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Mechanism of Bidirectional Power Supply

First, we explain what a bidirectional power supply means. A converter that can convert DC and AC bidirectionally to any power system is called a bidirectional power supply. It supports both DC and AC by mounting a bidirectional DC/DC converter and a bidirectional AC/DC converter inside.


Following figure is a schematic that bidirectional power supply part is represented as.

This image is regenerative power supply configuration of a general single phase.

This mechanism makes it possible to exchange energy bidirectionally with commercial power sources. The circuit connected to the output to the test artifact is called the "regenerative power supply".

The circuit of the regenerative power supply can be roughly divided into three parts. Starting from the left side of the figure, there is a "1. bidirectional AC/DC converter". This is a circuit that can convert a commercial power supply (AC) and internal DC current in both directions and exchange energy. Electricity converted from commercial power supply to direct current can exchange energy bidirectionally while insulating DC on the primary side and DC on the secondary side through the "2. bidirectional DC/DC converter". Also called an insulated transformer. Finally, voltage conversion is performed by the "3. boost/step-down DC/DC converter". In particular, by using a variable voltage on the secondary side, it can be used for various tests.

Advantages of Using Bidirectional Power Supply

This bidirectional power supply is being developed further. Now, the types of small electronic devices have increased. It is necessary at the time of testing, what kind of effects are affected by the voltage change of the storage battery and what kind of circuit design is necessary to prevent the adverse effects.

In particular, the battery is characterized by "the voltage decreases as the output current increases," "the electrical characteristics differ between fully charged and low battery," and "the electrical characteristics differ between new and degraded products." In the general household, it is necessary to test in various patterns as long as we cannot know what kind of battery is used in electronic devices, but it is difficult to prepare many batteries in those conditions.

Therefore, the bidirectional power supply is used as a battery simulator. The DC power supply used as a simulator is generally marketed as a programmable power supply. This is further advanced, and bidirectional power supply as programmable power supply is currently developing.

This image is battery simulator.

Bidirectional power supplies that can achieve high voltages are used for high current converter tests for EVs, etc. In particular, in converter testing where operation and regeneration are repeated, it is possible to achieve smooth current switching without a notch at the cross point during switching and without overshoot or undershoot of the current waveform. Repeated tests can be performed without worrying about overcharging, over-discharging, and deterioration of the rechargeable battery. The regenerative power supply can also be used as a CV/CC power supply or a CV/CV power supply.

How to use a regenerative power supply (general case) 1

use as a Constant Voltage/Constant Current power supply

How to use a regenerative power supply
How to use a regenerative power supply

If voltage changes can occur in the devices connected to the system, it is the best way to test whether the system can withstand it to attach one emulating the voltage changes and experiment, instead of installing the actual devices.

Conversely, it is also useful to find out how much voltage change the device can handle. If it is the same as the primary battery with a constant power supply, it should be connected to the usual power supply. But if it is a device to be used connected to a rechargeable battery, the state of voltage changes depending on the type of battery. If the bidirectional power supply is used well, it is possible to reproduce various voltage and voltage change storage batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries and lead storage batteries. So it can reproduce from 12V car battery to high voltage for EV.

How to use a regenerative power supply 2

The internal resistance of the rechargeable battery can be set to reproduce the operation of the battery

Difference in electrical characteristics of new/degraded battery

The value of r can simulate that the internal resistance changes with the state of charge (SOC) and other parameters (SOD etc.)

Battery voltage can be changed by Constant Voltage setting when using as a CV power supply in the case r=0 (Ω)

Actual batteries have a permanent deterioration that cannot be recovered due to the fact that the battery itself is old and a temporary deterioration that degrades performance at low temperatures. So, the state of charge (SOC) of the battery is affected by the state of health (SOH) due to these two factors.

Assuming that permanent deterioration is SOH1 and temporary deterioration is SOH2, SOH = SOH1 X SOH2. Also, 1-SOH is called the state of degradation (SOD). In the regenerative power supply, by setting to simulate this SOD, it is possible to test how the electronic equipment behaves when connecting a deteriorated battery. This is used as "SOC estimation technology based on battery model".

It can also be used for testing on low-voltage electronics such as mobile devices. As mentioned above, it is not known in advance what kind of battery state in a general household is, so it is not only a new battery state by using the regenerative power source, but also the state and capacity of the deteriorated battery and capacity. It is possible to reproduce the voltage drop condition etc. near the end. Therefore, it is possible to repeat the operation test of the electronic device not only in the steady state but also in the abnormal state and the test of the malfunction prevention function.

Measurement example for V-I characteristics of lithium-ion battery (case of discharging)

Difference in electrical characteristics under amount of charge

V-I characteristics

Difference in electrical characteristics of new/degraded battery

Besides, it can be used as an inverter simulator or a motor simulator.

On the other hand, it can be used besides electronic devices. For example, there are the on-board vehicle-mounted devices for a hybrid car that employs the "mild hybrid". In the case of the "48 V Mild Hybrid" proposed in Europe, we are using a decelerating energy regeneration system and an enhanced generator to help drive.

The on-board generator is usually 12 V, which supplies the power of the on-vehicle electrical components, but this voltage is too low for hybrid use. So, it is replaced by a 48 V generator. In other words, since the car's electronic equipment itself operates at 12 V as before, it needs voltage conversion. The bidirectional power supply which carries a bidirectional DC/DC converter etc. is carried in these conversions. Furthermore, it is possible to simulate whether this system works for a hybrid car well.

Of course, this technology is also about system linkage, so a bidirectional power supply can also be used in the system linkage part. We will introduce it next time.

Reference (Japanese site)