8 March 2014 Parallel input parallel output high voltage bi-directional converters for driving dielectric electro active polymer actuators
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Abstract
Dielectric electroactive polymer (DEAP) actuators are capacitive devices which provide mechanical motions when charged electrically. The charging characteristics of a DEAP actuator depends on its size, voltage applied to its electrodes, and its operating frequency. The main idea of this paper is to design and implement driving circuits for the DEAP actuators for their use in various applications. This paper presents implementation of parallel input, parallel output, high voltage (~2.5 kV) bi-directional DC-DC converters for driving the DEAP actuators. The topology is a bidirectional flyback DC-DC converter incorporating commercially available high voltage MOSFETs (4 kV) and high voltage diodes (5 kV). Although the average current of the aforementioned devices is limited to 300 mA and 150 mA, respectively, connecting the outputs of multiple converters in parallel can provide a scalable design. This enables operating the DEAP actuators in various static and dynamic applications e.g. positioning, vibration generation or damping, and pumps. The proposed idea is experimentally verified by connecting three high voltage converters in parallel to operate a single DEAP actuator. The experimental results with both film capacitive load and the DEAP actuator are shown for a maximum charging voltage of 2 kV.
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P. Thummala, Z. Zhang, M. A. E. Andersen, S. Rahimullah, "Parallel input parallel output high voltage bi-directional converters for driving dielectric electro active polymer actuators", Proc. SPIE 9056, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014, 90561N (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044887; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044887
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