Control design for photovoltaic power optimizers using bootstrap circuit

Leonardo Callegaro, Mihai Ciobotaru, Daniel J. Pagano, John E. Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


The non-inverting buck-boost converter has emerged as one of the most promising topologies for distributed maximum power point tracking applications. Pressure to reduce cost and volume of photovoltaic module integrated converters often compels bootstrap capacitor type gate drivers. The bootstrap technique is a simple and economical solution to create a floating power supply for high-side gate drivers. However, it comes with a major challenge, as the low-side switch must be periodically turned on, to recharge the high-side bootstrap capacitor. In the buck and the boost mode, one of the switching legs of the converter must be held with the high-side switch on, which eventually discharges the high-side capacitor. When the non-inverting buck-boost input voltage is regulated by means of a single voltage loop, recharging the bootstrap capacitor causes an undesired ripple in the PV module voltage, degrading the regulation quality. In order to mitigate this problem, this paper proposes a cascaded control technique, entailing regulation of the PV module voltage and inductor current. The cascaded controller dramatically improves the rejection of the disturbance induced by the periodic recharge of the bootstrap capacitor, thanks to the fast action of the current loop, regulating the average value of the inductor current. Converter transfer functions and controller design are derived and validated. Experimental results clearly show that the cascaded control scheme outperforms the traditional voltage control scheme, resulting in a better regulation of the PV module voltage. This main advantage comes at the cost of an additional measurement of the average inductor current.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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