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Sneak Circuits of Power Electronic Converters by Dongyuan Qiu, Bo Zhang

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Preface

The so-called ‘Sneak Circuit’ is defined as an unexpected path or operational status in an electric or electronic circuit due to the limitation or oversight in design. Such sneak circuit can be triggered to operate under certain conditions. Whenever the unwanted or unintended operation corresponding to the sneak circuit emerges, the desired functions are likely to be degraded or inhibited. Undoubtedly, the phenomenon of sneak circuit also exists in power electronic converters, which are artificially designed to convert electric energy. In fact, sneak circuits in power electronic converters are not uncommon. For example, the discontinuous-conduction mode (DCM) in DC-DC converters is a type of sneak circuit corresponding to its continuous-conduction mode (CCM) counterpart, and vice versa.

However, the phenomenon of sneak circuit was not well-known in the past, largely due to unawareness of their conception in power electronics. In recent decades, power electronics has undergone intense development in many areas of technology. Better functionality, safety, and reliability of the power electronic system have become increasingly important in the present application of power electronics. In view of catastrophic results, which might be caused by the operation of a sneak circuit under certain conditions, it is necessary for power electronic engineers to understand thoroughly the sneak circuit in power electronic converters designed under all possible practical conditions.

The ...

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