Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Dragan Maksimović

Second Advisor

Regan Zane

Third Advisor

David Meyer


Because of increasingly demanding energy programs and initiatives, it is required to maintain high efficiency in various DC-DC converter applications over wide ranges of operating conditions. To achieve these efficiency goals, this thesis introduces an efficiency optimization approach, which can be applied to given power stages. In the proposed optimization approach, power stage design parameters and controller parameters are concurrently optimized over a range of operating conditions based on power loss models and multi-variable non-linear constrained optimization. A digital controller facilitates on-line efficiency optimization by storing the optimum controller parameters in a look-up table. A flyback DC-DC converter, commonly used in low output power applications, is adopted for experimental verifications of the proposed optimization approach. A valley switching technique is employed to significantly decrease MOSFET turn-on switching loss in discontinuous conduction mode (DCM), and solutions to a problem related to undesirable frequency hopping, commonly observed in other valley switching schemes, are proposed and discussed. A gain-scheduled compensator and a new control scheme, named k-control, are implemented for consistent transient responses over different operating conditions. Finally, simplified sensing and analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion techniques are proposed, targeting a low-cost, small-size and low-pin-count (≤ 8) digital controller IC chip implementation.