KM3 Wide-Ranging MPPT Converter

The KM3 is the new flagship converter from Thermoelectric Conversion Systems. It builds on the reliable performance of the KM2 converter, considerably expanding input and output operating range and power rating. A proprietary algorithm ensures top-level MPPT performance during both transients and steady thermal conditions. An optional touchscreen display shows input/output current and voltage measurements.

Operational Features

  • Interface to & charge of 12V or 24V batteries at the output (48V in early 2018)
  • Innovative MPPT method for effective tracking of steady-states and transients
  • Low heat dissipation due to Electrical Efficiency up to 98.3%
  • Wide Input Voltage range: 2V – 75V with 100V input/output voltage transient capability
  • Delivers in excess of 150 W Output Power with Natural Convection
  • I2C Communication Interface for measurement data, limits and control
  • Analogue Input and Output Current measurement outputs
  • Optional Touch-Screen Display with Input/Output voltage, current and power information
  • Seamless operation with the monTEG device (if used)
  • Forced MPPT (within battery safe limits) or battery charging management modes
  • TCS proprietary MPPT algorithm
  • Input under-voltage lockout and output under/over voltage and current limit
  • Input/output reverse voltage protection (external fuse required to prevent damage)
  • Thermal shutdown protects the KM3 converter from abnormal environmental conditions
  • Available with screw connectors or with headers for easy integration to the backplane
  • Dimensions: 85 x 65 x 25 mm3
  • Total weight: 100 grams
  • Side notches ensures reliable mechanical connection to the backplane during vibrations

The KM3 converter is a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) converter for thermoelectric power generating arrays (TEGs). It operates the TEGs at their optimal operating point and efficiently transfers electricity to the necessary output battery (not included). Battery charging management can be activated to improve the state of charge of the output battery. 12V and 24V batteries are currently supported and 48V batteries will be supported from the beginning of 2018.

The proprietary MPPT algorithm tracks fast thermal transients and recognises steady states to increase the thermal-to-electrical efficiency of the system. The KM3 converter interfaces TEGs whose voltage can be either lower or higher than that of the output battery. It starts its voltage step-up operation with input voltages as low as 2V and continues harvesting electrical power provided that the TEG open-circuit voltage does not exceed 85V. The KM3 converter uses synchronous rectification to operate in Boost, Buck-Boost or Buck modes. Its innovative construction design minimises heat dissipation and EMI and allows extremely high power densities. No external heat-sink is required and all components are mounted on the top-side of the PCB.

The KM3 converters can communicate to other devices through I2C. It answers to an I2C master using the TCS communication protocol, based on the PMBus protocol. An optional touch-screen display shows input and output voltage, current and power and controls the operation of the converter.

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Banner of the KM3 converter
Copyright Thermoelectric Conversion Systems (Glasgow, UK). TCS offer products and services for the thermoelectric market bridging the gap from device to system.