A BLOCK DIAGRAM APPROACH TO REFERENCE FRAME

TRANSFORMATION OF CONVERTER DYNAMIC MODELS
Charles Sao
University of Toronto
e-mail: cksao@ieee.org
Peter W. Lehn
University of Toronto
e-mail: lehn@ecf.utoronto.ca
Abstract
This paper proposes a reference frame transformation method which
applies appropriate rotational operators to the block diagram repre-
sentation of a converter space vector model to transform it from one
reference frame to another. Unlike reference frame transformation
using matrices, it can easily be applied to converter models of aver-
age complexity. A table of reference frame transform pairs and three
examples are provided to demonstrate the use of this method. Time
domain simulation results are used to validate the reference frame
transformation in each example.
Keywords—Voltage source converter; space vector model;
reference frames; Park transformation; Clarke transforma-
tion; dq-frame; αβ-frame.
1 Introduction
Reference frame transformation, such as Park transfor-
mation [1], [2], [3], of converter dynamic models using ma-
trices can be tedious in all but the simplest cases. This
paper provides a reference frame transformation method
that can easily be applied to converter models of average
complexity. In this method, reference frame transformation
is achieved by adding appropriate rotational operators to
the inputs and outputs of the block diagram representation
of the converter space vector model [4] and then eliminating
those operators through block diagram manipulation. This
transformation method is applicable to a simple system,
like a set of three-phase current signal filters, as well as to
complete closed loop converter models including the plant,
controller and filter elements. Three application examples
of the proposed transformation method are presented in
this paper to highlight its relevance.
Section 2 of this paper describes the proposed transfor-
mation method and tabulates the reference frame trans-
form pairs for some common transfer functions. Section
3 presents a typical application of the proposed method,
where a system containing both synchronous dq-frame com-
ponents and stationary abc-frame components is converted
into a common reference frame. Section 4 demonstrates
how a given dq-frame current controller for a converter may
be transformed into an equivalent phase current controller
that tracks sinusoidal references.
2 Reference Frame Transformation
Any three-phase voltage or current may be broken into a
space vector, and an associated zero sequence component,
as per (1) and (2).
i
(S)
=
2
3
(1i
a
+ ai
b
+ a
2
i
c
) (1)
i
0
=
1
3
(i
a
+ i
b
+ i
c
) (2)
Where a = e
j2π/3
. The superscript (S) is employed to in-
dicated that the space vector is in the stationary reference
frame. The above transformation of phase quantities into
a stationary frame and an associated zero sequence compo-
nent may be shown to be equivalent to the familiar Clarke
Transform [5]. In specific, the stationary frame space vector
is merely a linear combination of the αβ-frame quantities:
i = i
α
+ ji
β
. (3)
As quantities are transformed from one rotating refer-
ence frame to another, only the space vector is trans-
formed, while the zero sequence component remains un-
altered. Since the zero sequence component is invariant of
the reference frame, it will be neglected in the subsequent
analysis.
Fig. 1(a) shows the space vector model of a dynamic
system with input u
∗(X)
and output u
(X)
. This model,
which is formulated in rotating reference frame X, may be
transformed into its equivalent in rotating reference frame
Y using the following two step procedure.
Step 1: add rotational operators to its input and output
as shown in Fig. 1(b). The two operators are exact inverses
of each other. The rotation angle is given by Δθ = θ
Y

X
where θ
X
and θ
Y
are the angles of X-frame and Y-frame
with respect to the common stationary reference frame S.
Δθ need not be constant as reference frames X and Y may
be rotating at different angular frequencies. The output
operator transforms the original system output u
(X)
into
u
(Y )
, its equivalent in Y-frame. Conversely, the input op-
erator transforms the incoming signal in the Y-frame u
∗(Y )
into the X-frame quantity u
∗(X)
. The input transformation
is necessary because the input of the original model must
be a vector in X-frame.
Step 2: move operator e
jΔθ
through the model block dia-
gram until it reaches the output as shown in Fig. 1(c). This
step transforms the transfer function of the original system
model in X-frame into its equivalent in Y-frame, while leav-
ing constant gain and summation blocks unchanged. The
rotational blocks themselves cancel each other.
The following sections use a controlled sinusoidal pulse-
width modulated converter as an example to demonstrate
1-4244-0038-4 2006
IEEE CCECE/CCGEI, Ottawa, May 2006
2270
Space Vector
Model in Reference
Frame X
) X (
u
) X *(
u
θ Δ j
e
θ Δ − j
e
) Y (
u
) Y *(
u
Space Vector
Model in Reference
Frame Y
θ Δ j
e
θ Δ − j
e
(b)
(c)
) Y *(
u
) Y (
u ) Y (
u
) X (
u
Space Vector
Model in Reference
Frame X
) X (
u
) X *(
u
(a)
Figure 1: The Reference Frame Transformation Procedure.
Gating
Signal
sabc
v
L R
abc
i
DSP with
dq-Frame
Control
Converter
tabc
v
fabc
i
τ +s 1
1
Voltage
Sesnsor
sabc
v
Figure 2: The Converter Used in the Examples.
the application of the block diagram reference transforma-
tion method. Fig. 2 shows the considered converter and its
digital controller, as taken from [6]. The converter is con-
nected to the ac supply through inductance L and resistance
R. The converter switching frequency is well above the fun-
damental frequency of the ac supply. The dc side of the
converter is connected to a strong dc bus with sufficiently
high voltage. As may be seen from the figure, most of the
control system is described in the synchronous dq-frame
within the DSP, however, analog filters on the feedback
current signals are described in the stationary abc-frame.
3 dq-Frame Model of Three-Phase
Current Signal Filters
This first example transforms the model of the feedback
current signal filters in Fig. 2 into an equivalent in the
synchronous dq-frame, which will henceforth be referred to
as X-frame for convenience. The transformation allows the
entire closed loop converter system to be represented in a
single rotating reference frame. This facilitates both com-
pensator tuning and stability analysis.
Before reference frame transformation is possible, the
space vector model of the filters in the stationary reference
is found. Considering an identical filter transfer function
G(s) on each of the three phase quantities, we have:
i
(S)
filt
= 1G(s)i
a
+ aG(s)i
b
+ a
2
G(s)i
c
(4)
i
(S)
filt
= G(s)i
(S)
. (5)
(a)
(b)
τ ω + + ) j s ( 1
1
X
τ +s 1
1
X
j
e
θ
) X (
i
) X (
f
i
) S (
i
) S (
f
i
X
j
e
θ
X
j
e
θ −
X
j
e
θ −
Cancellation
) X (
i
) S (
f
i
) X (
f
i
) e i (
X
j ) S (
f
θ −
Figure 3. The Space Vector Model of the abc-Frame Current
Signal Filter
Thus for balanced systems, the transfer function of phase
a is identical to the space vector transfer function in the
stationary frame.
To transform the S-frame filter model into its equivalent
in X-frame, rotational operators are added to the model
input and output, as shown in Fig. 3(a). The rotation
angle θ
X
is the angle of X-frame with respect to S-frame.
The operator e
jθX
is then pulled through the transfer func-
tion, transforming it into its equivalent in X-frame as shown
in Fig. 3(b). The relationship between i
(X)
and i
(S)
f
in
Fig. 3(a) is used as a starting point to derive the equiva-
lent transfer function in X-frame. That relationship can be
written in time domain as:
τ
di
(S)
f
dt
+ i
(S)
f
= i
(X)
e
jθX
(6)
Multiplying both sides of (6) by e
−jθX
and subtracting
and adding τje
−jθX
dθX
dt
i
(S)
f
to the left hand side results in:
τe
−jθX
di
(S)
f
dt
−τje
−jθX

X
dt
i
(S)
f
+ τje
−jθX

X
dt
i
(S)
f
+
i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
= i
(X)
(7)
The first two terms of (7) make up the derivative of
(i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
). Substituting these two terms with
d(i
(S)
f
e
−jθ
X
)
dt
and re-arranging the terms yield:
d(i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
)
dt
=
−(i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
) −jω
X
τ(i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
) + i
(X)
τ
(8)
where ω
X
=
dθX
dt
is the angular frequency of X-frame.
Taking Laplace transform on (8) results in:
(i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
)(s)
i
(X)
(s)
=
1
1 + (s + jω
X

(9)
Since (i
(S)
f
e
−jθX
) = i
(X)
f
in the block diagram of Fig. 3
(b), the equivalent filter model in X-frame is:
2271
) X (
i
) X *(
i
-
-
+
- -
-
) s ( R
Current Control Plant
3 Σ 2 Σ 1 Σ ) s ( C
L j
X
ω
) X (
f
i
τ ω + + ) j s ( 1
1
X
φ j
Ke
L j
X
ω
) X (
i
) X (
t
v P
) X (
e
) X (
u
) X (
s
v
+
Figure 4: The Closed Loop Converter Model in X-Frame.
0.2 0.22 0.24 0.26 0.28 0.3
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Time (s)
C
u
r
r
e
n
t

(
A
)
Step Responses with abc-Frame Filter and X-Frame Equiv. Filter
iqref
iq - abc-Frame Filter
iq - X-Frame Equivalent Filter
Figure 5. The Step Responses of Converter Models with abc-
Frame Current Signal Filter and the Equivalent in X-Frame.
i
(X)
f
(s)
i
(X)
(s)
=
1
1 + (s + jω
X

(10)
This filter model may be used to synthesize the closed
loop converter model in which the transfer functions of the
plant, the current control and the filter are all formulated
in X-frame. This is shown in Fig. 4. The transfer functions
are R(s) =
1
sL+R
and C(s) =
Kps+Ki
s
where L, R, K
p
and
K
i
are converter interface inductance, resistance, PI com-
pensator proportional gain and integral gain respectively.
The constant gain Ke

compensates for the attenuation
and phase shift of the feedback current signal due to the
filter. This model is the space vector equivalent of the dq-
frame converter model presented in [2], [6].
To validate the transformation, the model of a typical D-
STATCOM [6] is simulated, first using phase current filters,
and then using the equivalent synchronous frame model
presented in Fig. 4. (The system parameters are L =0.637
mH, R = 0.15 Ω, K
p
= 0.28 V/A, K
i
= 41.8 V/A/s, τ =
2 ms, K = 1.2524, φ = 37 degrees and ω
X
= 377 rad/s.)
Fig. 5 shows the responses of i
q
, the imaginary component
of i
(X)
, to a step change in the reference i

q
, the imaginary
component of i
∗(X)
, from 0 to 10 A. Perfect agreement be-
tween the two step responses validates the reference frame
transformation of the current signal filter from S-frame to
X-frame.
TABLE I
Common Reference Frame Transform Pairs
Description TF in X TF in Y
Gain K K
Rotation e

e

Integrator 1/s 1/(s + jΔω)
Derivative s (s + jΔω)
First Order Pole 1/(1 + sτ) 1/(1 + (s + jΔω)τ)
First Order Zero (1 + sτ) (1 + (s + jΔω)τ)
It may be noted in this example that the filter transfer
function undergoes a frequency shift of ω
X
as a result of
the transformation from S-frame to X-frame whose angular
frequency is ω
X
rad/s above that of S-frame. Similarly, Ta-
ble I shows that a transfer function undergoes a frequency
shift of Δω=ω
Y

X
when it is transformed from X-frame
to Y-frame. ω
X
and ω
Y
are the angular frequencies of X-
frame and Y-frame. Some common reference frame trans-
form pairs are given in Table I.
4 Converter Phase Current Controllers
This example transforms the closed loop converter model
of Fig. 4 into its equivalent in the stationary reference
frame S. Such a transformation may be performed when
one wishes to derive a converter controller which regulates
the abc phase currents to track sinusoidal references. The
resultant current controller is dynamically equivalent to the
space vector current controller of Fig. 4.
Step 1 in performing the transformation is to add rota-
tional operator e
−jθX
to the input and e
jθX
to the output
of the model block diagram of Fig. 4. The rotation angle
θ
X
is the angle of X-frame with respect to S-frame. To
facilitate the next step, operator e
jθX
is moved to the left
of node P, resulting in an additional operator e
−jθX
on the
feedback path as shown in Fig. 6.
Step 2 of the transformation is to move the two e
−jθX
operators (one at the input and one at in the feedback path)
along the signal paths through all the blocks towards the
output where they cancel the e
jθX
term. The following
paragraphs focus on the derivation of the equivalent current
controller in abc-frame because the plant transfer function
in abc-frame, which models the inductance L and resistance
R, is well-known as
1
sL+R
and the current signal filter model
in abc-frame is given in Fig. 2.
The transfer function C(s) of Fig. 6 undergoes a fre-
quency shift of −ω
X
in step 2. Thus, its equivalent in
S-frame is C

(s) =
Kp(s−jωX)+Ki
(s−jωX)
as ascertained from Ta-
ble 1. Fig. 7(a) shows the block diagram of C

(s) as a PI
compensator with a frequency shift of −ω
X
in the integral
block. This block may be decomposed into real and imag-
inary components as shown in the block diagram in Fig.
7(b).
Step 3 transforms the block diagram in Fig. 7(b) into
its equivalent in abc-frame. The upper two branches of Fig.
2272
-
-
+
-
-
-
) s ( R
Current Control Plant
3 Σ 2 Σ 1 Σ ) s ( C
φ j
Ke
X
j
e
θ −
X
j
e
θ
X
j
e
θ −
) X (
t
v
τ ω + + ) j s ( 1
1
X
L j
X
ω L j
X
ω
) X *(
i
) X (
f
i
) X (
i
) X (
i ) S *(
i
) S (
i
P
) X (
u
) X (
e
) S (
s
v
+
X
j
e
θ −
) X (
s
v
Figure 6: Reference Frame Transformation from X-Frame to S-Frame.
(b)
+
+
) S (
u
) S (
e
p
K
) s (
s K
2
X
2
i
ω +
) s (
K j
2
X
2
i X
ω +
ω
+
(a)
+
+
) S (
u
) S (
e
p
K
) j s (
K
X
i
ω −
abc
u
abc
e
(c)
+
+
p
K
) s (
s K
2
X
2
i
ω +
) s (
K
2
X
2
i X
ω +
ω
+
)
2
( R
π
Figure 7: (a),(b)Space Vector Compensator C

(s) in S-Frame; (c)Current Loop Compensator in abc-Frame.
7(b) comprise real transfer functions, (i.e. ones having real
valued coefficients), call it G(s). As per (4) and (5) any
real transfer function G(s) acting on a space vector in the
S-frame is equivalent to an identical G(s) acting on each
of the individual phase quantities in the abc-frame. This
equivalence assumes no 0-sequence component at the input
to the abc-frame transfer functions.
The third branch in Fig. 7(b) consists of the j operator
and a real transfer function. As with other rotational oper-
ators, the j operator needs yet to be transformed to obtain
its abc-frame equivalent. An arbitrary space vector rota-
tional operator e

may be transformed into the abc-frame
using the relation:
R(ρ) =
2
3


cos ρ cos(ρ +

3
) cos(ρ +

3
)
cos(ρ +

3
) cos ρ cos(ρ +

3
)
cos(ρ +

3
) cos(ρ +

3
) cos ρ


(11)
A proof of (11) is given in the Appendix. The abc-frame
equivalent of the operator j is R(
π
2
) and Fig. 7(c) shows
the resulting abc-frame current controller, where, again, the
equivalence is valid provided e
abc
contains no zero sequence
term. Fig. 8 shows the entire system block diagram in the
abc frame. It should be noted that the constant gains Ke

and jω
X
L in the current controller of Fig. 6 also become
KR(φ) and ω
X
LR(
π
2
) respectively in Fig. 8
To validate the transformation, the converter models of
Fig. 4 and 8 are simulated in PSCAD/EMTDC. The sys-
tem parameters in this example have the same value as in
Section 3. To ensure that the step inputs to the two mod-
els are equivalent, i

abc
in Fig. 8 is derived by transforming
i
∗(X)
in Fig. 4 into abc-frame. Moreover, output i
abc
is
transformed into a space vector in X-frame so that the step
responses of the two models can be compared. Fig. 9 shows
the responses of i
q
, the imaginary component of i
(X)
, to a
step change in i

q
, the imaginary component of i
∗(X)
, from 0
to 10 A. For both models, i
q
rises to track the new reference
input. There is complete agreement between the two step
responses, validating the reference frame transformation of
the converter model from X-frame to abc-frame.
5 Conclusions
This paper proposes a reference frame transformation
method which applies appropriate rotational operators to
the block diagram representation of a converter space vector
model to transform it from one reference frame to another.
Unlike reference frame transformations using matrices, it
can easily be applied to converter models of average com-
plexity.
A table of reference frame transform pairs and two ap-
plication examples are provided in the paper. The first
example transforms a set of converter phase current signal
filters into its equivalent in dq-frame, (which is called X-
frame in section 3), to derive the complete dq-frame model
of the converter and its controls for further use. The sec-
ond example derives a controller to regulate converter phase
currents by transforming the space-vector converter model
from dq-frame, (which is called X-frame in section 4), to
2273
abc
e
+
- -
-
) s ( R
2 Σ 1 Σ
tabc
v
abc
i
fabc
i
) ( KR φ
abc
u
abc
i
*
abc
i
)
2
( LR
X
π
ω
-
3 Σ
sabc
v
+
Current Control Plant
τ +s 1
1
+
+
p
K
) s (
s K
2
X
2
i
ω +
) s (
K
2
X
2
i X
ω +
ω
+
)
2
( R
π
Figure 8: Closed Loop Converter Model in abc-Frame.
0.2 0.22 0.24 0.26 0.28 0.3
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Time (s)
C
u
r
r
e
n
t

(
A
)
Step Responses of X-Frame and abc-Frame Current Controllers
iqref
iq - X-Frame Controller
iq - abc-Frame Equivalent
Figure 9: Step Responses of VSC Models in Fig. 4 and Fig. 8
S-frame. The resultant model is transformed further to de-
rive the abc-frame current controller. Simulation results
for the examples demonstrate the validity of the proposed
transformation method.
References
[1] P.C. Krause et. al., ANALYSIS OF ELECTRIC MA-
CHINERY. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1995.
[2] C. Schauder and H. Mehta, “Vector analysis and con-
trol of modern static VAR compensators,” Proc.Inst.
Elec. Eng., Pt. C, vol. 140, no. 4, pp. 299-306, July
1993.
[3] R. Wu et. al., “Analysis of an AC-to-DC voltage source
converter using PWM with phase and amplitude con-
trol ,” IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications,
vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 355 - 364, March-April 1991.
[4] A. Sonnenmoser, P. Lehn, “Line current balancing
with a unified power flow controller,” IEEE Transac-
tions on Power Delivery, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 1151 - 1157
, July 1999.
[5] E. Clarke, CIRCUIT ANALYSIS OF AC POWER
SYSTEMS. New York, NY: Wiley, 1950, vol. 1.
[6] C. K. Sao et. al., “A benchmark system for digital
time-domain simulation of a pulse-width-modulated
D-STATCOM,” IEEE Transactions on Power Deliv-
ery, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 1113-1120, October 2002.
Appendix A: Rotation Matrix
Given the space vector definition of (1), the abc-frame
components of y
(S)
can be expressed as:
y
a
= 0.5(y
(S)
+ conj(y
(S)
)) (12)
y
b
= 0.5(a
2
∗ y
(S)
+ a ∗ conj(y
(S)
)) (13)
y
c
= 0.5(a ∗ y
(S)
+ a
2
∗ conj(y
(S)
)) (14)
Consider the rotational transformation:
y
(S)
= e

i
(S)
(15)
Substituting (1) in (15) yields:
y
(S)
=
2
3
(e

i
a
+ e
j(ρ+2π/3)
i
b
+ e
j(ρ+4π/3)
i
c
) (16)
Substituting (16) in (12) results in the following equa-
tions
i
a
=
1
2

2
3
((e

+ e
−jρ
)i
a
+ (e
j(ρ+

3
)
+ e
−j(ρ+

3
)
)i
b
+
+(e
j(ρ+

3
)
+ e
−j(ρ+

3
)
)i
c
) (17)
=⇒i
a
=
2
3

cos ρ cos(ρ +

3
) cos(ρ +

3
)

i
abc
(18)
where i
abc
is a 3x1 matrix with elements i
a
, i
b
and i
c
.
Similarly,
i
b
=
2
3

cos(ρ + 4π/3) cos ρ cos(ρ + 2π/3)

i
abc
(19)
i
c
=
2
3

cos(ρ + 2π/3) cos(ρ + 4π/3) cos ρ

i
abc
(20)
Combining (18), (19) and (20) results in the rotation ma-
trix of (11).
2274