Dielectric electroactive polymer (DEAP) actuators are capacitive devices which provide mechanical motions when charged electrically. The charging characteristics of a DEAP actuator depends on its size, voltage applied to its electrodes, and its operating frequency. The main idea of this paper is to design and implement driving circuits for the DEAP actuators for their use in various applications. This paper presents implementation of parallel input, parallel output, high voltage (~2.5 kV) bi-directional DC-DC converters for driving the DEAP actuators. The topology is a bidirectional flyback DC-DC converter incorporating commercially available high voltage MOSFETs (4 kV) and high voltage diodes (5 kV). Although the average current of the aforementioned devices is limited to 300 mA and 150 mA, respectively, connecting the outputs of multiple converters in parallel can provide a scalable design. This enables operating the DEAP actuators in various static and dynamic applications e.g. positioning, vibration generation or damping, and pumps. The proposed idea is experimentally verified by connecting three high voltage converters in parallel to operate a single DEAP actuator. The experimental results with both film capacitive load and the DEAP actuator are shown for a maximum charging voltage of 2 kV.
Proceedings of Spie : Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (eapad), 2014
Dielectric Electro Active Polymer; High voltage power converters; Capacitive actuator; Energy efficiency; Flyback converter
Main Research Area:
SPIE Smart Structures/NDE, 2014
SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering