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Comparative Evaluation of PID Voltage Mode, PI

Current Mode, Fuzzy and PWM Based Sliding Mode


Control for DC-DC converters
Omar Ellabban, and Joeri Van Mierlo
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, IR-ETEC, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Elsene, Belgium
Omar.Ellabban@vub.ac.be

Abstract- This paper presents a comparison between the
application of four control techniques in DC-DC converters. PID
voltage mode (PID-VM), PI current mode (PI-CM), fuzzy, and
PWM based sliding mode (SM) controllers are applied to buck
converter. The design procedures of controllers are reviewed. The
dynamic performance of these controllers under star-up, steady
state, input voltage variation, load current disturbances and EMI
spectrum are presented and compared.

I. INTRODUCTION

DC-DC converters are nonlinear systems due to their
inherent switching operation, they represent a big challenge for
control design. Many linear and nonlinear control techniques
had been applied to control DC-DC converters. Linear PID
voltage mode (PID-VM) and PI current mode (PI-CM)
controllers are usually designed for DC-DC converters using
standard frequency response techniques based on the small
signal model of the converter [1-3]. A Bode plot is used in the
design to obtain the desired loop gain, crossover frequency and
phase margin. The stability of the system is guaranteed by an
adequate phase margin. However, linear PID and PI controllers
can only be designed for one nominal operating point. A buck
converters small signal model changes when the operating
point varies. Therefore, it is difficult for the PID-VM and PI-
CM controllers to respond well to changes in operating point.
Nonlinear controllers which are more robust and have faster
dynamic response are applied to power converters to solve this
problem. Many nonlinear control schemes have been proposed
for DC-DC converters. Between these schemes, sliding mode
(SM) and fuzzy control have advantages such as simple and
model free implementation [5-14].
This paper comprises the application of PID-VM, PI-CM,
Fuzzy and PWM based SM control methods for buck
converter. Simulation results using Matlab for the four control
techniques are evaluated and compared.

II. BUCK CONVERTER MODELING

The buck converter is one of the simple but most
useful power converters; a chopper circuit that converts a
dc inputs to a dc output at a lower voltage. The buck
converter shown in Fig.1, which is operating with the
switching period of I and duty cycle is considered [4].
During continuous conduction mode of operation, the state


Fig. 1 Buck converter: (a) circuit; (b) switch on; (c) switch off

space equations when the switch is ON (Fig. 1-b) are given by,

d
L
dt
=
1
L
(I

- I
0
)
dv
0
dt
=
1
C
(i
L
-
v
0
R
)
, u < t < I (1-a)
and when the switch is OFF (Fig. 1-c) are presented by,

d
L
dt
=
1
L
(-I
0
)
dv
0
dt
=
1
C
(i
L
-
v
0
R
)
, I < t < I (1-b)
Using the state space averaging method, these sets of equations
can be written as,

x
1
= -
1
L
x
2
+

L
I

x
2
=
1
C
x
1
-
1
RC
x
2
(2)
where x
1
is the inductor current and x
2
is the capacitor voltage.
The small signal modeling for the buck converter is done
assuming perturbations in the supply voltage and the duty
cycle. Equation (3) gives the output to control transfer function
0
d
(s) of a voltage mode buck converter, it has two poles and
can be modeled as a second-order equation,
0
d
(s) =

0
d

i
=0
=
v
0

1
1+s
L
R
+s
2
LC
(3)
A current mode buck converter also has two poles.
However, the second pole is located near the switching
frequency away from the dominant pole. Therfore, the model
can be approximated into a first-order equation with a single
pole. Control to output transfer function u
vc
(s) of a current
mode buck converter can be expressed as,
0
c
(s) =

0
i
c

i
=0
=
R
1+sRC
(4)
where i
c
is the control signal.
III. PID VOLTAGE MODE CONTROL (PID-VM)

The output voltage of a buck converter is regulated by
closing a feedback loop between the output voltage and the
duty ratio signal. The output voltage is compared with a
constant reference signal I
c]
to form the error, which is then
passed through the controller transfer function 0
PI
(s) to
generate a control signal proportional to the duty ratio; finally
the PWM modulator converts the control signal into the switch
drive signal g, as shown in Fig. 2 [1].
The magnitude and phase asymptotes of the uncontrolled
buck converter are sketched in Fig. 3-a, based on Eq. (3) and
the parameters of buck converter given in Table 1. The
uncontrolled buck converter frequency characteristic has a
crossover frequency of 6.S KBz with a phase margin of less
than five degrees. In order to compensate the low-frequency
loop gain and improving the phase margin, a PID controller
has been designed, whose transfer function is
0
PI
(s) = 0
pd
[1+
s
n
z
(1+
n
L
s
)
(1+
s
n
p
)
(5)
To design the PI controller [1]: first, the new crossover
frequency
c
is chosen to be one twentieth of the switching
frequency; then, choose the phase margin (somewhat arbitrary)
to be 0 = S2
o
; then, the pole and zero frequencies of the P
part are chosen as;

z
=
c
_
1-sIn(0)
1+sIn(0)

p
=
c
_
1+sIn(0)
1-sIn(0)
(6)
After that, the frequency of the inverted zero of PI part is
chosen (somewhat arbitrary) to be one tenth of the crossover
frequency; finally, the controller gain 0
pd
is,
0
pd
=
1
u
d
(s)u
PID
(s)

]=]
c
(7)
Fig. 3-b, shows the bode plot of buck converter with PID
voltage mode control, the system has a crossover frequency of
1u KEz with a phase margin of 48.4
o
.


Fig. 2 Simulink model of a PID voltage mode control for buck converter:
(a) complete model; (b) controller model

TABLE 1 SPECIFICATION OF BUCK CONVERTER


Parameter name Symbol Value
Input voltage I

24 I
Output voltage I
0
12 I
Capacitance C 1Su pF
Inductance I 1uu pE
Minimum load resistance R S
Switching frequency
s
2uu KEz


Fig. 3 Bode plot for 6
ud
(x): (a) uncontrolled; (b) with PID voltage mode
control

IV. PI CURRENT MODE CONTROL (PI-CM)

In this control method, the PWM modulator is replaced by
the switch current feedback loop. The switch is switched on at
the start of each cycle by a clock pulse which sets the output of
the S-R latch. The switch current rises linearly while it is
conducting. The current is fed back as i
s
and is compared by
the reference signal i
c
. When i
s
is equal to the reference, the
comparator output switches low, resetting the S-R latch and
turning the switch off as shown in Fig. 4 [2, 3].
Fig. 5-a displays the converter frequency characteristics of
0
c
(s). As the graph indicates, while the phase margin of the
converter is sufficient, the gain for low frequency is very low.
In turn a PI controller is designed to compensate for low
frequency gain whose transfer function is
0
PI
(s) = 0
p
(1 +
o
L
s
) (8)


Fig. 4 Simulink model of a PI current mode control for buck converter:
(a) complete model; (b) controller model
To design the PI controller: first, the new crossover
frequency f
c
is chosen to be one twentieth of the switching
frequency; then the frequency of the inverted zero is chosen
(somewhat arbitrary) to be one tenth of the cross over
frequency; finally, the controller gain u
pI
is,
u
pI
=
1
G
vc
(s)G
PI
(s)

I=I
c
(9)
Fig. 5-b, shows the bode plot of buck converter with PI current
mode control; the system has a sufficient phase margin and
high low frequency gain.

V. FUZZY LOGIC CONTROL

The conventional control theory uses a mathematical
model of a process to be controlled and some specifications of
the expected behavior in close loop to design a controller.
However obtaining a mathematical model could be difficult in
many nonlinear or unknown systems, or if the system does not
have constant parameters, what might limit the linear control
strategies. Fuzzy controllers dont require an exact
mathematical model. Instead, they are designed based on
general knowledge of the plant. A reason of this is that the
human knowledge adds several types of information and it can
mix different control strategies that cannot be added in an
analytical control law. Then the knowledge based fuzzy control
uses the experience and the knowledge of an expert. A kind of
knowledge based fuzzy control is the rule based fuzzy control
where the human knowledge is approximated by means of
linguistic fuzzy rules in the form if-then, which describe the
control action in a particular condition of the system. Due to
the nonlinear behavior showed by the converter and to the
inevitable variations in its parameters in real implementations,
a nonlinear fuzzy control might be desirable to control the
converter [5-9].
There are two inputs for the fuzzy controller for a buck
converter. The first input is the error in the output voltage
c(k) = I
c]
-:
0
(k), where :
0
(k) is the converter output
voltage at the k
th
sampling instant and I
c]
is the desired
output voltage. The second input, cc(k) = c(k) -c(k -1) ,
is change of error at the k
th
sample. Each input is composed
by seven fuzzy sets as shown in Fig. 6. The two inputs are
multiplied by the scaling factors g
0
and g
1
respectively, and


Fig. 5 Bode plot for 6
uc
(x): (a) uncontrolled; (b) with PI current mode control
then fed into the fuzzy controller. The output of the fuzzy
controller is the change in duty cycle oJ(k), which also has
seven fuzzy sets as the inputs and it is scaled by a linear gain
g
2
. The scaling factors g
0
, g
1
and g
2
can be tuned to obtain a
satisfactory response. The duty cycle J(k), at the k
th
sampling
time, is determined by adding the previous duty cycle J(k -
1
)
, to the calculated change in duty cycle:
J(k) = J(k -1) +g
2
oJ(k) (10)
The calculated duty cycle signal is then sent to a PWM output
stage that generates the appropriate switching pattern g for the
buck converter, as shown in Fig. 7. The rule base used to
implement this controller is composed by 49 rules and it is
shown in the Table 2. All the fuzzy inference system was
implemented in the fuzzy inference system (FIS) of Matlab.
The control surface is shown in the Fig. 8.


Fig. 6 Membership functions for e, ce and 6d


Fig. 7 Simulink model of fuzzy control for buck converter: (a) complete
model; (b) controller model


Fig. 8 Control surface of fuzzy controller

TABLE 2 RULE BASE FOR FUZZY CONTROLLER
ee NB NM NS ZE PS PM PB
NB NB NB NB NB NM NS ZE
NM NB NB NB NM NS ZE PS
NS NB NB NM NS ZE PS PM
ZE NB NM NS ZE PS PM PB
PS NM NS ZE PS PM PB PB
PM NS ZE PS PM PB PB PB
PB ZE PS PM PB PB PB PB
VI. PWM BASED SLIDING MODE CONTROL (PWM
BASED SM)

Sliding mode controllers are well known for their
robustness and stability. The nature of the controller is to
ideally operate at an infinite switching frequency such that the
controlled variables can track a certain reference path to
achieve the desired dynamic response and steady state
operation. The main problem with using of this controller in
control of DC-DC converters is variable and high switching
frequency which increases switching losses, inductor and
transformer core losses, and electromagnetic interference
(EMI) noise issue [9-14].
In recent years, fixed frequency SM control has been
investigated as a better control then conventional SM control
method for DC-DC converters. One of the most recent methods
to obtain a constant switching frequency in SM is to change the
modulation method of the SM controllers from hysteresis-
modulation (HM) to pulse width modulation (PWM). The
technique of PWM modulation is to compare a desired
analogue control signal :
c
with a ramp signal, of which a pulse
like output switching signal having the same frequency as the
ramp signal, will be generated. The advantage is that the
frequency of the output switching signal will be constant,
regardless of how the duty cycle varies with the variation of
the control signal. To achieve such a controller, a relationship
between SM control and duty cycle control is required. This
method in [12] offers mapping the equivalent control onto the
duty cycle function of the pulse width modulator. It suggests
sliding surface with three coefficients o
1
, o
2
and o
3
and results
second order response for output variable response as,
S = o
1
x
1
+ o
2
x
2
+o
3
x
3
(11)
where x
1
is the voltage error, x
2
is the rate of change of
voltage error and x
3
is the integral of the voltage error.
Comparing the equivalent control and the duty ratio control,
the following relationships can be established:
:
c
= u
cq
= k
1
i
c
+k
2
I
0
+K
3
(I
c]
-I
0
) (12)
The constant gain parameters, k
1
, k
2
and k
3
are depended on
values of I, C and sliding coefficients o

. The dynamic
performance of controller can be changed depended on values
of k

. Fig. 9 shows the block diagram of the PWM based SM


control for buck converter.


Fig. 9 Simulink model of a PWM-based SM control for buck converter:
(a) complete model; (b) controller model
VII. SIMULATION RESULTS

Performance analysis of four controllers is evaluated with
Matlab simulation. PID-VM, PI-CM, Fuzzy and PWM based
SM are developed based on last descriptions. Performance
analysis of converters is evaluated under star-up, steady state,
input voltage variation, load current disturbances and EMI
spectrum.
Fig. 10 shows the start up behavior of the controllers. PI-CM
has the largest overshoot; PID-VM, Fuzzy and SM have a
same overshoot for output voltage. SM has the shortest settling
time but Fuzzy has the longest settling time. Therefore, SM has
the best start up performance. Also Fig. 10 shows the steady
state behavior of the controllers. PID-VM, PI-CM and Fuzzy
have the same output voltage ripples, but Fuzzy has some out
voltage oscillations. SM has the smallest out voltage ripples.
SM is the most efficient control for steady state. Fig. 11 shows
controllers behavior during 20% step change in the input
voltage. SM control is not affected by input voltage step, PID-
VM has the largest output spike, PI-CM has almost negligible
effect and Fuzzy has larger output ripples. Therefore, SM has a
strong immunity against input voltage variation. Fig. 12 and 13
show controllers behavior during 50% load step increases and
decreases respectively. SM has the smallest overshoot and the
smallest settling time, Fuzzy has some output voltage
oscillations during step up load change and a longer time
oscillation during load step down change, both PID-VM and
PI-CM have a little transient. So, SM has the best performance
during load change. Since the selected control strategy also
effects on the generated electromagnetic interference (EMI)
spectrum [15], Fig. 14 shows the EMI converter input current
spectrum. SM has the smallest EMI spectrum.

VIII. CONCLUSION

Linear PID-VM and PI-CM controllers and Fuzzy, PWM
based SM controllers were designed and implemented for the
buck converter. Linear PID and PI controller were designed
based on the frequency response of the buck converter using
frequency response techniques. Fuzzy controllers were
designed based on the expert knowledge of the buck converter
and tuned using a trial and error method. The SM controller
does not need accurate mathematical models but requires the
knowledge of parameter variation range to ensure stability and
satisfy reaching conditions. PWM based SM has a fixed switch
frequency like the others and is well known for its robustness
and stability. PWM based SM has the best performance during
start-up, steady state, input voltage and load change, also it has
the lowest input current spectrum. From the present study,
PWM based SM seems to be a viable controller for application
in power DC-DC converters.

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Fig. 10 Response of the controllers during start up


Fig. 11 Response of the controllers under 20% input voltage step

Fig. 12 Response of the controllers under 50% step load increase


Fig. 13 Response of the controllers under 50% step load decrease


Fig. 14 Input current spectrum for different control technique