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A stable three-phase LCL-filter based active rectifier without damping

Remus Teodorescu and Frede Blaabjerg Marco Liserre and Antonio Dell’Aquila
Institute of Energy Technology Department of Electrotechnical and Electronic
Aalborg University Polytechnic of Bari
Aalborg, Denmark Bari, Italy,,

value for the ac inductance can solve this problem, but this
Abstract—Industrial LCL-based grid converters using an active makes it expensive and bulky. On the contrary, to adopt an
rectifier need to be designed in view of robustness, stability and LCL- filter configuration allows to use reduced values of the
high efficiency. In this paper the design of an active rectifier that inductances (preserving dynamic) and to reduce the switching
does not need damping whether passive or active is described. frequency pollution emitted in the grid [2].
This allows obtaining stability without the decrease of the
efficiency typical for the passive damping methods or the The main goal is to ensure a reduction of the switching
increase of cost due to more sensors or more complex control frequency ripple at a reasonable cost and, at the same time, to
algorithms that is typical for the active damping methods. This obtain a high performance rectifier. Usually the converter side
has been achieved with a careful choice of sensor position and of reactor is bigger than the grid side one because it is
the passive elements in the LCL-filter. In fact if the current responsible for the attenuation of most of the switching ripple.
sensors are on the grid side, rather than on the converter side, The ac capacitor is limited in order not to reduce too much the
the current loop is much more near to the stability. Moreover, if power factor and the grid side reactor is chosen in order to
the grid side inductance is a fraction of the converter side one, properly tune the cut-off frequency of the LCL-filter.
the current loop is again much more near to the stability. Thus,
with a proper design the system can be made stable at some The stability of the system should be rigorously studied [3].
switching frequencies even without any damping. A poor analysis made on qualitative considerations could lead
Keywords—Voltage Source Converter, active rectifier, digital to excessive damping (unnecessary increase of losses) or
control, harmonics insufficient damping (the system seems to be stable but it is
not). The damping, both passive (based on the use of resistors)
I. INTRODUCTION and active (based on the modification of the control algorithm)
should be rigorously tested [4].
The most common applications for dc power systems are
chemical, electrolysis, aluminum, graphitizing furnace, zinc In this paper the design of an LCL-filter based active
electrolysis, copper refining, traction substation, AC and DC rectifier is reported which is stable even without damping due
drive systems. The dc voltage regulations is often required and to a proper choice of the passive elements of the LCL-filter
realised with traditional methods such as saturable core and to the position of the current sensors on the grid side
reactors and on-load tap changers or with phase controlled rather than on the converter side. The reported experimental
rectifiers, or finally with a chopper (dc/dc converter) on the dc results prove the theoretical analysis.
side. All these solutions can hardly comply with power quality
standards and often lead to overrating of the overall system. II. SYSTEM CONFIGURATION
Moreover, the most advanced of them, the chopper, increases The equivalent single-phase circuit for the three-phase active
the number of switching devices of the system resulting in a rectifier system is shown in Fig.1. The following base values
higher failure rate and mean time to repair. will be introduced:
Z b = ( En ) Pn
On the contrary an active rectifier based on a Voltage (1)
Source Converter (VSC) with its ac side connected to the grid Cb = 1 ω n Z b (2)
and employing pulse width modulation (PWM) has the
ωb = ω n (3)
capability to control the grid current on the ac side and the
voltage on the dc side [1]. In this configuration the grid where En is the line to line rms voltage, ωn is the grid
current is synchronized in order to be in phase with the grid frequency and Pn is the active power absorbed by the
voltage and in order to obtain a unity power factor. converter in rated conditions. Thus the reactances of L ( X ), of
The switching frequency is generally between 2 kHz and 15 Lg ( Xg ) and of Cf ( XC ) are expressed in [pu] of the base
kHz and causes high order harmonics that can disturb other impedance Zb: x = X Z b , xg = X g Z b and xC = − Z b X C . ωb is
EMI sensitive loads/equipment on the grid. Choosing a high the base frequency considered equal to the grid frequency.

0-7803-7883-0/03/$17.00 © 2003 IEEE


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The ac current control (CC) is considered particularly
Cf ≡ Zb Cf suitable for active rectifiers for its safety, stability
performance and fast response. Usually the CC is
implemented in a dq-rotating frame that has the d-axis
e ig oriented on the grid voltage. Thus the controller structure is
cascaded, because the dc voltage controller calculates the
CONTROL reference value for the d-axis current controller (Fig. 2). Space
Vector Modulation (SVM) is used as modulation strategy and
(a) (b)
a Phase-Lock Loop (PLL) is used for grid synchronization.
Fig. 1. Current-controlled three-phase active rectifier. a) Single-phase Further details can be found in [2], [3] and [4].
diagram; b) Equivalent circuit
By considering a dq-frame that rotates at the angular speed
In the system the grid voltage is sensed and the grid
ω, where ω = 2πf and f is the fundamental frequency of the
current is controlled to be in phase with that, thus the part of
grid, the d- and q-current loops are equivalent in the stability
the system to the left of the capacitor works like a resistor, as
and dynamic analysis because once done the compensations of
shown by the Fig. 1
the grid voltage ed and eq and due to the cross-coupling
The following equivalent impedances are considered for the ωL id(t) and ω L iq(t), they have the same plant.
grid side and for the converter side, respectively:
A. Stability analysis
xTgrid = 1
(4) If the grid side current is sensed the plant (Fig. 3a) for
xTconv = 1 + j ( x − xC ) current control is

Hence in order not to overrate the VSC the following ig ( s ) 1 1

G (s) = = (6)
formula can be used to have an idea of the value of the ac side v( s ) LLg C f s ( s 2 + ω res
where ω res
2 2
= LT z LC L and z L2 C = L g C f [ ]−1
Cf = (5) Usually the damping of the system is chosen in a qualitative
Z b2 manner, resulting in a decrease of efficiency and unknown
dynamic of the system. Design guidelines for both passive and
The designed LCL-filter [5] is reported in the followings. active damping are given in [3], [4], [6]-[8] with different
Cnverter side inductance: L = 2 mH, Irated = 16 A@50Hz with approaches.
a ripple of 5 App@8kHz, ferrite core. Grid side inductance: Lg
= 1.5 mH, Irated = 16 A@50Hz with a ripple of 2.5 App@8kHz, The model of the current loop shown in Fig.3b when a
iron core. Capacitor Cf = 6 µF. damping resistor is inserted in series with the filter capacitor:

The specifications of the power stage of the VLT5022

G (s) =
ig ( s )
1 ( C f Rd s + 1) (7)
frequency inverter from Danfoss are: Uout = 3x400V, Iout,rated = LLg C f s ( s + ω res
37.5 A, UDC,max = 850 V.
v( s) 2 2
C f Rd s + ω res

U DC controller id controller ed
U DC* id*
∆e d
iq controller eq ed* CD
i q =0 ∆e q
s a,s b ,s c 5022 LCL
-ωL e q* SVM POWER
i q dq i A,B,C
ab DA
θ eX e A,B,C
ac current controller PLL eY 23 DA

Fig.2 The control structure of the active rectifier


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v 1 i
+ sL

ig i
Lg ic L
vc _
e Cf vc v 1
sC f +

e _ 1 ig

v 1
+ sL
ig i
Lg ic L
vc ic
e Cf vc v 1
+ Rd
sC f +
e _ 1 ig

Fig.3. Single-phase equivalent of the current loop plant undamped (a) and damped (b).

The results of the stability analysis made at a switching The first step is to choose the parameters to be optimised.
frequency of 8 kHz are reported in Fig. 4. In the figures there They have been defined also with the help of two transfer
are the root loci with highlighted positions of the roots when functions in the s-domain.
the proportional gain of the current controller is chosen on the
The transfer function of the grid current ratio the converter
basis of the technical optimum (koptimum) [2].
current is used to calculate the LCL-filter effectiveness in
Moreover the maximum proportional gain (kmax) for which reducing the switching ripple
the system is stable is highlighted, too. It is interesting to note
that the system is stable even without the damping (Fig 4a),
instead the use of the damping (4 Ω in series with the filter
capacitor) makes the system to be more stable but moves the G1 ( s ) =
ig ( s )
(C f Rd s + 1)
complex conjugate poles on the right half of the plane away i(s) (L C
g f s + C f Rd s + 1)

from the optimum position (Fig.4b).

evaluating G1(s) for s=jhωswitching where ωswitching=2π fswitching
Then Fig. 4c and Fig. 4d demonstrate that if there is one and h is an integer because the adopted modulation generates
delay in the current loop due to the use of filters or due to too harmonics around the multiples of the switching frequency.
long computation times the system is less stable and passive
damping is needed. Instead the damping losses related to the presence of Rd in
series with the LCL-filter capacitor Cf can be estimated
This is an opposite situation in respect to that one obtained considering the transfer function of the capacitor current ratio
when the current sensors are on the converter side. In that case the converter voltage
one delay in the current loop makes the system more stable
and reduce the need for damping [4].
ic ( s ) s 1
G2 ( s ) = =− (9)
A. Design algorithm v( s) L ( s 2 + ω res
C f Rd s + ω res
Once the current control loop stability has been analysed, a again evaluating G2(s) for s=jhω and for s=jhωswitching because
design procedure can be developed in order to minimise the Cf drains a considerable current only at the fundamental
damping for the LCL-filter based active rectifier. frequency and for multiple of the switching frequency.


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k optimum
k max k optimum
1 k max 1 k max
k max

k optimum k optimum
0.5 0.5

0 0

-0.5 -0.5

-1 -1

-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1

(a) (b)

k optimum k optimum
k max k optimum
1 1
k max

k optimum
0.5 0.5

0 0

-0.5 -0.5

-1 -1

-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1

(c) (d)
Fig. 4. Root locus of LCL-based active rectifier at 8 kHz sampling and switching frequency. (a) the undamped current loop; (b) the passive damped current loop;
(c) the undamped current loop with one sample delay and (d) the passive damped current loop with one sample delay

Thus the parameters used to assign the design constraints 3. for the LCL-filter switching ripple attenuation: ra – it
are can be calculated on the basis of G2(s);
1. for the stability ρMAX - maximum radius of poles of the 4. for the damping losses: Pd – they can be calculated
current closed loop - ρMAX should be at least < 1 in using G1(s) since they depend on the square of the
order to have a stable current loop; LCL-filter capacitor Cf rms current Ic.
2. for the bandwidth: bw – the lowest between the Three parameters have been chosen to be adapted in order
frequencies at which the gain of the closed loop is to find the optimum solution:
reduced to 3 dB and at which the phase delay becomes 1. The current controller proportional gain kp;
larger than 45;
2. The sampling frequency fsampling;
3. The damping resistor value Rd.


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Roughly speaking ρMAX is a function of all the three
parameters but especially of the last two in a non-linear UDC
way, bw depends strongly and almost linearly on the second ea
parameter, Pd depends on the last two of them in a non- ia
linear way and ra depends especially on the second of them.
Thus a step-by-step algorithm can be written in order to
tune the parameters simply exploiting the previously
reported dependencies. Otherwise, a non-linear least-mean-
square method can be adopted in order to find the optimal
solution without linearising the relations ρMAX(kp, fsampling,
Rd), bw(kp, fsampling, Rd), ra(kp, fsampling, Rd) and Pd(kp, fsampling,
It has been chosen to use the Levenberg-Marquardt
method [9] in conjunction with the linear search [10]. In fact
this method has proved to be more robust than the Gauss-
Newton method and iteratively more efficient than an
unconstrained method [10]. The Levenberg-Marquardt
method uses a search direction which is a solution of a UDC
linear set of equations. The line search is based on the ea
solution of a subproblem to yield the search direction in
which the solution is estimated to lie. The minimum along ia
the line formed from this search direction is approximated
by a polynomial method involving interpolation.
Polynomial methods approximate a number of points with a
polynomial whose minimum can be calculated easily.
The optimisation method has been tested through the
Matlab® algorithm “lsqnonlin” [10]. Many parameters can
be settled in the “lsqnonlin” algorithm such as minimum
and maximum change in variables for finite differencing
and the method of interpolation. The method gives good
results if the optimal solution is near the initial conditions.
Using this optimization method the present LCL filter has (b)
been designed, as shown in II.
Fig. 5 Phase voltage and current at nominal load (11kW) in rectifying mode
(a), generating mode (b)
In the following the steady state and the transient
operations of the converter are shown. The results B. Transient operation
demonstrate that at a switching frequency of 8 kHz the The system start-up in rectifying mode is shown at no-
system is stable even without any kind of damping, using load condition and full-load condition.
the optimisation method for designing the LCL filter.
Fig. 6 shows the DC-link voltage UDC, phase voltage ea
A. Steady state operation and current ia. As it can be observed, prior to starting the
rectifier mode the dc-link is charged, through the free-
The steady state operation is shown in Fig 5. Current wheeling diodes from the converter IGBT bridge, at the
probe is reversed as in rectifying mode phase voltage is in peak value of the grid voltage. After starting the rectifying
phase with the phase current. Steady state operation was mode, the dc voltage increases to the reference value, in this
measured using the oscilloscope Tektronix TDS 3014 and case 650 V. The transient response is good showing a
power analyzer PM3000A. The test conditions were: UDC = settling time in the range of 30 ms. The current peak at
650V, Ugrid,phase = 230V, Pout=11.2 kW, PF = 0.99, THDUgrid startup is in the range of 150% of the rated current but this
= 2.0 %, THDIgrid = 6.7 %. is due primarily to the fact that the current control was not
active prior to the transient.
As it can be observed in Fig. 5, the grid current looks
stable in stationary conditions at rated load. The difference Finally, in Fig. 7a a 4 kW load transient and in Fig. 7b
in the appearance of the current is due to the fact that in full-load transient is applied from no-load condition. The
dc-voltage restoration time is again in the range of 30 ms
generating mode the fundamental of the current is 180
but now the overcurrent has disappeared as the current
degrees shifted and so the superimposing of the low
control was active before the transient.
harmonics from the grid voltage leads to different results.


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iDC ia
UDC ia C


(b) Fig. 7 Step load change from no load to 4kW load (a); nominal load
Fig. 6 Start of rectifying mode at no load (a); full load (b) (11kW) (b) in rectifying mode
In all cases no sign of instability in the current could be
observed, demonstrating thus that the system is stable even
without any damping at all, using the optimal design method [2] M. Liserre, F. Blaabjerg, and S. Hansen, “Design and control of an
LCL-filter based active rectifier,” Proc. of IAS 2001, pp. 299-307,
Sept./Oct. 2001.
V. CONCLUSIONS [3] V. Blasko, and V. Kaura, “A novel control to actively damp
The paper deals with the design of a 11 kW active rectifier resonance in input lc filter of a three-phase voltage source converter,”
with LCL-filter designed to be stable even without damping IEEE Trans. on Ind. App., Vol. 33, pp. 542-550, March-April 1997.
avoiding unnecessary losses and the decrease of efficiency. [4] M. Liserre, A. Dell’Aquila, and F. Blaabjerg, “ Stability
improvements of an LCL-filter based three-phase active rectifier,”
Moreover, a design method has been proposed to minimize Proc. of PESC 2002, pp. 1195-1201, June 2002.
losses, increase bandwidth, guarantee stability and [5] R.Teodorescu, F.Iov, F.Blaabjerg, “Flexible test and development
maximize the LCL-filter attenuation. Experimental results system for a 11 kW wind turbine”, Proc. of PESC 2003, June 2003.
in both stationary and transient conditions demonstrate the [6] P. A. Dahono, “A control method to damp oscillation in the input LC
success of the new design method. filter of AC-DC PWM converters,” Proc. of PESC 2002, pp. 1630-
1635, June 2002.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS [7] E. Twining, and D. G. Holmes, “Grid current regulation of a three-
phase voltage source inverter with an LCL input filter,” Proc. of
This work has been carried out with the financial support of PESC 2002, pp. 1189-1194, June 2002.
the Italian "Ministero della Istruzione, Università e Ricerca" [8] M. Liserre, A. Dell’Aquila, and F. Blaabjerg, “Genetic algorithm
(project: CLUSTER 13). based design of the active damping for a LCL-filter three-phase active
rectifier,” Proc. of APEC 2003, February 2003.
REFERENCES [9] Moré, J.J., The Levenberg-Marquardt Algorithm: Implementation and
Theory, Numerical Analysis, ed. G. A. Watson, Lecture Notes in
[1] R. Wu, S. B. Dewan, and G. R. Slemon, “Analysis of an ac-to-dc Mathematics 630, Springer Verlag, pp 105-116, 1977.
voltage source converter using PWM with phase and amplitude
[10] Matlab Optimization Toolbox User’s Guide, July 2002
control,” IEEE Trans. on Ind. App., vol. 27, pp. 355-364,
March/April 1991.


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