Improve Your AC-DC Front End’s Density, Efficiency, and Flexibility

June 6, 2012
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Electronic DesignFront-end ac-dc converters have changed significantly in terms of efficiency and density, yet power factor issues continue to cause problems, particularly with switch-mode ac-dc converters.  Some geographies have introduced stricter regulations to drive improvements to the harmonic distortion on the ac mains lines (eg Europe with the EN61000-3-2)

There have been some improvements in recent years.  However the continued use of boost converter topology with full-bridge diode rectification – while providing power factor correction – creates some tradeoffs in terms of EMI, thermal management, and power components when the input voltage range is wide.  And as active power-factor correction (PFC) adds components power density, efficiency, and reliability are also negatively impacted.

Surmounting these challenges in the next generation of ac front-end supplies and achieving optimal balance between density, thermal management, and scalability require a topology optimized for this application.

A recently published article in Electronic Design (March 2012) – Improve Your AC-DC Front End’s Density, Efficiency, And Flexibility – looks at this topic in more detail and examines the role of Vicor’s DC-ZVS technology in overcoming the significant challenges of ac-dc power factor corrected power conversion.

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