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A New Design Procedure for Output LC Filter of


Single Phase Inverters
CONFERENCE PAPER JANUARY 2010

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1 AUTHOR:
Ahmad Ale Ahmd
Babol Noshirvani University of Technology
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Retrieved on: 20 January 2016

2010 3rd International Conference on Power Electronics and Intelligent Transportation System

A New Design Procedure for Output LC Filter


of Single Phase Inverters
Ahmad Ale Ahmad, Student Member, IEEE, Adib Abrishamifar, Member, IEEE, Mohammad Farzi,
IRIEE.
switching frequency and its relation to the cut off
frequency of filter is not well considered. Also, none of
them were presented a straight forward method or
relation to calculate the L and C values.
This paper analyses the characteristics of the output LC
filter for PWM inverter. The cut off frequency of filter
and its relation to the modulation factor and switching
frequency are determined to meet the IEEE Std. 1547
requirements for attenuating the harmonics distortion.
Considering the switches current ripple, the inductance
and capacitance value are calculated. The
specifications and design criterias are illustrated in
this paper. This procedure is verified with simulation
results.

Abstract- This paper presents a new design procedure


for output LC filter of single phase inverter. Two main
goals of the procedure are to meet the IEEE Std. 1547
requirements for attenuating of harmonics distortion and
to limit the high frequency current of switches in
acceptable value. The design steps and their
considerations are discussed comprehensively. This
procedure is verified with simulation results for a 220V,
5KVA inverter. The simulations run either linear or
nonlinear full loads.
Keyword- Inverter, LC filter, cut off frequency, THD,
inductor current ripple,

I. INTRODUCTION

II. LC FILTER ANALYSIS

Today, inverter with an output LC filter has an especial


application such as distributed generation, active filter,
stand-alone application based on renewable energy,
uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and dynamic
voltage restorers [1-3].
Two main duties of the output LC filter are to attenuate
the output voltage ripple and to limit the high
frequency ripple current of inverter switches. The
attenuation of switching frequency voltage at the
output node is depended on the cut off frequency of
filter. Also, bandwidth of inverter controller is limited
by the cut off frequency of the filter [3]. The cut off
frequency of the filter have to be selected small for
perfect voltage ripple attenuation, and the bandwidth of
the controller have to be wide for fast response to step
or nonlinear load. So, there is a trade off between the
bandwidth of the controller and filter attenuation.
After selecting the cut off frequency of filter,
determining the L and C values is very important issue,
because they affect on ripple current of inverter
switches, the inverter output impedance [4], efficiency
[4-5], transient response [3] and also the cost of the
inverter.
In [4-6], the cut off frequency of LC filter is designed
based on the Fourier series of the inverter output
voltage. Then by using the relation between the filter
capacitor and the system time constant, the capacitor
and inductor value are designed [4]. In [5], the L and C
are selected to minimize the filter reactive power.
Authors of [6] defined a cost function based on
reactive power where the reactive power of inductor is
weighted two times higher than the reactive power of
capacitor, then calculating the L and C value to
minimize this cost function. Other ones used the same
method too, but the ripple current of inductor,

Design of an LC filter for the PWM based inverter is


very important issue. This filter should reduce the high
frequency distortion of output voltage and control the
switching current. The switching devices generate this
distortion. The IEEE Std. 1547 requirement for
maximum harmonic voltage distortion is shown in
table 1. For the medium power inverters whose PWM
frequency is higher than 3 KHz, the low frequency
harmonics (2nd, 3rd, 5th , and 7th) are usually rejected by
controller perfectly. So, the high frequency distortion is
only included switching or PWM frequency.
According to the standard this distortion should be
limited under 0.3%.
TABLE 1. IEEE STD. 1547 REQUIREMENTS FOR MAXIMUM HARMONIC
VOLTAGE DISTORTION

Individual
Harmonic
order

h<11

Total

Percent
(%)

4.0

11h<17 17h<23 23h<35

35h Harmonic
Distortion

2.0

1.5

0.6

0.3

5.0

The LC filter and its input and output voltage are


shown in Fig1. This filter consists of two unknown
components, L and C, and the load (RL) can be varied
from the minimum load (RL=) to maximum load
(RL= RLm). So, the filter should be studied in two
situations, minimum and maximum load. The transfer
function from Vi to Vo (Fig. 1), H(), is shown in (1):
X C ()||R L
Vo()
H()=
=
(1)
Vi() X C ()||R L +X L ()
Where XC() and XL() are impedance of capacitor
and inductor, respectively, and =2f, f is the input
voltage frequency.

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3m
(7)
2000
If the inequality (7) is solved for m=0.95, the cut off
frequency of the LC filter (fr) must be less than fs/15 to
satisfy the standard limitation. So:
1
(8)
r s and k 15
k
Really, the attenuation due to the filter at the
fundamental frequency obtains as follow:
2
H NL (1 ) = 2 s 2
(9)
s -(k1 )
Fig 2 shows the |HNL(1)| as a function of fs and k
where the k factor and switching frequency have been
changed from 15 to 20 and 3KHz to 10KHz,
respectively. These curves reveal that our first
assumption about the attenuation of the filter at the
fundamental frequency is not far from our expectation.
H NL (s )

Fig 1. a) Output LC filer connected to a load, b) input voltage and c)


output voltage of the filter.

A. Minimum Load condition


In minimum load condition (RL=), (1) can be
summarized as:
2
H NL ()= 2 r 2
(2)
r -
1
(3)
LC
where r=2fr and fr is the cut off frequency of the LC
filter. The amplitude of input voltage at the switching
frequency depends on DC input voltage and duty ratio
of PWM signal. It will be maximum when the duty
ratio is 50%. So:
4 V
(4)
Vi (s ) max = DC

2
where s=2fs and fs is the switching frequency. On the
other hand, the amplitude of input voltage at
fundamental frequency depends on DC voltage and
modulation factor. It can obtain as:
Vi (1 ) =mVDC
(5)
where 1=2f1 and f1 and m are fundamental frequency
and modulation factor, respectively. Because, at the
fundamental frequency, the voltage drop across the
filter can not be estimated before the L and C values
are specified, we neglect this voltage drop by the first
assumption. It means that the attenuation of the LC
filter at the fundamental frequency is approximately
0dB, so according to the standard limitation for output
voltage distortion, we can write:
Vo (s ) max
Vi (s ) max H NL (s )
2
0.3

=
H NL (s )
Vo (1 )
Vi (1 ) H NL (1 )
m
100
(6)
So to meet the IEEE Std. 1547 requirements, the
attenuation of the LC filter at the switching frequency
should satisfy following inequality:
2r =

Fig 2. Filter attenuation at the fundamental frequency in minimum


load situation.

B. Maximum Load condition


At the maximum load condition (RL= RLm) the filter
attenuation at the switching frequency is more than
minimum load condition. But the filter attenuation at
the fundamental frequency should be studied. The
transfer function of the LC filter at the maximum load
condition is:
2r
H FL ()=
(10)

2r -2 +j
R Lm C
Then:
2r
H FL () =
(11)
2
2
2 2
( r - ) +(
)
R Lm C
(11) shows that the attenuation amplitude depends on
the cut off frequency, load value and also capacitor or
inductor value. There are several methods to determine
the inductor and capacitor value. In the first approach,
we calculated the L and C value to minimize the filter
reactive power. This is suitable to increase the inverter
efficiency. The reactive power of filter at the

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fundamental frequency, Q, can be obtained as a


function of inductor value, cut off frequency of filter,
output voltage and the load, as follow:
L
3
Q= 21 - 12 + 1 4 VO2
(12)
R L Lr Lr
To minimize the filter reactive power at the maximum
load, the inductor value can be determined as follow:
Q=0
(13)
So:
R
L= Lm
2r 12
(14)
2r
If the r is at least 3 times larger than 1 then the
inductor value can be approximated by:
R
(15)
L Lm
r
Also, the reactive power at the minimum load is
calculated as:

Q(R L = ) PLm 1
(16)
r
where the PLm is the output power at the maximum
load. The equation (16) shows that to decrease the filter
reactive power at the minimum load, the cut off
frequency of filter should be selected as large as
possible (greater than the fundamental frequency of the
inverter).
Although, this approach improves the inverter
efficiency, it provides a very large inductor value. So,
it increases the cost and the size of filter. The large
inductor value increases the output impedance of
inverter too. It also causes a large over or under-shoot
voltage in the step load condition. All of these
evidences indicate that other criteria should be selected
to calculate the inductor value.
The main duty of inductor is the control of the
switching frequency of inverter ripple current. So, the
maximum acceptable ripple current and the switching
frequency of the inverter can determine the minimum
inductor value. The ripple can be estimated as:
V
(17)
I L = L t
L
According to Fig 1, when the inverter switches are on:
(18)
VL =VDC -Vo =VDC -Vomsin(1 t)
Where Vom is the amplitude of output voltage. When
the inverter switches are on, the t is obtained as
follow:
D m sin(1 t)
t= =
(19)
fs
fs
Where m is modulation index and 0<m<1. Replacing
(18) and (19) in (17), and dividing by inductor
fundamental current:
I L m1 VDC -Vomsin(1 t) sin(1 t)
=
IL
fs IL L1
(20)
m1 VDC -Vom sin(1 t) sin(1t)

fs VL (1 )

Where the VL(1) is the inductor voltage at the


fundamental frequency, and it can be considered as a
fraction of output voltage:
VL (1 ) = Vo (1 )
(21)
Selection of depends on the switching frequency and
maximum acceptable ripple current. However, Fig 3
shows the ripple of inductor current in two conditions.
The maximum ripple occurs at 1t=n/2. Usually,
the ripple current between 20% to 40% is acceptable. If
equations (20) and (21) are solved for , the quantity of
is obtained for specified maximum ripple current at
different switching frequencies (Fig 4).

Fig 3. The ripple of the inductor current at half of the fundamental


period.

Fig 4. The quantity of as a function of switching frequency for


maximum ripple current of 20% and 40%.

If is selected then the inductor value can be


calculated. With KCL at the output node:
1
(22)
I L (1 )=IC (1 )+IO (1 )=(j1C
)Vo (1 )
RL
1
)Vo (1 )
(23)
RL
At the maximum load condition, by using (21) and
(25):
VL (1 )=j1LI L (1 )=j1 L(j1C

1
) Vo (1 ) (24)
R 2Lm
Now, the inductor and capacitor values are:
VL (1 ) = Vo (1 ) =1L (12 C2 +

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L=

R Lm
1

2 -

14
4r

(25)

12
1
(26)
R Lm 2 r4 -14
To obtain real answer for the equations (25) and (26),
the following condition must be satisfied:

(27)
r > 1

or
k
(28)
fs >
f1

Fig 6. The filter attenuation at the fundamental frequency in


maximum load for fs =20KHz.

Now at the full load condition, the magnitude of


transfer function from Vi to Vo can be written as:
2r
H FL () =
(29)
2 2 4 4
2
2 2
( r - ) +( ) ( r -1 )
1

III. PROPOSED LC FILTER DESIGN PROCEDURE


The LC filter of an inverter can be designed in the
following mentioned 4 steps:
1) Selecting the switching frequency.
High switching frequency aims to reduce the filter size,
but the maximum frequency of solid state switches and
their dynamic losses limit the switching frequency. It is
usually chosen between 3KHz to 15KHz for IGBT
based inverter and 10KHz to 100KHz for MOSFET
based inverter.
2) Selecting k factor.
The standard requirement will be meet, if k=15, but
lager k factor causes more attenuation at switching
frequency and little amplification at the fundamental
frequency. If the modulation factor is less than 0.95,
the minimum of k should be calculated by equations
(7) and (8).
3) Selecting factor.
completely depends on the switching frequency and
acceptable inductor ripple current. 20% to 40% is an
acceptable range for ripple current. So using the
equation (20) or Fig 4, this factor can be selected.
The inequalities (27) and (28) should be satisfied. If it
is not maintained, then the k and factor should be
renewed and selected again.
4) Now using equations (8), (25) and (26), the
necessary L and C can be calculated.

And at fundamental frequency:


r
H FL (1 ) =
(30)
2
(1+ )r2 -212
Fig 6 and 7 show the |HFL(1)| as function of r and
for fs equal to 3KHz and 20KHz, respectively.

Fig 5. The filter attenuation at the fundamental frequency in


maximum load for fs =3KHz.

The figures 5 and 6 imply that if is varied from 0.02


to 0.2, the maximum attenuation of filter will only be
3%. So, this aims to optimize the size of inductor and
capacitor . Another important result of these figures is
that, if the cut off frequency of the filter is decreased
below the 200Hz, the filter can amplify the
fundamental frequency. This is sometimes useful, but
the filter size will be increased. Also, the stability of
the system will be very critical, because the phase
margin of system decreases when the cut off frequency
is decreased.

IV. A DESIGN EXAMPLE


To verify the algorithm, an LC filter is designed for an
inverter whose main characteristics are mentioned in
table 2.
TABLE 2. INVERTER CHARACTERISTICS.

VDC
VO
Sout
fs
f1

360V
220VRMS
5KVA
20KHz
50Hz

According to DC input and AC output voltage of the


inverter, the 0.95 is appropriate for modulation factor,
so k=15. To limit the inductor ripple current below the

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40%, factor should be more than 0.025 at fs=20KHz.


This aims us the filter specification which is listed in
table3.

The fig 9 (a) and (b) show the output voltage and its
spectrum at maximum nonlinear load. The current crest
factor is 3. The THD is below the standard limitation.

TABLE 3. T HE LC FILTER CHARACTERISTICS .

L
C
fr

770H
18F
1330Hz
a)

The control loop is illustrated in Fig 7. To reject the


main low frequency harmonics (2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th) of
output voltage the bandwidth of control loop should be
at least 350Hz. The capacitor current loop is employed
to guarantee the stability of the inverter. Also, the inner
loop make the inverter to present a fast response to
nonlinear loads. Using the sliding mode control theory,
the gains of voltage and current loop are easily
obtained.

b)

Fig 9. a) The output voltage and current and b) The spectrum of


output voltage in maximum nonlinear load with CF=3.

Fig 7. The controller of single phase inverter.

Fig 10 a) shows the inductor current. Also, fig 10 b)


shows the ripple of inductor current in one-fourth of a
period. As we have designed, the ripple is below 40%
and the maximum ripple is occured about 45 degree.

The inverter with designed output filter has been


simulated with Simulink Toolbox in MATLAB. Fig 8 a
and b show the output voltage and its spectrum at
maximum linear load, respectively. The THD of the
output voltage is below 0.5% and also the switching
frequency distortion is below 0.1%. So, it meets the
standard requirements for harmonics distortion.

a)

a)

b)

b)

Fig 10. a) The inductor current and its ripple.

Fig 8. a) The output voltage and current and b) The spectrum of


output voltage in maximum linear load.

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V. CONCLUSION
A complete algorithm to design output LC filter of a
single phase inverter is developed in this paper. To
meet the IEEE Std. 1547 requirements for attenuating
of harmonics distortion, a relation between cut off
frequency of the filter and switching frequency is
calculated. The inductor value is designed to limit the
high frequency ripple of switches current. This
algorithm is verified with simulation results for a
220V, 5KVA inverter. The THD of output voltage is
less than 0.4% and 1.1% at linear and nonlinear full
load, respectively. In both simulations, the HD of
switching frequency is lower than 0.15%.

VI. REFERENCES
[1] 1.
Patricio Corts, M., IEEE, Gabriel Ortiz, Juan I. Yuz,
Member, IEEE, Jos Rodrguez, Senior Member, IEEE, and M.
Sergio Vazquez, IEEE, and Leopoldo G. Franquelo, Fellow, IEEE,
Model Predictive Control of an Inverter With Output LC Filter for
UPS Applications. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL
ELECTRONICS, 2009. 56(6): p. 14.
[2] 2.
JOSEP M. GUERRERO, L.G.D.V., and JAVIER
UCEDA, Uninterruptible power supply systems provide protection.
IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine, 2007. 1(1).
[3] 3.
Hyosung Kim , S.K.S., Analysis on Output LC Filter for
PWM Inveter. IPEMC2009, 2009: p. 6.
[4] 4.
J. Kim, S.M., IEEE, J. Choi, Member, IEEE, H. Hong,
Student Member, IEEE, Output LC Filter Design of Voltage Source
Inverter Considering the Performance of Controller. 2000: p. 6.
[5] 5.
Pekik A. Dahono, A.P., Qamaruzzaman, An LC Filter
Degign Method for single Phase PWM Inverter. 1995: p. 6.
[6] 6.
S. B. Dewan, P.D.Z., Optimum Filter Design for a Single
Phase Solid State UPS System. IEEE Transaction on Industrial
Application, 1975. IA-21(3): p. 6.

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