The objective of this project is to investigate the suitability of commercially available GaN enhancement mode FET for space power switching electronics. This project is peculiar to telecom applications being a flight DC/DC converter, fed by the nowadays common 100V satellite bus and with a power level of 600W. Small converters like POL (Point of Load) are clearly out of scope. We focused on 200V rated GaN components with a high current capability with the true enhancement mode or cascode assembly.
The main steps were:
It has been performed in 2013 on components suitable for GaN power switching (transistors and components specific to GaN power conversion like drivers).
- Component procurement and preliminary evaluation
The relevant parts have been procured with a lot of difficulties (availability problems). Their preliminary performances have been measured.
- Design, manufacturing and testing of GaN switching converter:
The breadboard has been based on a converter: The resonant SMART. It has been designed with GaN FET components, including the feedback control loop. Simulations have been performed prior manufacturing and the Elegant Breadboard has been intensively tested (also in temperature).
Final Elegant Bread Board picture.
The architecture proposed in this project is based on the DUAL EPC application. It is a resonant SMART : it consists in a power buck followed by a resonant push-pull.
The resonant push-pull uses a High Voltage transformer followed by High Voltage rectifiers and High Voltage filter capacitors.
The feedback control loop has been also included in the breadboard.