A Power Converter with a Rotating Secondary Stage for an Airborne Radar System
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Contact-less transfer of energy has always been a desired feature for systems that require reliable and durable power transfer across their moving parts. In rotary equipment in particular, slip-rings are the established solution with off-the-shelf and customised solutions readily available in the market. Despite the mature technology, slip-rings suffer wear and are prone to arcing, making frequent maintenance a necessity. In this project a rotating transformer is proposed as an alternative solution for contact-less transfer of energy across the revolving frame of an airborne electronic-scanning radar. This thesis is based on the hypothesis that the Phase-Shifted Full Bridge (PSFB) topology can efectively utilise the parasitic components of the rotating transformer to achieve efficient (over 90%) power conversion at the kW range. The first part of this work concentrates on the study of the magnetic interface and its electrical properties. Initially the magnetic structure of the transformer is studied in order to gain understanding of the effects of the physical layout of the component to its electrical behaviour. The problems of low magnetising and increased leakage inductance are quantified by measurements, calculations and finite element analysis. An accurate electrical model is built and used to calculate the transformer voltage and current gain. The second part of the research programme aims at the compilation of a design strategy for a PSFB incorporating a rotating transformer. An algorithm is presented, that optimises the magnetic component structure in order to achieve minimum switching losses and spread the conduction losses between the transformer and power switches. The last stage involves the evaluation of the design algorithm through prototyping and testing. Some topological variations are tested and compared with the original conventional PSFB converter. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the results and future challenges.
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