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# DC-to-DC Four-Quadrant Converter A dc-to-dc converter in which the power can flow for the source to the load

and vice versa and the output voltage can also change its polarity is referred to as a fourquadrant converter. In simple words, the four-quadrant converter the output voltage can be either positive or negative and the lad can be absorbing or delivering power. Keep in mind that the power can only flow for the load toward the source when the load has an active component such as a battery or the back emf of a dc motor.

## Figure 1: Four-quadrant dc-to-dc converter

A simplified version of a four-quadrant converter is given in Figure 1. It has four switches: S1 , S 2 , S3 , and S 4 . The on-time (TON ) is the time for which the switches S1 and S 4 are closed while S 2 and S3 are open. The off-time ((TOFF ) is the time when the switches S1 and S 4 are open while S 2 and S3 are closed. The ratio of the on-time to the time-period is the duty cycle, where the time-period is the sum of the on-time (TON ) and the off-time ((TOFF ) such that T = TON + TOFF . Thus, the duty cycle is
D= TON T

The on-time and the off-time in terms of the duty cycle are TON = D T and TOFF = (1 D)T We have already talked about these equations. They are reproduced here for completeness and easy reference.

## Two-Quadrant dc-to-dc Converter

Let us assume that the two-quadrant converter has been operating for a long time and the switches S1 and S 4 are closed at t = 0. At the same time the switch S 2 and S3 are opened. At the closing of S1 and S 4 , the output voltage, with the polarity as shown in Figure-1, is v AB ( t ) = VS The average value of this voltage is VAB+ = DVS (2) 0 t TON = DT (1)

If we open S1 at t = TON and close S 2 at the same time and leave the other two switches in the same positions, then the four-quadrant converter operates as a two quadrant converter with a positive output voltage. The direction of the current through S1 and S 2 depend whether the load contains an active element or not. In this case, the switch S3 is remains untouched at all times. We have just outlined one scheme for operating a positive output voltage between terminals A and B. There is another method to do the same as described later in this section. We could maintain a negative output voltage between terminals A and B by first closing switches S3 and S 2 from t = 0 to t = TON . At t = TON , we can close S 4 and leave the other switches untouched. This marks another two-quadrant operation of the fourquadrant in which the switch S1 is never operated. This is one of the methods to obtain a negative output voltage across the load in which the current can change its direction. Another method to do so is described next. If the two switches S1 and S 4 are opened at t = TON and the switches S 2 and S3 are closed, the output voltage of terminal A with respect to B is v AB ( t ) = VS TON t T (3)

The output voltage remains the same until t = T when S1 and S 4 are closed and S 2 and S3 are opened to begin another cycle of the four-quadrant converter. The average value of this voltage during the time TON t T is VAB = (1 D)VS (4)

## Two-Quadrant dc-to-dc Converter

The voltage waveforms for 0 t TON = DT and TON t T are shown in Figure 2. The average value of the output voltage for one time period is VAB = VAB+ + VAB = (2D 1) VS (5)

Note that we have shown VAB as a positive voltage because we have assumed that the time period TON > TOFF while sketching the waveforms.

## Figure 2: The output voltage of a four-quadrant converter

A close examination of (5) reveals the following information: (a) (b) (c) The average value of the output voltage is zero when the duty cycle is 50%. The average value is positive when the duty cycle is greater than 50%. The average value is negative for the duty cycle less than 50% Another important fact becomes evident when the duty cycle is 50%. In this case, the positive-half of the output voltage is exactly equal to its negative half. The output is a square wave that oscillated between VS and VS . The Fourier series of this waveform yields the fundamental and other harmonic components. If all the harmonic components are filtered out, the output voltage would contain only the fundamental term. Consequently, the four-quadrant converter can also be used as a dc-to-ac converter (or

inverter).
The Fourier series analysis of a square waveform, an odd function with half-wave symmetry, yields

v AB ( t ) =

4 VS sin( nt ) V n = odd n

(6)

## Two-Quadrant dc-to-dc Converter

We have talked about switching one set of switches on and turning the other set off at the same time. In a practical circuit, this should never be done because a switch takes time to turn on and off. It is therefore possible that both switches S1 and S 2 may be on at the same time. Likewise, there is a very high probability that the switches S3 and

S 4 are conducting at the same time. If this happens, a short circuit develops across the
source, which can be very detrimental to the source. To avoid such a damaging situation, a dead zone is provided between the turn off of one set and the turn on the other set. The dead zone is simply the time during which neither switch is conducting.

Figure 3: Square-wave with dead zones The waveform for the output voltage with dead zones when TON = TOFF is shown in Figure 3 and its Fourier series is given as

v AB ( t ) =

(7)

## Two-Quadrant dc-to-dc Converter

Example 1: ___________________________________________________________
A four-quadrant converter of Figure 1 operates from a 240-V dc source. If the required DC output voltage is 48 V, determine the duty cycle. For a switching frequency of 20 kHz, determine the on (close) and off (open) times of each switch in the circuit.

Solution:
From (5), an expression for the duty cycle is

V D = 0.51 + AB VS

## Substituting VAB = 48 V and VS = 240 V , we obtain the duty cycle as

48 D = 0.51 + = 0 .6 240 For a switching frequency of 20 kHz, the time period is T = 50 s. Hence, the switches S1 and S 4 should be on for 60% and off for 40% of the time-period. In other words, the switches S1 and S 4 should remain open and closed for a period of 20 s and 30 s, respectively. By the same token, the switches S3 and S 2 should remain open and closed for a period of 30 s and 20 s, respectively.

Example 2: ___________________________________________________________
A four-quadrant converter of Figure 1 operates from a 240-V dc source. An 80% efficient, 120-V, 1-hp permanent-magnet dc motor is connected as a load. The armature resistance is1.2 . Determine the duty cycle when the motor delivers the rated load at its rated speed of 1200 rpm. What must be the new duty cycle when the motor delivers onehalf of its rated torque at a speed of 800 rpm?

Solution: At full load: The voltage across the motor is 120 V. The duty cycle, from (5), is

## V 120 D = 0.51 + AB = 0.51 + = 0.75 VS 240

Power output: Power input: Po = 746 W Pin = Po 746 = = 932.5 W 0 .8

## Two-Quadrant dc-to-dc Converter

Hence, the armature current: The back emf of the motor: The full-load speed:

Ia =

## E a = 120 I a R a = 120 7.77 1.2 = 110.676 V

m = 2 1200 = 125.66 rad/s 60

Therefore, the motor constant K, defined as K = k a P , where k a is the machine constant, and P is the flux per pole. For a permanent magnet motor, K is a constant quantity. Since the back emf of the motor is given as E a = k a P m = K m K= 110.676 = 0.88 125.66

The power developed by the motor: Pd = E a I a = 110.676 7.77 = 859.95 W Thus, the rotational loss: Pr = Pd Po = 859.95 746 = 113.95 W

## Pd 859.95 = = 6.84 N-m m 125.66

Operation at half-torque:
The new torque developed by the motor: The new armature current: The new speed: The new back emf: Hence, the new voltage across the motor is VABn = E an + I an R a = 82.938 + 3.886 1.2 = 87.6 V Consequently, the new duty cycle is Tdn = I an = 6.84 = 3.42 N-m 2 Tdn 3.42 = = 3.886 A K .88 2 900 = 94.248 rad/s 60

mn =

## E an = K mn = 0.88 94.248 = 82.938 V

V D n = 0.51 + ABn VS