It is quite often to utilize the transformer leakage inductance in the resonant tank of the LLC resonant converter to allow for a drastic reduction in the converter cost, weight, size, and volume. The effects of the secondary leakage inductance on the operation of the LLC resonant converter are not well discussed in the relevant literature, and it is the purpose of this paper to give an insight into these effects. The contribution of this paper lies in the following: first, highlighting that it is not always an accurate assumption to consider that the values of the primary and secondary leakage inductance are identical, specifically in asymmetric magnetic core structures. Second, it has been disclosed that the well-known coupling factor (k12) cannot properly express the unequalized leakage inductance distribution in the proposed asymmetric transformer. Therefore, the authors bring the primary coupling factor (k1) and secondary coupling factor (k2) into practice to appropriately express the unequalized leakage distribution on the primary and secondary windings, which can be controlled by the allocation of the relevant winding with respect to the air gap, utilizing the noise absorber, and changing the distance between the winding. Several transformer prototypes had been built and experimentally tested to validate these hypotheses. Third, it has been observed that the transformer voltage gain and efficiency can be improved when the transformer leakage inductance is concentrated on the secondary side to avoid the voltage drop inflicted by the relatively large value of the magnetizing current (im), especially at the light load condition. Fourth, it has been reported that in a transformer structure with a concentrated value of leakage on the secondary side would decrease the resonant tank input impedance, vertically widen the voltage-gain curve of the converter, and eventually increase the frequency control bandwidth with respect to the load variation. Transformer prototypes had been constructed and tested in a 390 V/12 V-220 W LLC resonant converter to evaluate the proposed analysis.
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