Digitally Controlled Energy Harvesting Power Management System
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This thesis discusses a power electronics module (PEM) that is used to extract power from a human energy harvesting generator according to the user’s desired input power, and stores all of the extracted energy into an appropriately sized battery while staying within the charging limitations of the battery. The PEM can temporarily store the peak power produced by the generator allowing the reduction in the size of the battery required to the average power production level of the generator. The battery’s safety and longevity is maintained by charging them at the constant current and constant voltage rate. The design of the two-stage PEM, the requirements of the Energy Storage Capacitor (ESC) and battery size are discussed. The two controllers that control the PEM are explained and the different operating modes of the controllers are reviewed. A two-stage prototype digitally controlled average current mode control Boost converter and average current mode controlled Buck converter were designed and experimental waveforms were captured to test and validate the control theories used in the PEM. A Voltage Adaptive Gain compensator was used to optimize the closed loop response of both the Boost and Buck converters over their respective output and input voltage ranges. The DC efficiency of the prototype was measured with the peak efficiency of the Boost converter equal to 93% and the peak efficiency of the Buck converter measured at 93.7%. The total PEM system efficiency was measured at 87.9% at an input power level of 10 watts. The AC efficiency of the PEM was also measured with a peak efficiency of 91% with Vin = 15 V at Rin = 60 Ω. The software considerations for an embedded system, including power consumption and timing of real time events are reviewed. A software flow chart and timing diagram are provided to help visualize the sequence of the code. A design chart for selection of the size and voltage rating of the ESC was created. An experimental comparison of a single stage design without energy storage capability and the current PEM design was performed, with a power limited source, in order to show the effectiveness of the PEM and controllers at maximizing the power extraction from the generator. The PEM design was able to extract 50% more power than the single stage converter without energy storage capability.