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The inherent double line ripple power in single-phase systems is adverse to the performance of power electronics converters, e.g. limited lifetime due to the requirement of large electrolytic capacitors and low voltage control bandwidth due to harmonic disturbance. In this paper, an active converter topology based on a symmetrical half bridge circuit is proposed to decouple the ripple power so that balanced instantaneous power flow is assured between source and load, and the required dc-link capacitance can be dramatically reduced. For proper closed-loop regulation, the small signal modeling of the proposed system is presented, and a dual voltage control strategy is then proposed, which comprises one voltage loop implemented in the synchronous reference frame for active power balancing, and another one implemented in the stationary reference frame for ripple power compensation. Special attention is given to the bandwidth of voltage control loops because the variation of dc-link voltage should be kept within an acceptable range during load transients. This is particularly important for systems with reduced dc-link capacitance because they are of lower energy capacity and the dc-link voltage is therefore very sensitive to step load changes. Comprehensive simulation results and experimental results are presented to show the effectiveness of the proposed circuit and control algorithm.