ESR Modeling of Class II MLCC Large-Signal-Excitation Losses

David Menzi, Shmuel Ben-Yaakov, Grayson Zulauf, Johann W. Kolar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) with ferroelectric Class II dielectrics enable extremely high volumetric capacitance density, and are therefore preferred in high-power-density power conversion. These MLCCs, though, suffer from a nonlinear dielectric constant and substantial low-frequency, large-signal excitation losses. Previously, a Steinmetz-parameter-based loss model accurately described these large-signal losses in MLCCs, but a difficult peak-charge measurement was required. For magnetic materials, a Steinmetz-based model is translated to an operating-point-specific effective series resistance (ESR) model, which then allows for a low-complexity loss calculation. In this letter, we introduce and verify an ESR-based loss model for MLCCs, with the ESR derived from the MLCC Steinmetz parameters. Our modeling error is below 25% across all evaluated operating points, a major improvement over modeling with the small-signal ESR provided in the MLCC datasheet, which may result in a loss approximation error of up to 10×.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5711-5715
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • AC-DC power converters
  • DC-AC power converters
  • IGSE
  • IGSE-C
  • Steinmetz equation
  • effective series resistance (ESR)
  • inverters
  • loss modeling
  • multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs)
  • power capacitors
  • rectifiers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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