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Mobile User Connectivity in Relay-Assisted Visible Light Communications
Open AccessArticle

Efficient Visible Light Communication Transmitters Based on Switching-Mode dc-dc Converters

Power Supply Group, Electrical Engineering Department, University of Oviedo, Gijón 33204, Spain
Power Systems Division, European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk 2201AZ, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1127;
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visible Light Communication Networks)
Visible light communication (VLC) based on solid-state lighting (SSL) is a promising option either to supplement or to substitute existing radio frequency (RF) wireless communication in indoor environments. VLC systems take advantage of the fast modulation of the visible light that light emitting diodes (LEDs) enable. The switching-mode dc-to-dc converter (SMCdc-dc) must be the cornerstone of the LED driver of VLC transmitters in order to incorporate the communication functionality into LED lighting, keeping high power efficiency. However, the new requirements related to the communication, especially the high bandwidth that the LED driver must achieve, converts the design of the SMCdc-dc into a very challenging task. In this work, three different methods for achieving such a high bandwidth with an SMCdc-dc are presented: increasing the order of the SMCdc-dc output filter, increasing the number of voltage inputs, and increasing the number of phases. These three strategies are combinable and the optimum design depends on the particular VLC application, which determines the requirements of the VLC transmitter. As an example, an experimental VLC transmitter based on a two-phase buck converter with a fourth-order output filter will demonstrate that a bandwidth of several hundred kilohertz (kHz) can be achieved with output power levels close to 10 W and power efficiencies between 85% and 90%. In conclusion, the design strategy presented allows us to incorporate VLC into SSL, achieving high bit rates without damaging the power efficiency of LED lighting. View Full-Text
Keywords: visible light communication (VLC); light emitting diode (LED); switching-mode dc-to-dc converter (SMCdc-dc) visible light communication (VLC); light emitting diode (LED); switching-mode dc-to-dc converter (SMCdc-dc)
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Rodríguez, J.; Lamar, D.G.; Aller, D.G.; Miaja, P.F.; Sebastián, J. Efficient Visible Light Communication Transmitters Based on Switching-Mode dc-dc Converters. Sensors 2018, 18, 1127.

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