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Testing DC/DC power converters up to 45kW with only a 10kVA three phase feed

Do you want to be able to test DC/DC power converters up to 45kW with only a 10kVA three phase feed?

Yes? Then this is the post for you...

We are busy building out a new three phase power electronics test rack for characterisation of our high power AC/DC and DC/DC converter designs. We want to be able to test at high power levels without overheating the lab or running up our electricity bill too much. So, we are using the 're-circulating energy' approach to minimise energy dissipation during test.

The way we do this is to use a regenerative electronic load which allows us to draw DC power through our Device Under Test but returns most of that energy back to the three phase line rather than dissipating it as heat. This allows us to re-use the energy which would have otherwise been dissipated as heat to feed back to the input of the system. i.e. we re-circulate the energy.

No converter is ever 100% efficient so we still have some heat generated by the rack DC power supply, the device under test and the regen load. What happens in practice is that the load seen by the external three phase feed to the rack is just providing the losses in the system and therefore we can test at much higher power levels than the native supply.

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