An auxiliary resonant dc tank (ARDCT) converter is provided for achieving soft-switching in a power converter. An ARDCT circuit is coupled directly across a dc bus to the inverter to generate a resonant dc bus voltage, including upper and lower resonant capacitors connected in series as a resonant leg, first and second dc tank capacitors connected in series as a tank leg, and an auxiliary resonant circuit comprising a series combination of a resonant inductor and a pair of auxiliary switching devices. The ARDCT circuit further includes first clamping means for holding the resonant dc bus voltage to the dc tank voltage of the tank leg, and second clamping means for clamping the resonant dc bus voltage to zero during a resonant period. The ARDCT circuit resonantly brings the dc bus voltage to zero in order to provide a zero-voltage switching opportunity for the inverter, then quickly rebounds the dc bus voltage back to the dc tank voltage after the inverter changes state. The auxiliary switching devices are turned on and off under zero-current conditions. The ARDCT circuit only absorbs ripples of the inverter dc bus current, thus having less current stress. In addition, since the ARDCT circuit is coupled in parallel with the dc power supply and the inverter for merely assisting soft-switching of the inverter without participating in real dc power transmission and power conversion, malfunction and failure of the tank circuit will not affect the functional operation of the inverter; thus a highly reliable converter system is expected.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract No. DE-AC05-960R22464 between the United States Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.