IGBT Gate Drivers in High-Frequency Induction Cookers (2)

How does an induction cooker work?
Figures 1 and 2 show two circuit topologies for induction cookers: the half-bridge series resonant converter, Fig. 1, and the quasi-resonant converter, Fig. 2. In both topologies, there exist the resonant elements Lr and Cr. For circuit simplification, the load pot, R, is assumed to be a purely resistive element.

In both topologies, an AC input supply of 220V 50 Hz is converted into an unregulated DC voltage by a full-bridge rectifier. This DC voltage is then converted into a high frequency AC voltage by the inverter IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) switches—S1 and S2 in the case
of the half-bridge circuit—which can be controlled using a microcontroller. Due to the high frequency switching AC, the element coil will produce a high frequency electromagnetic field which will penetrate the ferrous material of the cooking pot. From Faraday’s Law and skin effect, this generates eddy current within the cooking pot which then generates heat to cook the food inside the pot.
By applying the transformer equivalent circuit, designers are able to map the load pot (secondary of transformer) to the primary side of the circuit where the resonant inductor, Lr, and capacitor, Cr, are located. From this, we can obtain the equivalent circuit for the half-bridge and quasi resonant circuits, shown in Figs. 3 and 4. From these equivalent circuits, the operation of the induction cooker, and the values of the resonant inductor, capacitor and control algorithm
can be derived.
In order to reduce component size, minimize switching losses and reduce audible noise during operation, induction cooker circuits typically utilize resonant or soft switching techniques. Soft switching can be subcategorized into two methods: zero-voltage switching and zero-current switching. Zero-voltage switching occurs when the transistor turns-on at zero voltage. Zero-current switching refers to the elimination of turn-off switching loss at zero current flow. The voltage or current provided to the switching circuit can be made zero by using the resonance created by an L-C circuit. This topology is named a “resonant converter.”
The advantages of a half-bridge series resonant circuit are stable switching and lower cost due to simplified design. The voltage within the circuit is limited to the level of the input voltage, which reduces the voltage stress across IGBT power switch. This, in turn, allows the designer to lower the cost by choosing an IGBT with a lower voltage rating. The disadvantage of this approach is that the control of the half-bridge circuit is relatively complicated and the required size of the heatsink and PCB area is greater, because of the high side gate driver circuit required for the upper IGBT, S1 in Fig. 1)
The advantage of a quasi-resonant converter is that it needs only one IGBT power switch, which reduces the size of the PCB and heat sink. The disadvantages are that the quasi-resonant switching develops a resonant voltage which can be higher than the DC input voltage, increasing stresses on the IGBT power switches. This requires highercost components with higher blocking
voltage capabilities.


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