Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/1802
Date of Award
MS in Electrical Engineering
The present day duplex wall receptacle in the United States provides 120Vrms AC at 60Hz, which comes from a standard set for AC loads by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. With a DC system, such as what is used in the DC House project currently being developed at Cal Poly, providing DC power to DC loads presents a technical challenge due to the different required DC operating voltages of the loads. This thesis entails the design and construction of a Smart DC/DC Wall Plug, which can automatically adjust its output voltage to match any required DC load voltages. In the DC House implementation, renewable energy sources generate power to feed a 48V DC Bus. The Smart DC/DC Wall Plug converts power from the 48V bus to the appropriate voltage and power levels needed by the DC loads. The Smart DC/DC Wall Plug relies on load current detection, and uses a 10-bit digital potentiometer and a programmable current DAC to adjust the feedback network, thereby changing the output voltage. A dual channel 100W PCB prototype utilizing a STMF302R8 microcontroller is implemented for this design while confining to the NEMA wall outlet form factor. Results of hardware test verify the functionality of the Smart DC/DC Wall Plug in producing the required DC load voltages. Technical issues during the development of the Smart DC/DC Wall Plug will be described, along with suggestions to further improve from the current design.