PCB Layer Optimization of Planar Medium Frequency Transformer for On-Board EV Chargers

Planar medium frequency transformer (MFT) is a promising solution for on-board electric vehicle (EV) chargers, to achieve high power density and high efficiency. The trend towards higher power densities and higher efficiencies exposes a number of limitations on conventional litz wire transformers, especially for increasing the current density. Litz wire current density is limited by the temperature, due to poor thermal management capabilities. PCBs, however, have better thermal management capabilities, which allows for higher current densities. This paper optimizes planar MFT windings focusing on maximizing current density and the simplicity of the implementation. The losses, power density and thermal constraints are investigated and a pareto-front is created based on optimal solutions. High efficiency and power densities are achieved from 2D/3D FEM simulations. A solution within thermal constraints is selected and a prototype is built based on similar ratings. Tests with different current densities are carried out on the prototype and the temperatures are compared. The results verify that planar MFT with high current densities are feasible solutions for high efficiency and high power density MFTs.


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