Magnetoelectric voltage tunable inductors (VTIs) offer a new paradigm for power electronics circuit design. Here, air-gapped VTIs are demonstrated exhibiting a large inductance tunability of 220% with applied fields under 20 kVcm-1 and operational stability up to 5 MHz that covers the full frequency range of the state-of-the-art power electronics. The design of air-gapped VTI comprises of two C-shaped ferrite cores, one permeability-variable magnetic flux valve (MFV) in between C-shaped cores, and slotted air gap between cores and MFV. The tunability of VTIs is achieved through the electric field modulation of permeability in the MFV based on the magnetoelectric effect. There is a tradeoff between the tunability and saturation current. The introduction of air gap significantly reduces the tunability but provides methodology toward increasing the saturation current and power handling capability due to the increased reluctance. The inductance and tunability reduces by 50% with increase in the air-gap width from 0.07 mm to infinity (condition with no C-shaped cores). Phase field simulations demonstrate that the air gap affects the magnetization, permeability, and tunability of VTIs by tailoring the demagnetization field that further influences the magnetic domain rotation process. VTIs with increased frequency range and saturation current will strengthen the continued development of tunable power electronics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering