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Compared to Silicon metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices have a significant reduction in gate charge, output capacitance, and zero reverse recovery charge, enabling higher switching frequency operation and efficient power conversion. GaN devices are gaining momentum in power electronic systems such as electric vehicle (EV) charging system, due to their promises to significantly enhance the power density and efficiency. In this dissertation, a GaN-based integrated onboard charger (OBC) and auxiliary power module (APM) is proposed for EVs to ensure high efficiency, high frequency, high power density, and capability of bidirectional operation.

The high switching frequency operation enabled by the GaN devices and the integration of OBC and APM bring many unique challenges, which are addressed in this dissertation. An important challenge is the optimal design of high-frequency magnetics for a high-frequency GaN-based power electronic interface. Another challenge is to achieve power flow management among three active ports while minimizing the circulating power. Furthermore, the impact of circuit layout parasitics could significantly deteriorate the system interface, due to the sensitivity of GaN device switching characteristics.

In this work, the aforementioned challenges have been addressed. First, a comprehensive analysis of the front-end AC-DC power factor correction stage is presented, covering a detailed magnetic modeling technique to address the high-frequency magnetics challenge. Second, the modeling and control of a three-port DC-DC converter, interfacing the AC-DC stage, high-voltage traction battery and low-voltage battery, are discussed to address the power flow challenge. Advanced control methodologies are developed to realize power flow management while maintaining minimum circulating power and soft switching. Furthermore, a new three-winding high-frequency transformer design with improved power density and efficiency is achieved using a genetic-algorithm-based optimization approach. Finally, a GaN-based integrated charger prototype is developed to validate the proposed theoretical hypothesis. The experimental results showed that the GaN-based charging system has the capability of achieving simultaneous charging (G2B) of both HV and LV batteries with a peak efficiency of 95%.