Tightly regulated power electronic converters show negative impedance characteristics and behave as a constant power load (CPL) which sink constant power from their input bus. This incremental negative impedance characteristics of tightly regulated point-of-load converters in multi-converter power systems have a destabilising effect on source converters and may destabilise the whole system. Similar phenomena also occur in many situations like dc microgrid, vehicular power system. Here, the authors present a robust pulse-width modulation-based sliding-mode controller for a dc/dc boost converter feeding the CPL in a typical dc microgrid scenario. A non-linear surface is proposed which ensures constant power to be delivered to the load. The existence of sliding mode and stability of the sliding surface are proved. The proposed controller is implemented using OPAL-RT real-time digital simulator on a laboratory prototype of dc/dc boost converter system. The effectiveness of the proposed sliding-mode controller is validated through simulation and experimental results under different operating conditions. © The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2015.