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MEDIUM VOLTAGE DRIVES: ARE ISOLATION TRANSFORMERS REQUIRED?

Copyright Material IEEE Paper No. PCIC-2002-23 Frank DeWinter Navid Zargari Steven Rizzo Yuan Xiao

Rockwell Automation 135 Dundas St. Cambridge, ON Canada N1 R - 5 x 1


Abstract: Traditionally isolation transformers are used on Medium Voltage Drives. Although this provides a means for reducing harmonics. reducing voltage stress on motors or provided a means to achieve a Medium Voltage drive utilizing Low Voltage cells, it increases the size, &st. complexity and losses of the drive system. With the implementation of alternative topologies and new Pulse Width Modulation switching patterns, these goals can be achieved without the use of an isolation transformer. The paper presents the topology and the techniques that can be utilized and proposes an overall ac drive system without the need for the transformer. Experimental results on a 600hp, 4160V drive are also included.
1.

experimental results on a 4160V. 600hp ac drive are included to verify the system operation. 2.
HARMONICS MITIGATION

Commercially available ac drives today use various methodologies to improve the quality of the input line currents in order to meet harmonic guidelines such as IEEE-519. These are categorized below.
2.1. Using mulfi-windingtransformer

INTRODUCTION

Adjustable Speed Drives (ASD) are widely used in industrial applications. Nowadays, this has found its way into Medium Voltage applications where typically 21. the system voltage is between 2.4kV to 7.2kV [I, Unlike low voltage applications where the topology of choice is a conventional Voltage Source Inverter WSI), in MV applications there is no dominant topology 13.41. One thing that most MV drives have in common however,. is an isolation transformer. The isolation transformer is used to perform a variety of functions. The more common reasons to use an isolation transformer are as follows: t Voltage Step Down: Needed when the supply bus voltage is higher than the motor voltage. t Harmonic Cancellation: Many AC drive topologies use a multi-winding isolation transformer to cancel line current harmonics with the appropriate winding phase shift to cancel unwanted harmonics. t Isolation: By isolating the secondary of the transformer. a new ground reference can be established that reduces the motor line and neutral to ground voltage. Doing this, a motor with standard insulation design can be used. This paper proposes an alternative method other than isolation transformer. First an Active Front End PWM Rectifier is proposed to achieve harmonic mitigation and to meet the IEEE-519 harmonics guidelines. Then the voltage stress across the motor windings for various Medium Voltage Drives are studied. Finally an overall system solution is proposed that is smaller and more cost effective than any other MV AC drive. The

Using an input transformer to eliminate unwanted harmonics has become the norm of the industry. The secondary windings of the transformer are phase shifted to eliminate the harmonics. For example a transformer with two secondary windings that are shifted by.30 degrees (using a Y and a A winding) can significantly reduce the 5 and 7 input current harmonics. Such a transformer is used in three-level VSI based ac drives as shown in Fig. 1 151. Another example is the use of a multi-winding transformer in conjunction with low-voltage ac drive cells to build a Medium Vqltage ac drive [ S I . This topology, shown in Fig. 2. however, suffers from complexity and a very high component count as compared with other topologies.

Fig. 1 A 3-level VSI based ac drive usinga 3 winding isolation transformer for harmonic mitigation.

0-7803-7384-71021317.00 @ 2002 IEEE

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proximity of the gate driver lo the Power Semiconductor gives it a superior switching capability and minimizes the snubber requirement. The leg of a 2400V drive is shown in Fig. 4. It consists of a very small capacitor and a resistor to limit the discharge current.

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Fig. 3 A PWM CSI drive with Active Front End The input line current and voltage are shown in Fig. 5. The Total Harmonic Distortion FHD) of the input line current is within the IEEE-519 harmonic guidelines. These limits and the typical THD characteristics of a drive with PWM rectifier are shown in Fig.. 6.

Fig. 2 A series connection of H bridge inverters through a multi-winding transformer to achieve a Medium Voltage drive and harmonic mitigation. 2.2 Using Pulse Wdth Modulated converters In recent years power semiconductors capable of high switching frequency have become available. The advance in semiconductor technology and availability of Pulse Width Modulation switching patterns offer an alternative method in harmonic mitigation through the use of PWM converters and selectively eliminating harmonics (known as Selective Harmonic Elimination, or SHE). These converters are also known as Active Front Ends in the industry. Althou,gh Active Front End rectifiers are applicable to both current source and voltage source ac drives, the 3-level VSI active front end rectifier may require an input. transformer for voltage level adjusting due to the control aspects of the rectifier. Hence, the only topology that can achieve harmonic mitigation without the need for an input transformer is the so-called PWM Rectifier used as the input stage of Current Source based ac drives. The high switching frequency operation is achieved by using the newly developed Symmetric Gate Commutated Thyristors (SGCT) These devices have the advantage of low conduction losses (same as GTOs or thyristors) and fast switching times and minimal snubber requirements (same as transistors). A PWM CSI AC drive with PWM Rectifier (Active Front End) is shown in Fig. 3 [ S I . An SGCT is shown in Fig. 4. It can be seen that the SGCT is an integration of the Power Semiconductor and its gate driver. The close to dt + bus

to Phase A Fig. 4 (lefl) An SGCT, (right) the components of one leg of a 2400V ac drive

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The motor voltage and current waveforms are shown in Fig. 7. It can be seen that both current and voltage waveforms are near sinusoidal resulting in no voltage stress on the motor windings even if the motor is connected through long cables. The above discussion indicates that using transformers for the purposes of harmonic mitigation alone is not justified, since alternative methods and topologies are available that fulfil the harmonic requirements. The remainder of this paper focuses on the use of an input transformer and an alternative methodology for mitigating the motor neutral to ground voltage. 3.
NEUTRAL TO GROUND VOLTAGE CREATED BY AC DRIVES

(I,THD=4.3%, V,THD=2.3%)

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Ac drive systems are always connected to the main grid through a front-end rectifier. There is usually a dc link "buffer"stage between the rectifier and the inverter. The dc link can be voltage source, "using capacitors" or current source "using inductors", shown in Fig. 8. The mid point "neutral" voltage of the dc link can be obtained from:

where,

v , ,

is the mmmon mode voltage,

positive side voltage of the dc link and negative 'side voltage of the dc link. The voltage across the dc link is defined as: where

vd, is the v,, is the

vdfldesignates a differential voltage which is in

fact the dc voltage. The motor neutral-to-ground and line-to-ground voltages can be calculated from: Fig. 6 The line current harmonics and the IEEE-519 limits.

v . =V O . , " , +V , " , v, = v , + v, ,
where,

v,

is the motor neutral to ground voltage.

v,,,., is the DC link line side neutral to ground voltage, and v , is the line to neutral voltage of the motor.
The above equations prove that the motor neutral-toground and line-to-ground voltages are directly related to the neutral point of the dc link, or common mode voltage. It should also be pointed out that without an isolation transformer, the neutral voltage of ac drive systems are identical, i.e. the topology of the drive does not affect the common mode voltage if no isolation transformer is present.

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Fig. 9. Eliminating wmmon mode voltage using a common mode choke.

Fig. 8 A typical MV drive comprised a rectifier, an inverter and a dc link "buffer" stage.
3.1. Common mode voltage i n ac drives There are a few methods to eliminate the wmmon d e voltage discussed above.

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3.1.l.Using isolation transformers The wmmon method of mitigating wmmon mode voltage is by using an isolation transformer. Since the secondary of the isolation transformer is floating, the nema\ point of the dc link can be grounded without resulting in a ground current flow. This approach is used by neutral point damped ac drives. The other approach is to ground the neutral of the motor or wye point of the output filter capacitors through a grounding network, thus, limiting the ground current. This approach is used by most Current Source based ac drives. By doing this, the motor neutral voltage will not be subjected to any excessive voltage. 3.1.2. Using active switching method In recent years, researchers have been investigating a more advanced method of eliminating wmmon mode voltage. These are based on' using. switching patterns to eliminate the wmmon mode voltage. However, they compromise the inverter performance andlor increase the switching loss [9]. Furthermore, they are at a research level and are yet to be implemented in real commercial ac drives. Another possibility along the same lines is a 4-leg inverter bridge, which also suffers from similar drawbacks plus the additional w s t of a fourth leg of the inverter [lo]. 3.1.3. Using a common mode choke A wmmon mode choke e n be used to block the wmmon mode voltage and achieve zero voltage on the motor neutral. This method is feasible and particularly attractive to current source based -drives since this topology already uses a dc link inductor and the impact on the cost and size of the system can be minimized. One such design that integrates the common mode and the dc link inductor into one is shown in Fig. 9. The reactor is a %leg design shown in Fig. 10 that is optimized to obtain the highest common mode inductance and at the same time ensure a smooth current necessary for operation of CSI drives 1 1I].This inductor also provides an inherent limit to the short circuit current of the drive.

Fig. I O . An integrated common and differential dc link reactor.

4.

THE PROPOSED SYSTEM SOLUTION AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

The proposed topology is based on the currentsource inverter topology with a PWM Rectifier front end for harmonic elimination, Fig. 3, but with the common mode choke shown in Fig. 10. The PWM rectifier was discussed in Section 2.2. The regular dc link reactor and the common mode choke are integrated into one reactor with a three-legged w r e to optimize the Size and cast of the drive system. Both the inverter and the rectifier use SGCTs and both operate below 500 Hz switching frequency to minimize the switching losses. Considering that there is no isolation transformer, this system offers significant advantages over other ac drive topologies.
4.1. Results without the common mode choke The tests were first conducted. on a system without the wmmon mode choke. The test circuit is shown in Fig. 11. The motor line-to-ground and neutral-toground voltages were measured. These results are shown in Fig. 12. It can be seen that without the isolation transformer and wmmon mode choke, the motor neutral to ground voltage is present.

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Fig. 11. The test set up, a 4160V AC drive with PWM Rectifier Front End.

The paper investigates the need for an isolation transformer for Medium Voltage AC drives. It has been shown that except for voltage level adjusting, there is no need for a transformer and both harmonic mitigation and common mode voltage elimination can be achieved with an alternative method. A complete ac drive system solution has been proposed which can be used for motors with standard insulation design. The proposed system achieves harmonic elimination by using a PWM rectifier front end and ensures that there is no excessive voltage across the motor windings. The obvious advantage of the proposed solution is the elimination of the transformer. This simplifies the application of Medium Voltage Drives by reducing the size and complexity of the system.

REFERENCES:

[I] F. Dewinter, B. Wu. Medium Voltage Motor


Harmonic Heating, Toques and Voltage Stress when Applied on VFDS, IEEE Conf. Rec, IAS. Annual Petroleum and Chemical Industrial Conference, pp.131-139, 1996 [Z] Y. Xiao, B. Wu, S. Riuo. R. Sotudeh. A Novel Power Factor Control Scheme for High Power GTO Current Source Converter, IEEE Trans IA, VOI 34, pp. 1278-1263. 1998 [3] Y. Shakweh, E.A. Lewis, Assessment ofMedium Vo/tage PWM VSI Topologies for Multi-megawatt variable speed Drive Application, In Conf. Rec. EPE 98, 1998 [4] S. Riuo. Y. Xiao, N. Zargari, Medium Voltage Drive Topologies for IndustrialAsynchronous Applications: A Critical Review, PClM Power Electronics Conf. , pp. 182-195, 2000 [5] P. Steimer, J. Steinke. H. Gruning, S.Comer, A reliable, intedace-friendly Medium Voltage Drive based on the robust IGCT and DTC technologies: in Conf. Rec. IEEE-IAS 1999 [6] P.W. Hammond, A New Approach to Enhanced Power Quality for Medium Voltage Drives, IEEE Trans. IA, Vol33, No.1, pp. 202-208, JanlFeb 97 [71 N. Zargari et a1 , A New Cunent Source Converter Using a Symmetric Gate-Commutated Thyristor (SGCT), IEEE Trans. On IA, Vol. 37, N0.3. pp.896-903, May/June 2001 [SI N. Zargari, Y. Xiao. B. Wu. A PWM CSl-based vector controlledMedium Voltage AC Drive with Sinusoidal input and output waveforms, in Conf. Rec. IEEE-IAS97, pp. 748-774, 1997 [9] H. Zhang; A. von Jouanne. A. Wallace, Multilevel Inverter Modulation Schemes to Eliminate Common-Mode Voltage: Industry Applications, IEEE Transactions on IA. Volume: 36 Issue: 6 , pp. 1645-1653, Nov.-Dec. 2000 [IO] A. Julian et al. Elimination of Common-Mode Voltage in Three-phase Sinusoidal Power Converters: IEEE Trans. On Power Electronics. Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 982-989, September 1999

Fig. 12 Motor line to ground and neutral to ground voltage without using a common mode choke. 4.2. Results with the common mode choke The tests were repeated on the same grounded system but this time with the common mode choke and the results are shown in Fig. 13. One can see the motor line to ground voltage is a sinusoidal waveform equal to 1ld3 of the line to line voltage which indicates that the common mode voltage has been eliminated. The motor neutral is at the same ground voltage as the entire system. This demonstrates that no special considerations are required when the proposed drive is applied to an existing motor.

Fig. 13 Motor line to ground voltage and neutral to ground voltage with common mode choke.

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[ I 1J E. Wu, S. Riuo. N. Zargari, Y. Xiao. 'An lntegrated dc Link Choke for Elimination of Motor CommonMode Voltage in Medium Voltage Drives', Conf. Rec. IEEE IA. 2001.

BIOGRAPHY

F. Dewinter:
Frank A. Dewinter received his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Alberta in 1980. He is the business unit manager for medium voltage drives and was previously the director of research and development of medium voltage drives. Both of these were at Rockwell Automation in Cambridge, Ontario. He has co-authored over 30 papers on harmonics. application and the design of Medium Voltage Drives. He is a senior member of IEEE, a member of the PClC executive committee and was the conference chairman of the 2001 PClC conference in Toronto. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario.

N. Zargari received his E.Eng. degree from Tehran University, Iran. and MASc. and Ph.D. degrees from Concordia University, Montreal, PQ. Canada, in 1987, 1991. and 1995, respectively. Since November of 1994, he has been with Rockwell Automation and is presently the Manager of the Medium Voltage Electrical and Power Electronic Development Department. He is involved with simulation and design of converters for medium voltage applications. His research interests include power converter topologies. their control and electrical ac drives.
S. R i u o received his E.Eng. degree from McMaster University, Hamilton, ON,Canada and Masters Degree from Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK in 1986 and 1998 respectively. Since September of 1992, he has been with Rockwell Automation and is presently the Manager of the Medium Voltage Research and Development Department, His research interests are in the application of high power devices in medium.voltage applications.
Y. Xiao received his E.Sc. degree and M.Eng. degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an. China and Ph.D. from Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK in 1982, 1985 and 1998 respectively. Since December of 1996 he has been with Rockwell Automation and is presently a Senior Designer in the Medium Voltage Electrical and Power Electronic Development Department. His research interests are on high power'mnverters for ac drives. His areas of interest include modelling and analysis of converters for medium voltage applications.

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