resistive voltage drop across a copper trace, which carries the current to be measured, to detect electrical current is evaluated. Simulations and experiments confirm that this inherently lossless technique can measure high currents at reasonable measurement bandwidth, good accuracy and low cost if the sense wires are connected properly. 2)
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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