Bipolar DC Power Conversion: State-of-the-Art and Emerging Technologies

Sebastian Rivera*, Ricardo Lizana F., Samir Kouro, Tomislav Dragicevic, Bin Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


This article provides a detailed analysis of the power electronics solutions enabling bipolar dc grids. The bipolar dc grid concept has proven to be more efficient, flexible, and higher in quality than the conventional unipolar one. However, despite its many features, these systems still have to overcome their issues with asymmetrical loading to avoid voltage imbalances, besides meeting regulatory and safety requirements that are still under development. Advances in power electronics and the large-scale deployment of dc consumer appliances have put this growing architecture in the spotlight, as it has drawn the attention of different research groups recently. The following provides an insightful discussion regarding the topologies that enable these architectures and their regulatory requirements, besides their features and level of development. In addition, some future trends and challenges in the further development of this technology are discussed to motivate future contributions that address open problems and explore new possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9036877
Pages (from-to)1192-1204
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received October 21, 2019; revised January 17, 2020 and March 3, 2020; accepted March 5, 2020. Date of publication March 16, 2020; date of current version April 1, 2021. This work was support in part by the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID) projects: FONDECYT Iniciación under Grant 11170774, REDES-PCI under Grant 170213, AC3E (ANID-Basal Project FB0008), and SERC Chile under Grant ANID/FONDAP/15110019, and in part by the Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion (UCSC) under Project FIAEC 01-2019-UCSC. Recommended for publication by Associate Editor Grain P. Adam. (Corresponding author: Sebastian Rivera.) Sebastian Rivera is with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago 7620086, Chile (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • Bipolar dc bus
  • dc distribution
  • dc microgrids
  • low voltage (LV) dc
  • smart grid


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