The use of several different sources to feed a load jointly is convenient in many applications, in particular those where two or more renewable energy sources are employed. These applications include energy harvesting, hybrid vehicles, and off-grid systems. A multi-input converter able to admit sources of different characteristics and select the output power of each source is necessary in such applications. Several topologies of multi-input converters have been proposed to this aim; however, most of them are controlled by simple strategies based on a small signal model of multi-input converters. In this work, a low cost high gain step-up multi-input converter is analyzed. A nonlinear model is derived. Using this model, a detailed design procedure is proposed. A 500 W converter prototype was constructed to confirm that the model predicted the real behavior of the converter. Using the nonlinear model, indirect voltage control of basic converters was extended to the multi-input converter. The obtained controller had a fast performance, and it was robust under load and input voltage variations. With the obtained model, the proposed design procedure, and the controller, a converter that was initially proposed for photovoltaic applications was enabled to be used in a broader range of applications. The herein exposed ideas for modeling, the design procedure, and control could be also applied to other multi-input converters.
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