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Characterization of variable inductors using finite element analysis

Beraki, M. ; Trovão, J P Trovão ; Perdigão, M.

Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory Vol. 97, Nº -, pp. 101952 - 101952, December, 2019.

ISSN (print): 1569-190X
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,61 (in 2019)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.simpat.2019.101952

The variable inductor (VI) uses a small DC current to regulate the permeability of magnetic cores. Nonetheless, this magnetic device is composed of magnetic cores and multiple windings, which leads to a more complex geometry. Its magnetic properties variations and non-linear behavior complicate its modeling, analysis and its characterization. This paper uses Finite Element Analysis tool MagNet Infolytica software to characterize the VI in order to verify its feasibility for DC–DC converters with wide range of load variations. The inductance characterization, the losses and improvements in the saturation level are used to quantify the capability of the VI. The characterization and analysis presented in this paper will be a good base for researchers and designers to integrate the VI in converters and help them in choosing suitable VI configurations for their application. Moreover, the theoretical aspects presented in this paper will be essential for development of analytical ways for the characterization of such kind of devices. The inductance characterization obtained from FEM simulations agree with the experimental values with a mean squared error of 1.6%. Furthermore, for a current of more than twice the rated current, the differential inductance is increased by 56 times with control current in the auxiliary winding. This reveals the potential significance of VI in improving the current handling capability and core utilization leading to core size reduction in power electronic converters.