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A New Switching Algorithm in Back toBack CHB Multilevel Converters with theAdvantage of Eliminating Isolation Stage
Mohsen Asoodar School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehran, Iranasoodar@kth.seHossein Iman-EiniSchool of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehran, Iranimaneini@ut.ac.ir 
 Abstract 
 —Back to Back CHB Multilevel converters havebeen widely considered in high power applications; however,there are certain drawbacks which restrict the use of thesestructures. In this paper, a new switching algorithm isintroduced for a back to back cascaded H-bridge (CHB)converter with the ability to regulate the DC bus voltages to areference value and produce a low frequency output voltage. Themain purpose of this novel switching algorithm is to eliminatethe need for an isolation stage between the H-bridge cells. Theproposed back to back converter can connect directly to MVlevels and correct the input power factor, even if the output loadis non-linear. In order to limit the switching loss, a maximumswitching frequency of 3kHz has been chosen for the line sideconverter; furthermore, to eliminate a specific harmoniccomponent, the load side converter is modulated through theselective harmonic elimination method. Using the predictivecurrent control method for the rectifier, the input current isprogrammed to be sinusoidal and in phase with the inputvoltage; in addition, the current distortion is kept below 5% atmaximum power consumption. The validity and effectiveness of the proposed method is verified through simulations on a 5-levelback to back converter in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment.
I.
 
INTRODUCTIONIn recent years there has been an immense interest of research on multilevel power converters. This is due to their extensive usage in high-voltage/high-power applications.Moreover, multilevel inverters have shown some advantagesin comparison to conventional inverters. The most prominent benefits in using multilevel inverters are their low voltagedistortion, less
dv/dt 
, less input current distortion, and their ability to operate under low switching frequencies [1].The main aim in multilevel inverters is to create asinusoidal voltage from several voltage levels. As the number of levels increases, the THD and
dv/dt 
of the output voltagewill decrease; however, increasing the voltage levels will leadto a more complex control algorithm, especially for the back to back multilevel structure where the DC links have to beequally balanced. Three major topologies have been presentedfor multilevel structures: cascaded H-bride [2], [3], [4], diodeclamped [5], and capacitor clamped [2], [6], [7] converters.The cascaded structure is chosen in this paper since it hassome advantages amongst other multilevel structures:
 
This structure requires the least number of components among other structures to create thesame voltage level [8].
 
The CHB converter is extremely modular and can beeasily extended to different voltage and power levels[8].
 
Moreover, soft switching can be used in thisstructure in order to eliminate the need for lossysnubbers [9].Many rectifying control methods have been proposed for multilevel rectifiers such as the Proportion Resonance (PR)controller [10], the hysteresis current controller[11], and the predictive current controller[12]. The PR controller and thefixed hysteresis band current controller have the drawback of random switching frequency. On the other hand, the predictive current controller has the advantage to operateunder a fixed and lower switching frequency and therefore,this controlling method is used in this paper.Back to back cascaded H-bridge structures have mostly been used for high-voltage drives [13] and power electronictransformer [14]. These structures can also be used inapplications such as high voltage electronic tap changers [15]and high voltage cycloconverters [16]. The back to back cascaded H-bridge structure has been mainly introduced witha coupled isolating device for each H-bridge. The mainchallenge in this paper is to eliminate the isolating deviceswithout destabilizing the DC voltage links to create smaller,cheaper and more applicable back to back multilevelstructures.II.
 
CIRCUIT CONFIGURATION
 A.
 
Conventional structures and difficulties
There are three typical isolating methods for back to back multilevel structures. The first design consists of isolatingtransformers at the input of each H-bridge. Due to the lowfrequency voltage (50Hz) of these transformers, the magneticcores are usually very bulky to prevent the core saturation;furthermore, these bulky cores are usually heavy whichincreases the overall weight of the back to back structure. Thesecond method is to install the isolation stage at the outputlinks of the back to back structure. This design has the same
978-1-4577-1829-8/12/$26.00 ©2012 IEEE
 
disadvantages of the first isolating method.is to use a DC/DC converter between eaunits. In this structure, by chopping the DC la high frequency modulation, the producedtransferred with a much smaller transformerequires smaller and cheaper componen preferred to the former designs; however ithe switching loss is almost high and ther considered as an efficient solution.
 B.
 
 Non-isolated back to back CHB conver 
The case study in this paper is a 5-levelto back CHB inverter which is shown inunit consists of four IGBT switches with anti
 
Figure 1. 5-level ack to back CHB inverter device
In the demonstrated structure, the line sH-bridge units are directly connected to ethe installation of an isolation stage. It is althe switches on the rectifier side and iswitched independently. In this case, there astates at which one or both of the DC link short-circuited. For example, if the load sinverter) is creating a zero voltage by svoltage on the upper H-bridge and a –Vdlower H-bridge, and both of the upper andline side converter (or rectifier) are at thcapacitor connected to the lower CHBs willThe dashed line in Fig. 1 shows the path icircuit current flows. Since this faultswitching states, the conventional back to bcannot be used without any isolating device.III.
 
PREDICTIVE CURRENT CONTROVOLTAGE MODULATI 
 A.
 
 Predictive current control basics
The predictive current control methoactive rectifiers has been proposed in [17]. been chosen for voltage rectification inequivalent circuit of the rectifying side is sthis paper, the switching frequency is chosenThe final methodch two H-bridgeink voltages withC voltage can be. As this methods, it is usuallythe latter designfore it cannot be
ter 
non-isolated back ig. 1. Each CHB-parallel diodes.
without any isolating
ide and load sidech other withoutso presumed thatnverter side aree some switching
 
capacitors will beide converter (or umming a +Vdcc voltage on thelower cells of the+Vdc state, thee short circuited.which the shortoccurs in manyck CHB invertersL AND “
SHE 
 Nd for multilevelThis method hasthis paper. Anown in Fig. 2. Into be 3kHz.
Figure 2. Equivalent c
 
According to [17], at each ti be calculated by means of the


 B.
 
Voltage level selection
Although the calculatedvalue, due to the cascadeddiscrete voltage levels are p proposed that calculates theto

[17]. Equationsmathematically; That is, durinof the discrete voltage levels c 


.



 
Since there are switching reduin CHB structures
,
for a speciswitching configurations can been proposed to select the oof a voltage level among varioThis algorithm suggests theoptimally equalizes the DC vo
 
C.
 
SHE voltage modulation
In this paper the
 selecti
voltage modulation method hconverter. The most promimodulation method is its ladvantage will effectively inthe converter due to its lowMoreover, the rectified voltaripple residing on the consquarter-symmetry structure o100Hz and every other evenfiltered and prevented from be
 ircuit of the rectifier side [17]
e, the AC terminal voltage canollowing equation:

.
.
(4)

could have any continuous-bridge structure, only a fewermitted. A method has beentwo voltage levels adjacent(5-8) illustrate this ideaeach period, the average valueorresponds to
v

.




(5)



(6)







.Ts (7)
 
(8)dancies for most voltage levelsic voltage level, more than one be assumed. An algorithm hastimum switching configurationus switching redundancies [18].switching configuration thatltage links.
e harmonic elimination (SHE)
s been utilized for the load sideent motive in choosing thisw switching frequency. Thisrease the overall efficiency of switching power dissipations.e usually has a 100Hz voltageant DC voltage. Due to thef the SHE output signals, theharmony will be automaticallying transferred to the output.
 
IV. NOVEL SWITCHING S In this paper, a novel switching methodthe aim of eliminating any isolating device.to avoid the switching states at which a shor occur. In order to find the faulty switching ccircuit shown in Fig. 3 has been designed an 
Figure 3. Designed circuit for finding the incconfigurations
Since the short circuited current alwayslines that connect the H-bridge circuits, andistinguish the incorrect switching statesones. In Fig. 3 the DC link capacitors have bDC voltage supplies. Also, since the shdoesn’t flow through the input grid line othey have been removed and replaced withany floating endings in the circuit. programmed to check every possible switchand examine the possibility of applying thathe current magnitude turned out to be predefined value, that specific configuratioto be acceptable in the practical implementaIn this paper a 5-level back to back structureSince there are 16 possible switching statesrectifiers and 5-level CHB inverters, a totalconfigurations can be considered for the 5-lCHB inverter. In order to organize t possibility results, a
1616
matrix has bematrix, each row refers to a switching stateand each column refers to a switching staside. Therefore, each element denotes oneconfiguration. After simulation, the elemewill be “0” or “1”. Number “1” indicates tconfiguration is applicable, whereas, numbunusable switching configuration. Fig. 4matrix results for a 5-level back to back Csimulation. For this matrix, the switching stato every row and column were labeled. TheFig. 4 indicate the number of correspondinH-bridge cells shown in Fig. 1. Also, icolumn, the first two switch numbers corresHEMEis proposed withThe main idea ist circuit fault willonfigurations, thesimulated.
orrect switching
flows through thempere-meter canfrom the correcteen replaced withrt-circuit currentthe output load,resistor to avoidcontroller wasing configurationconfiguration. If smaller than awas consideredion of the circuit.has been studied.for 5-level CHBof 256 switchingevel back to back he configurationn created. In thist the inverter sidete at the rectifier  pecific switchingts of the matrixhat the switchinger “0” shows anshows the finalB structure after tes correspondingnumbers 1 to 4 ing switches in theevery row and
 
 pond to the upper cell while the second two swlower cell. This matrix is usedfollowing simulations.
Figure 4. Final matrix for a
V. NOVEL SWThe novel switching algo based on a mutual switching dside and the inverter sidecharging the DC link capacswitches are in their “off” stthe proper switches are chose[18]. After the capacitors ar method is changed to theinverter side to produce an othe rectifying process. For tcharging process, the first hterminal voltage i.e.

is emodulation index and the de proper firing angles,
α
1
 
and
 
α
2
 ,
As shown in Fig. 5, byangles, a staircase voltage sisame phase and frequency as
 
Figure 5. Produced stair 
The staircase voltage sigthe output voltage; therefor tch numbers correspond to theas a switching reference in the
5-level back to back CHB structure
ITCHING ALGORITHMrithm presented in this paper isependency between the rectifier switching states. At first, for itors, all of the inverter sidete. During the initial charging, by the algorithm explained ine fully charged, the switchingovel algorithm, allowing thetput voltage simultaneous withis purpose, during the initialrmonic component of the ACtracted. Next, according to theired harmonic elimination, theare calculated.comparing

to the firinggnal is created which has the

.
ase voltage using

and

 
al is a low voltage model for , each level in the staircase

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