Ultrafast Current Sensors for High Frequency Power Electronics!

Dr. Babak Parkhideh
Research Highlight

A video description of Dr. Parkhideh's research is provided in the link below:

Power Electronics is undergoing a promising transition. Starting from line frequency power converters, we now have access to wide bandgap semiconductor power devices that enable high frequency power electronics systems. These systems would have unprecedented performance compared to conventional silicon-based power electronics in terms of power density, efficiency, and control bandwidth. One of its many challenges is the lack of current sensors for high voltage power electronics systems that are optimized to operate beyond 1 MHz. Dr. Babak Parkhideh and his research team in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of North Carolina Charlotte address the need for such current sensors.

“We are interested to develop nonintrusive current sensing solutions with very high slew rate and frequency bandwidth characteristics, which is much needed for very high frequency power converters.” Parkhideh said.

Parkhideh’s team is investigating materials and techniques that respond to the magnetic field produced by the current in a printed circuit board trace. The research addresses the challenges of measurements due to asymmetrical current distribution and significantly non-uniform magnetic field around the trace at frequencies beyond 1 MHz. The approach is to properly shape and amplify the magnetic field with non-invasive Magnetic field CONcentrators (MCON) and active filtering.

“So far, we have achieved a very promising result of DC-10MHz bandwidth and more than 100 A/µS response for ±20A current; an order of magnitude improvement over the current state-of-the-art solutions. We have considered many practical issues including the presence of unwanted electromagnetic noises in fast switching power circuits. We believe we can enhance the performance to 30 MHz,” Parkhideh said.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation under award ECCS–1610250. Some of this research was published in IEEE Sensors Journal and IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics-, while others are forthcoming.