A bidirectional buck boost converter and method of operating the same allows regulation of power flow between first and second voltage sources in which the voltage level at each source is subject to change and power flow is independent of relative voltage levels. In one embodiment, the converter is designed for hard switching while another embodiment implements soft switching of the switching devices. In both embodiments, first and second switching devices are serially coupled between a relatively positive terminal and a relatively negative terminal of a first voltage source with third and fourth switching devices serially coupled between a relatively positive terminal and a relatively negative terminal of a second voltage source. A free-wheeling diode is coupled, respectively, in parallel opposition with respective ones of the switching devices. An inductor is coupled between a junction of the first and second switching devices and a junction of the third and fourth switching devices. Gating pulses supplied by a gating circuit selectively enable operation of the switching devices for transferring power between the voltage sources. In the second embodiment, each switching device is shunted by a capacitor and the switching devices are operated when voltage across the device is substantially zero.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No.: DEAC0363 CH10093 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.