Vicor has announced an Ultra-High Voltage (UHV) Bus Converter Module (BCM) designed for applications including Remote Unmanned Vehicles used in air, sea, or underground exploration as well as 3-phase AC/DC power systems. The new components accept rectified 3-phase voltages and enable UAVs to use higher voltages for transmission of power.
Like all Vicor BCMs, the new converter can operate in either direction, enabling systems to easily step up and step down the voltage. The 1:16 transformation ratio reduces I2R losses by a factor of 256, and it can deliver a power level of 1.75kW and a peak efficiency of 97%, with a power density of 700W/in³. As well as voltage transformation, the UHV BCM provides 4.3 kV of galvanic isolation. The BCM can also be used as an unregulated converter, feeding power systems using Vicor’s ZVS PoL Buck and Buck-Boost Regulators or PRMs and VTMs in a factorized power architecture.
The device is available in the thermally adept 4414 (111x36x9.3mm) VIA package, with either a chassis-mount or board-mount option and. The robust VIA package also provides integrated PMBus communication, EMI filtering, and voltage transient protection. These flexible modules can be easily paralleled into higher power arrays or connected in series for higher output voltages.
The new higher voltage BCMs are available in either “T-Grade” (-40 to 100˚C) or “C-Grade” (-20 to 100˚C) temperature grades. A Mil-Grade rating (-55 to 100˚C) is scheduled for release by the end of 2017.
By transmitting power to the vehicle at higher voltage, the current is reduced proportionally. This enables a much smaller cross-sectional area of the tether cable, reducing weight and therefore allowing for greater operating range.
Another application for the UHV BCMs is providing DC/DC conversion after AC rectification and PFC. In 3 Phase systems, the 700V BCM provides a small, efficient, power component with an SELV output. The 400V–700V input range addresses nominal 380VRMS and 400VRMS input AC/DC conversion needs, commonly found in industrial applications.