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Student Energy Research Spotlight: Modeling and Control of Boost Converter for Microgrid Energy Storage Interface

Distributing the electric energy and controlling power converters play an important part in a modern Navy, since that way the autonomy of a ship is increased, the operational cost is reduced, and environmental pollution is reduced. One of those power converters is the DC-DC boost converter which converts the low voltage of a battery to the higher voltage required by the loads. The converter control is becoming more and more important as ships with integrated electric propulsion (like the U.S. Navy Makin Island and the UK Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer class) and a fully electric ship (U.S. Navy DDG 1000 Zumwalt) are commissioned.

Our research examines five different control strategies to regulate the output of the DC-DC boost converter. Four of them are innovative control strategies, implemented by modifying regular K-factor and regular voltage mode control. The fifth control strategy is called current mode, which is widely used as the industrial standard. The performance of all controllers is evaluated and compared. Our research includes a computer simulation (using MATLAB and Simulink software) as well as a laboratory experiment to verify the boost converter small signal model. The research provides alternative control strategies and allows more effective selection of a suitable control strategy for each application. This selectivity leads to increased energy efficiency, and reduced fuel consumption and pollution.



LT Theodoros Karapas is a Greek naval officer and a student in the Electrical Engineering Department of the Naval Postgraduate School. Contact Dr. Giovanna Oriti at goriti@nps.edu for more information about this research.



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