Power Factor Correction aims at shaping input current to be as sinusoidal as possible, in order to reduce harmonic distortion and its associated losses, and bring power factor close to one in AC circuits.
Placed at the front end of relatively high-power Switch-Mode Power Supplies (SMPS), single-phase Power Factor Correctors can be included in different design topologies which fulfil specific requirements. An interleaving architecture with two or more small interleaved stages is useful to help achieve high-power densities. Bridgeless topologies can also be implemented to further enhance the efficiency of the combined PFC and front-end rectifier, and to help reduce conduction losses by minimizing the number of semiconductor devices in the line-current path.
ST's PFC controllers support the simplest boost-based implementation to the more advanced digital controllers supporting interleaved and bridgeless topologies. To help design robust and highly efficient PFC stages, these devices embed all the required protection features including output overvoltage, brown-out, feedback disconnection and boost inductor saturation. Power MOSFETs, IGBTs and rectifiers including Silicon-Carbide (SiC) technology, isolated or non-isolated gate drivers and a range of hardware and software evaluation and development tools are also available.