Issues associated with boost converter design and performance are investigated when a low input voltage is used. Low-input-voltage sources include single fuel cells, single solar cells, and thermoelectric devices. The primary context is interfacing single micro fuel cells to portable electronic loads, such as mobile phones. Efficiency and circuit startup are the two most difficult issues for a low-cost design. It is shown in theory and experiment that the boost converter has a voltage collapse point. A simple startup technique is proposed that is appropriate for some applications.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Boost; Low Voltage; Micro Fuel Cell; Power Converter; Startup Circuit; Capacitors; Diodes; Electric Converters; Electronic Equipment; MOSFET Devices; Power Control; Thermoelectricity; Voltage Control; Analog To Digital Conversion; Circuits; Fuel Cells; Low Voltage; Packaging; Inductors; Consumer Electronics; Mobile Handsets; Energy Management; Batteries; MOSFETs; Stability; Power Convertors; Solar Cell Arrays; Thermoelectric Devices

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2004 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2004