Power Electronics

Recent U.S. Power Electronics Patents

More detailed information may be found at the Patent Office Web site: http://www.uspto.gov. Click on “Searchable Databases,” then “Patent Full-Text Database with Full-Page Images,” then “Patent Number Search.” Enter the patent number shown below, and then choose “Full-Text Search,” followed by “Images.”

High-performance power converter and protector

6,134,128
October 17, 2000

This method and apparatus for protecting a high-performance power converter is comprised of a mains power converter, which converts an alternating voltage from a mains power supply into a direct voltage and supplies the direct voltage to an intermediate direct voltage circuit. It is equipped with an intermediate circuit capacitor, and includes a second power converter which converts the direct voltage from the intermediate direct voltage circuit into an alternating voltage — whereby each of the mains power converter and the second power converter is set up as a bridge circuit and each contains a number of IGBTs arranged in pairs in bridge arms.

Inventors: Enzensberger; Gernot (Wettingen, Switzerland); Herbst; Ingo (Greifensee, Switzerland); Umbricht; Stefan (Untersiggenthal, Switzerland)

Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG (Stuttgart, Germany)

Integrated voltage and current mode controller

6,134,122
October 17, 2000

In one embodiment, the controller includes: (1) signal processing circuitry that develops a unified control signal based on an output voltage, an output current and a current sharing signal of the power converter and (2) compensation circuitry, coupled to the signal processing circuitry, that compares the unified control signal with a reference signal to develop a modulator control signal for the modulator.

Inventors: Chen; Qing (Plano, Texas); Hilburn; Del Ray (Mesquite, Texas)

Assignee: Lucent Technologies Inc. (Murray Hill, N.J.)

Power system with plural parallel dc/dc converters

6,166,934
December 26, 2000

This distributed staged power system and control method is for supplying power to a load of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. This comprises a plurality of parallel dc-to-dc power modules whose output power is controlled in accordance with various control methods. This system provides higher efficiency because of smart staging of the power modules. Control methods enable or disable selected power modules to provide the highest possible power conversion efficiency.

Inventors: Kajouke; Lateef A. (San Pedro, Calif.); Schulz; Steven E. (Redondo Beach, Calif.)

Assignee: General Motors Corporation (Detroit)

Push-pull converter

6,166,927
December 26, 2000

The push-pull converter includes a pair of primary switches and a pair of primary windings of a transformer. The voltage stress across the primary switches is regulated by means of a clamp capacitor, which clamps the voltage of the primary switches during the reset of the primary windings of the transformer. An alternate embodiment shows how the voltage stress across the primary switches is regulated by means of two clamp capacitors. This clamps the voltage of the primary switches during the reset of the primary windings of the transformer. Current in the output section during dead times is permitted by means of an additional diode.

Inventors: Farrington; Richard W. (Heath, Texas); Hart; William (Plano, Texas)

Assignee: Ericsson Inc. (Research Triangle Park, N.C.)

Lossless current sensing in buck converters

6,166,528
December 26, 2000

This buck converter has a synchronous rectifier topology that performs current sensing at the low-side switch. It also employs “valley current control” to terminate a discharging phase and commence a charging phase of the converter. The buck converter is able to withstand high operating frequencies and low-duty cycles, to produce a low-output voltage from a given high input voltage.

Inventors: Rossetti; Nazzareno (Danville, Calif.); Sanders; Seth (Berkeley, Calif.)

Assignee: Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation (South Portland, Maine)

Power module

6,166,464
December 26, 2000

This power module is for a motor where the module is arranged to house the high power devices needed to drive the phase windings of the motor and the control electronics needed to control the operation of the high power devices. The components are arranged such that the thermal energy generated by the high power devices is directed away from the control electronics for subsequent dissipation. An insulated metal substrate is used as the base of the module for directing the thermal energy. The module components can be assembled with the use of solderless resilient connections from the control electronics to the other components in the module. It employs a base, a power shell coupled to the base, and a circuit board positioned within the internal chamber of the power shell.

Inventors: Grant; William (Fountain Valley, Calif.)

Assignee: International Rectifier Corp. (El Segundo, Calif.)

Load current sharing and cascaded power supply

6,166,455
December 26, 2000

This modular power supply distributes responsibility for supplying current to a load among two or more power supply modules, which have a common output node. One module supplies the lowest level of current to the load functioning as the master, while each remaining module functions as a slave. The master drives the load share bus. Any module can become the master, though, predetermined offset generally prevents the roles from changing. If the power supply modules fail, this module will not be the master. A module can be inserted when there are already other modules present and actively supplying power to the load. Rather than providing a common load share bus; a plurality of power supply modules are cascaded in a line, loop, and tree. Each module supplies power to a load via a common output terminal.

Inventor: Li; Thomas (Mountain View, Calif.)

Assignee: Micro Linear Corporation (San Jose, Calif.)

Regenerative snubber

6,166,500
December 26, 2000

This actively controlled regenerative snubber configuration is used in unipolar brushless direct current motors. It's comprised of a first inductor, first switch, and capacitor, connected in series to a positive voltage supply and in parallel with a second inductor and second switch. This is used to maintain constant voltage across the switches to prevent braking of the motor through conduction of motor back EMF and to return excess energy stored in the motor phase coils to the positive voltage supply. The return of energy to the positive rail is done to minimize conducted electromagnetic interference at the power leads.

Inventor: Makaran; John Edward (London, Calif.)

Assignee: Siemens Canada Limited (Mississauga, Calif.)

Forward biased circuits

6,166,584
December 26, 2000

This semiconductor circuit includes one or more transistors each having a body and variable voltage sources to selectively provide a forward bias at certain times, and to provide a non-forward bias at other times. The circuit includes voltage control circuitry controlling the variable voltage source, providing the forward or non-forward bias. The circuit controls the variable voltage source so the forward bias is provided during an active mode of the transistors and the non-forward bias is provided during a standby mode of the transistors.

Inventor: De; Vivek K. (Hillsboro, Ore.)

Assignee: Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, Calif.)

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