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Review of Current Regulation Techniques For Three-phase PWM Inverters

M a r i a n P. Kaunierkowski*, Maciej A. Dzieniakowslu**

Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Control and Industrial Electronics, 00-662 Warsaws, ul. Koszykowa 75, Poland phone:+48+2+6280665; fax:+48+2+6256633; e-mail:*,*

Abstrocr This paper presents a review of recently used current regulation techniques for Voltage Sourced Pulse Width Modulated (VS-PWM) inverters. A variety of techniques, different in concept, are described , as follows: On-Off hysteresis free running and fued frequency regulators (phase independent, look-up table based, space vector based), linear regulators (carrier based, working in stationary and rotating coordinates, PI and state feedback), predictive (minimum and constant switching frequency) and dead beat regulators. Also, nowadays trends in the current regulations neural networks and fuzzy logic based regulators are presented Some oscillograms which illustrate properties of the presented regulator groups are shown. The references include 96 actual papers and conference contributions.

The applied performance criteria can be divided in two groups (seetable): - criteria specific for CR-PWM inverters (e), based on current error defition - criteria which are also valid for open loop voltage PWM (seee.g. [34,72,731) Performance Criteria

Criteria definition


Current regulation technique plays the m o s t important role in Current Regulated PWM (CR-PWM) inverters which are widely applied in ac motor drives, ac power supply and active filters. The CR-PWM inverters, also known as current mode PWM hverters, implement an on line current feedback (closed loop) type of P W M [34]. In comparison to a conventional feedfomd (open loop) voltage controlled PWM inverters they shows following advantages: - control of instantaneous peak current (this is of particular importance for tramistor-type power semiconductor devices, which are peak current sensitive), - overload problem is avoided, - pulse droppii problem does not occur, - extremely good dynamics, nearly sinusoidal current waveforms, expect for the hannonics which are basically linked to the switching Erequency, small c m t (also torque in ac drives) ripple in the wide output

h,(k-f,) - discretecurrent spectra h&f) density current spectra


Variable switching frequency hysteresis regulators The simplest current regulation scheme is based on a nonlinear feedback loop with two-level hysteresis comparators (Fig.1) [82]. However, this class of the systems, also known as fke-running hysteresis regulators [73], has the following disadvantages: -the inverter switchmg fiequency depends largely on the load parameters and comparator hysteresis band, - the operation is somewhat rough due to the inherent randomness caused by limit cycle, therefore protection of the inverter is difficult [65].

- compensation of the effect of load parameter changes (resistance

and reactance). The basic problem involved in the implementation of CR-PWM inverters is the choice of suitable current regulation strategy, which affects both the parameters obtained and the fmal configuration of the entire control system. Lastly, the performance and cost criteria are desired factors when designing CR-PWM inverters.





The main task of the control system in CR-PWM inverter is to force the current vector in the three phase load according to the reference trajectory. The basic requirement are as follows: - no phase and amplitude mors (ideal tracking) in wide output Erequencv range, - fast response to provide high dyndmic of the system, -limited or constant switching Erequency to guarantee safe operation of power semiconductor switches, - good dolink voltage utilisation.
0-7803-1328-3/94$03.0001994 IEEE

Fig. 1. Free-running hysteresis regulator: block scheme (a), switching trajectory (b)

It is characteristic for the hysteresis regulators that the instautaneous current is kept exact in tolerance band except systems without zero loaders, where the instantaneous emx can reach double value of the hysteresis band [12,61] (Fig.2).

band [87,92]. Also systems with variable hysteresis width to keep the switching fiquency in very limited variation range are proposed [6,10,61,62].
Limited switchingfrequency regulators
A special class of On-off current regulators are systems based on the delta modulation principle [sa]. The basic scheme, known as Delta regulator [SO], is shown in Figure 4.

-0.151 -0.15

E a






Fig. 2. Free-running hysteresis regulator (Ah4.05): output currents (a), phase current error (b), vector current area (c), output vector current loci (d)

This is due to the interaction in the system with three independent

controllers. The comparator state change in one phase influences the voltage applied to the load in two other phases (couphg). However, if all three CuITent are considered as the space vector [80], the interaction effect can be compenwed, and many variants of regulators known as space vector based, can be created [28,44,91,94]. Moreover, if a look-up table with three-level comparators will be applied, a d d e r a b l e &creasing of the inverter Switching 6quency can be achieved [1,44,45,47,94]. This is thanks to appropriate selection of zero voltage vectors [44] (Fig.3).

Fig. 4. Delta modulation current regulator basic block scheme

Thanks to a S&H block applied after ideal comparator, the s w i t c h fi-equency is limited to the sampling fresuency f,. The amplitude of current hamoNcs is not constant but is determined by load parameters, b l i n k voltage and sampling frequency. If the sampling signal in the three-phase system is shifted 120"el. in each S&H block (FigSa), only one of the inverter legs will change its state during sampling period l/fs This guarantees only neighbour voltage vectors selection and collsequently better quality of current formation (lower RMS, J) at this same sampling 6quency fs (FigSb) [18].

" 0


Fig. 3. Number of inverter s w i t c h s N of three different types of current regulators: three two-level hysteresis comparators (a), space vector based regulator with three-level comparatos and look-up table working in the stationary @) and rotating (c) coordinates

In the synchronous rotating coordinate systems, the hysteresis regulators offer additionally the y t of independent harmonic selection by choosing different hysteresis values [45,47,83]. This can be used for the torque ripple minimisation in the vector controlled ac motor drives (hysterese for torque current component is set lower then for flux current component) [45]. The main advantages: simplicity, load parameter changes independence, lack of tracking errors, and extremely good dynamics t i l l attractive to researches and make the hysterese based regulators s designers. The nowadays works enable limit cycle suppression by introducing a suitable offset signal to either current references or hysteresis

Fig. 5. Delta modulation current regulator: sampling techniques (a) and quality factors (b)

This type of the discrete cutTent regulators have found a wide application in the three-phase resonant b l i n k converters with zero voltage switchmg technique where the sampling signal is delivered fiom zero crossing dc link voltage [27,46,50,79,93]. It is noteworthy, that the delta modulation technique can also be applied in the space vector based regulators working in the stationary or the rotating coordinate systems [93,95].

The main advantages are an extremely simple and adjustment hardware implementation and good dynamics. Fixed switchingfrequency regulators

h of

A serious drawback of the fiee-running hysteresis and delta modulation based regulators is the variable switchmg fkquency, which produces an unpleasant Bcousfic noise. For that reason in commercial applications only fmed-kqwcy based regulatm are applied. This is achieved by using carrier signal which may be delivered to the comparator input as shown in Fig. 6.

Fig. 7. Current regulator with threePI controllers

4 1

The properties of this regulator are similar to regulator type presented on Fig. 6. However, the use of PI regulator makes it i n i m i s e the tracking possible, in a definite fieqwcy band, to m errors of the output currents. To achieve compensation of the phase errors, use is also made of additional P U circuits [20]. S p c e VectorBased Synchronous Regulators

Fig. 6. Fixed kquency hysteresis regulator

In many industrial applications the ideally impressed current is required, because even small phase. or amplitude errors causes i n m t system operation (e.g. vector controlled ac motors). In such cases the regulation schemes based on space vector approach are applied.

In this way one obtains asynchronous sinetriangle PWM in which the current error constitutes a modulating signal [12]. Conseqwtly, the inverter becomes switched with the triangular wave frequency and produces well4ehed harmonic spectrum [73]. This is the essentiaI advantage of this technique. Its disadvantage is inherent traclung error [12,61,80]. The constant mean switchmg kquency can be achieved by approPriate reduction of the inverter phase interaction and PLL control of the hysteresis width [61,62]. This class of regulators guarantee fast response without traclung errors, but the umtrol algorithm is m m complex and the main advantage of the hysteresis umtrol namely the simplicity is lost.

In addition to nonlinear Onregulators, there are linear regulators which operate in association of conventional voltage type PWM modulators. Therefore, in contrast to the hysteresis regulators, this class of the systems have clearly separated current error compensation and voltage modulation parts. This concept allows to take such advantages of feedforwad modulator (sinusoidal PWM, space vector modulator, optimal PWM) as: constant switching frequency, welldehed harmonic spectrum, optimum switch pattern, &bus utilisation, etc. Also, fidl independent design of the overall umtrol structure as well as open loop test of the inverter and load can be easy perfmed.
Three PI regulators The regulation principle is shown in Fig. 7 [14]. In each phase there is a linear PI regulator which, by comparing the command iAc (i%, k c ) and measured iA (iB, k)values, generates the command ~ U & , wC). In keeping with the sinusoidal modulation voltage U A ( principle, there follows comparisonwith the triangular carrier signal in the comparators, which generate the inverter switches control signals SA (SB,Sc). Fig. 8. Vector current regulator working in synchronous coordinates with dc components Figure 8 illustrates the control principle involving the use of two PI regulators of current vector components defined in rotating synchronous rectangular coofdinates [14,49,57]. Practical implementation of this technique in ac drive systems involves the use of field oriented umtml, and is based on idonnation about the flux vector position ys A characteristic feature of such control syst e m is that, thankst o applied coordinate transformations, i , and isy are dcunnponents, and the use of linear PI regulators makes it possible to attain very high accuracy in the steady states. Based on work [88] (where it has been demonstrated that is possible to perform current regulation in an arbitrary coordinates), in [85] a synchronous regulator working in the stationary COoTdinafes with ac components is presented. As shown in Fig.9 by dashed line, the inner loop of the regulation system (consisting two integrators and multipliers) is a variable kquency generator, which always produces reference volt,upc for PWM modulator, even when in the steady state the age % current ermr signals are m.



reference @f) and disturbance (&)inputs are added to the feedback control law.

Fig. 9. Vector current regulator woriung with ac components
In general, t h a n k s to use of PWM modulators, the linear regulators make well defined harmonic spectrum available, but their dynamic properties are inferior to those of On-Off regulators.

Fig. 11. State feedback current regulator

1 1

. . . : . .

I .

.. . .
I .

B e c a u s e of m o r e complex control algorithm the performances of the state feedback regulator &e Superior to conventional PI regulators [53], but the absolute criterion on pole placement is not yet established.

. . . . . . . . . . .

.: . . ... . . : . ...... : . .


. . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . :


In contrast to the above presented on-off and linear regulators, which can be implemented in both hardware or software way, the group of modern predictive regulators performs real-time optimisation algorithm and, therefore, can be realised by using microprocessor technique only.
Minimum switchingfmquency algorithm The concept of this algorithm [31] is based on space vector analysis of the hysteresis regulators.
error a r e a


I . "

. n

Fig. 10. The overmodulation operation of the vector current regulator working with ac components: output current ia (a), output cment ip (b), output voltage U , (c), output voltage up (d), current amplitude command signal (e)

Fig. 12. The example of error area in the predictive algorithm

If the PWM modulator operation region is overstepped, the system loses its stability and high peak current can occur [85] (Fig.10). Therefore the system has to be appropriately protected.
State Feedback Regulators
The conventional PI regulators in the current error compensation part can be replaced by state feedback regulator (Fig. 11) [22,53,71]. This regulator works in synchronous rotating coordinates and is synthesised on the base of linear multivariable state feedback

A feedback gain matrix k=B~,kk] is derived by utilising the pole assignment technique to guarantee sufficient damping. While with integral part (k~) the static error can be made zero, the transient error may be unacceptable large. Therefore, feedforward signals for
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The boundary delimiting the current error area in the case of independent regulators with equal tolerance band + H in each of three phases d e s a regular symmetrical hexagon (Fig. 1b). S u p pose only one hysteresis regulator, but one acting on the current error vector, could substitute the set of three. In such case, the boundary of the error area (also calls as switching or error curve) might have any form (Fig. 12). The location of the error curve is &terminated by the current command vector i,. When the current vector is reaches a point on the error curve, seven Merent trajectories of the current are pmhcted, one for each of seven possible (six active and zero) inverter output voltage vectors. Finally, based on optimisation procedure, the voltage vector which minimises the mean inverter switching fieqwcy is selected. For fast transient states the strategy which minimises the response time is applied.

Note that the shape of the error curve is independent of the choice of particular coordinates and, therefore, the regulator can be implemented in any rotating or stationary coordinates.

Optimal discrete modulation algorithm for Resonant DC Link Converters (RDLC)



For the RDLC converters, where only discrete type of modulation can be used, optimal algorithm selects voltage vector which minimalise RMS current error for each resonant pulse [27]. As shown in [go] this is equivalent to selection the nearest available voltage vector commands usc(T). So, instead of PWM modulator algorithm (Fig.14) only voltage vector selector is required (Fig.15).

Fig. 13. Minimum switching frequency predictive current regulator Similarly to the three level hysteresis regulator working in field oriented coordinates x-y [45], a further switching frequency reduction can be achieved by selection a rectangular error curve with higher length along rotor flux direction. In practice, the time needed for prediction and optimisation procedure limits the achieved switching frequency. Therefore, in more recently developed algorithms a reduced set of voltage vectors consisting of the two active vectors adjacent to the EMF vector and the zero voltage vector are considered for optimisation without loss of quality [32]. Constant switchingfrequency algorithm




Fig. 15. Optimal discrete modulation regulator for RDLC The typical waveforms for discrete delta modulation and optimal
(minimum RMS error) current regulation are shown in Fig.16a and

Fig. 16b respectively. A modulation (a)


optimal modulation (b)

In this case the predictive algorithm [64,81], once every sampling interval T,calculates the voltage vector commands usc(T); which will force the current vector according to its command i, (Fig. 14). The inverter voltage us(T) and EMF voltage e(T) of the load is assumed to be constant over the sampling interval T. The calculated voltage vector usc(T)is then implemented in the PWM modulator algorithm, e.g. space vector modulator [28,80,81]. Thus, the error compensation and modulation parts - similarly as in linear regulators (see Section I V ) - is separated. Note that while the current ripple cannot be explicitly detenninated, the inverter switching fresuency is fixed as 1/2T. The disadvantage of this algorithm is that does not guarantee the inverter peak current limit.

? C

. . . . . . : ... ..-.. ' . . . I


' d


Fig. 14. Constant switching frequency predictive current regulator Also algorithms based on dead-beat control approach and predictive state observers of the whole control plant (e.g. vector controlled ac motor or U P S systems [4,40]) as well as hybrid regulators combined hysteresis with predictive technique are proposed [55].





Fig. 16.Current regulation in RDLC, based on discrete modulation I - up, II i,,ip, ITI - (ca2+cp2)1n, I V - RMS & J of e(t)


If parameter perhubation or model uncertainty exists, however, nonlinearity of the system, the design (learning) procedure is time the p e r f i i c e of the predictive regulators +.rapidly deteriorated consumingbecause it does not involve integral part. Therefore, the ~ccuracy and robustness of the controller can be improved by introducing an Fuay Logic based current regulators integral compensation [56]. Typically the power electronic plants are nonlinear, have NEW NETWORK ANDFUZZY LOGIC BASED REGULATORS complexity coupled parameters and it is generally difficult to apply any known analytic technique to design regulator structure. Fuzzy The problem of exact knowledge of the load parameters needed logic application solves this problem because fuzzvfication, for implementing the predictive regulators can be avoided by using delkq&ation and fuzzy rules need not be described on the basis of new class regulators based on fkzy logic and neural network theory. knowledge of exact mathematical m o d e l l i n g of the controlled sy-Neuml Netwonk based regulators In basic applimtions t h e fkzy controller is used as the substitute of typical cutrent regulator (Fig. 19) [69]. The block scheme of An example, in which the optimal discrete current regulator for current regulation structure is similar to the conventional system. RDLC (Fig.15) is replaced by off line trained neural network is shown in Fig. 17. The three layer feedforward neural network, used "d as regulator, is trained by back propagation algorithm [13]. I . i J = L

Fig. 19. Fuzzy current controller

Fig. 17. N e d Network discrete modulation regulator for RDLC

A s training signal, random selected data b m the output pattern of the simulated optimal regulator of Fig.15 are applied. The waveform obtained in the system with NN regulator are shown in Fig.18. Note that NN can regulate the output cutTent very well without on line calculation needed in the case of the optimal regulator.

The current error and its derivative are regulator input crisp values. States of PWM modulator inputs are fkzy current regulator crisp output commands. In such applications FL is used for improving properties of classical (e.g. PI) regulators. The basic block scheme of FLC, including fuzzy inference mechanism, is shown on Fig.20. a>



-2.5 0.5



0.0 0



Fig.20. Fuzzy Logic Controller: auto-tuned PI controller a) block scheme of FLC b) control surf- of classical PI controller c) control surface of FL controller The contents structure of all blocks largely depend on expertising knowledge base. Its gives possibility to form static and dynamic c " g to p i t i c regulator properties (Fig.2Oa and Fig.ZOb), a needs of whole regulation structure, in whole control range. Figure 21 presents one phase VSI output current in the case of using classical PI and FL based regulators.

Fig.18. Typical waveforms in the NN current regulator (compare with Fig. 16b) I -up, II ia,ip III ( E ~ ~ + E & ~ Q , N - RMS 8t J ofgt)

The robustness, very fast operation, insensitivity to load parameter changes and -1 ability are the main advantages of neural network based regulators. However, because of high

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