FTM Board Club
Future Electronics
GaNdalf
High Efficiency Power Factor Correction

The GaNdalf reference design board takes advantage of the low output capacitance and zero reverse recovery of the latest X-Gan HEMT power switches from Panasonic, which are fabricated from wide bandgap GaN semiconductor material.

Operating from a universal mains input range of 85V-265V AC, the GaNdalf board achieves a power factor of >0.98 and efficiency in the PFC stage of better than 99.0%.

Power Factor Correction (PFC) is widely used in AC-DC power supplies with an input power greater than 75W. The PFC circuit controls the input current to synchronise it with the input voltage and to minimise reactive power losses. Power-system designers are under more pressure than ever to achieve high efficiency across the whole AC-DC converter circuit. In the PFC stage, the drive for efficiency has led designers to evaluate various bridgeless PFC circuit topologies, which remove the rectifying diode bridge and its associated power losses from the input of the PFC stage.

In the GaNdalf board design, Future Electronics has implemented a bridgeless totem pole PFC topology which offers very high efficiency and a low component count. Conventional silicon superjunction MOSFETs perform poorly in this hard-switched topology, so Future Electronics has based its PFC circuit on two Panasonic PGA2E07BA X-Gan switches.

To implement digital control, the preferred control method for the bridgeless totem pole PFC topology, the GaNdalf board uses Microchip’s dsPIC33H dual-core digital signal controller. This is an excellent platform for digital control, and provides spare processing capacity for additional functions such as system monitoring and communication.

Providing an output voltage of up to 400V DC, the GaNdalf board may be used to supply loads up to 1kW. Total harmonic distortion is <10%.

Features
  • Input-voltage range: 85V to 265V AC

  • Output voltage: 400V DC

  • Supports loads up to 1kW

  • <10% total harmonic distortion

  • >0.98 power factor

  • Digitally controlled: eases overall control (zero crossing, GaN and synchronous rectification drive)

  • Panasonic’s GaN High Electron-Mobility Transistors (HEMTs).

These devices benefi t from the superior electrical and thermal properties of the wide bandgap gallium nitride material to provide far better switching and conduction performance than equivalent silicon-based FETs

  • Microchip’s most recent dual-core 16-bit Digital Signal Controller (DSC)