Multi-level high-voltage power supply for dea application

In order to reap the benefits of Dielectric Elastomer Actuator (DEA) high energy density, the electronics powering the actuator should be as small as possible. Knowing that only a small fraction of the energy delivered to DEAs is effectively converted into mechanical energy, the power supply has to be highly efficient and bidirectional in order to recover the unused energy, which requires more volume. Furthermore, DEA applications call for high voltage (up to 18kV for a 200um film), but as the voltage increases, so does the volume. In addition, there are no MOS transistors rated above 4.5kV, which limits our options. Since these goals are contradictory, we need to demonstrate the feasibility of DEA integration and find its limits. Therefore we present a prototype of Multi-Level Converter designed for DEA, which is a bidirectional structure that has proven to be especially effective in the power electronics field. A Multi-Level Converter overcomes the voltage limitation by equally distributing the desired voltage among levels; because the voltage of each level is sufficiently low, smaller available parts can now be used. Our prototype includes 20 levels of 1kV each. A numerical study of this topology has demonstrated that the efficiency is above 90%. Upcoming experimental works will discuss the advantages and the drawbacks of such Multi-Level Converters. Finally, the volume of the DEA will be compared with the volume of electronics.

Published in:
Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Electromechanically Active Polymer (EAP) transducers & artificial muscles
Presented at:
9th international conference on Electromechanically Active Polymer (EAP) transducers & artificial muscles, Dresden, Germany, June 4-6, 2019
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 Record created 2019-11-20, last modified 2020-04-20

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