Electronic – Boost Converter Efficiency goes down as Duty Cycle goes up

boostduty cycle


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

I have tested a boost converter under different duty cycles. I know the voltage is related to the input voltage by V = Vin/(1-D) where D is the duty cycle. But for some reason, as I increase this duty cycle with my input voltage kept constant, the power efficiency of the converter goes down.

I am using a function generator to make the MOSFET switching, and a DC voltage supply for input. (something like this: http://shop.rabtron.co.za/catalog/bench-power-supply-c-46_374.html)

Can someone tell me why the power efficiency of a boost converter reduces as the duty cycle is increased?

EDIT: I put a circuit to make the question more clear. I actually did not bother to check the type of diode or MOSFET, and it seems like that would've been important…

Best Answer

The main power losses in a boost converter can be summarized as follows:

  1. Power switch switching losses (e.g. MOSFET, BJT. Hereafter I will refer to the Power switch as the MOSFET)
  2. MOSFET conduction losses.
  3. DIODE switching losses.
  4. DIODE conduction losses.
  5. Other conduction losses (e.g. inductor resistance)

The efficiency of a converter is given by: eff = Po/Pin = (Pin - Plosses)/Pin.

As the losses change the efficiency therefore changes.

One can not make a blanket statement as to why the efficiency reduces or losses increase as the duty cycle increases because then one would need to know all five loss parameters as a function of current, voltage and switching frequency.

However, a simplified explanation of this phenomena is that the MOSFET conduction losses are unequal to the diode conduction losses. As the duty cycle increases, the MOSFET will conduct for a longer period and the diode for a shorter period. This in turn alters the power losses in the circuit. If the DIODE happens to have higher conduction losses than the MOSFET for example, then as the duty cycle changes, causing the DIODE to conduct for a relatively longer period than the MOSFET, then the efficiency will decrease. This is a simplified explanation, but the main principle is that as you change the duty cycle, the operating conditions for each element in the circuit change. Since the losses for each device depend on it's specific operating point, then changing the duty cycle changes the losses.