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Lightweight Battery Charge Regulator Used to Track Solar Array Peak PowerA battery charge regulator based on the series-connected boost regulator (SCBR) technology has been developed for high-voltage spacecraft applications. The SCBR regulates the solar array power during insolation to prevent battery overcharge or undercharge conditions. It can also be used to provide regulated battery output voltage to spacecraft loads if necessary. This technology uses industry-standard dc-dc converters and a unique interconnection to provide size, weight, efficiency, fault tolerance, and modularity benefits over existing systems. The high-voltage SCBR shown in the photograph has demonstrated power densities of over 1000 watts per kilogram (W/kg). Using four 150-W dc-dc converter modules, it can process 2500 W of power at 120 Vdc with a minimum input voltage of 90 Vdc. Efficiency of the SCBR was 94 to 98 percent over the entire operational range. Internally, the unit is made of two separate SCBR s, each with its own analog control circuitry, to demonstrate the modularity of the technology. The analog controllers regulate the output current and incorporate the output voltage limit with active current sharing between the two units. They also include voltage and current telemetry, on/off control, and baseplate temperature sensors. For peak power tracking, the SCBR was connected to a LabView-based data acquisition system for telemetry and control. A digital control algorithm for tracking the peak power point of a solar array was developed using the principle of matching the source impedance with the load impedance for maximum energy transfer. The algorithm was successfully demonstrated in a simulated spacecraft electrical system at the Boeing PhantomWorks High Voltage Test Facility in Seattle, Washington. The system consists of a 42-string, high-voltage solar array simulator, a 77-cell, 80-ampere-hour (A-hr) nickel-hydrogen battery, and a constant power-load module. The SCBR and the LabView control algorithm successfully tracked the solar array peak power point through various load transients, including sunlight discharge transients when the total load exceeded the maximum solar array output power.
Document ID
Document Type
Soeder, James F. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Button, Robert M. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: Research and Technology 1998
Subject Category
Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19990052647Analytic PrimaryResearch and Technology, 1998
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