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Published in IET Power Electronics Received on 31st August 2009 Revised on 6th December 2009 doi: 10.1049/iet-pel.2009.0240

ISSN 1755-4535

Single-phase to three-phase four-leg converter applied to distributed generation system
E.C. dos Santos Jr. C.B. Jacobina N. Rocha J.A.A. Dias M.B.R. Correa
Electrical Engineering Department (DEE), Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG), 58109-970 Campina Grande, PB, Brazil E-mail:

Abstract: This study proposes a distributed generation system managed by a power converter with reduced number of components. Such converter operates with the same characteristics of the full-bridge converter. The distributed generation system is constituted by an induction generator with a prime mover (PM), a singlephase utility grid and a photovoltaic panel. A wind, hydraulic or another controlled power source is adopted to drive the induction generator, operating as a pm. The advantages of the four-leg power converter are explored in this application, such as reduced number of switches, high performance and dc-link voltage equal to that of standard converter with five legs. In addition, the control system is able to operate with a controlled mechanical power, allowing a bidirectional power flow. Simulated and experimental results are presented.



A distributed generation system can meet two types of critical demand: either when the utility grid is not available or when the grid is available but it does not meet with the power load demand. The second type of demand is very usual in the Brazilian rural scenario; in which there exist a demand to supply a three-phase load from a weak single-phase grid [1, 2]. In this case, a three-phase induction generation and photovoltaic systems can be used to both fulfil load power demand and provide energy to the single-phase grid. Hydraulic or wind power can be the driving force for the induction generator, as observed in Fig. 1. Connection among the single-phase grid, induction generator [3], photovoltaic panel [4] and three-phase load [5] can be obtained from a power converter (see Fig. 1). Single-phase to three-phase ac – ac conversion usually employs a full-bridge topology, which implies in ten power switches (see Fig. 2a). Such topology requires a relatively large number of power switches, which can increase cost, installation size and losses of the system [6 – 8]. The development of new power converter structures with 892

reduced number of components is an important issue in the studied system, since it may allow cost reduction in the energy conversion process [7, 9 – 16]. On the other hand, several works have investigated the use of induction machine as generator [17 – 29]. The solution presented in [1] describes a line-interactive single-phase to three-phase converter for application in rural areas, with a dc source connected to the converter when island mode operation is needed. Hydraulic energy can be explored in some regions of Brazil. For this reason, the utilisation of this kind of energy is increasing in the electrical energy generation, especially using induction machine generator [30]. Photovoltaic systems represent other important type of energy source, also explored in Brazil. Therefore it has great potential to supply energy with minimum impact on the environment [31]. This paper proposes a distributed generation system managed by ac– dc – ac power conversion with reduced number of components (see Fig. 2b), which operates with the same characteristics of the full-bridge converter IET Power Electron., 2010, Vol. 3, Iss. 6, pp. 892– 903 doi: 10.1049/iet-pel.2009.0240

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ietdl. Vol. v∗ . 2a). Another comparison can be made with the configuration presented in [2]. v20 . whereas in the proposed system the single grid is uncoupled from the load. 2a). and vl 0 is the voltage of point l (load neutral point) referred to the dc-bus mid-point. Table 1 shows the main relations for converter 4L. The voltage v∗0 is calculated by taking into account the l maximum v∗ /2 and minimum −v∗ /2 value of the pole c c voltages v∗0 max = v∗ /2 − v∗ l c max v∗0 min = −v∗ /2 − v∗ l c min (1) (2) Figure 1 Distributed generation electrical system based on induction generator. v∗3 . the power converter is composed of six legs. a squirrel-cage threephase induction generator and a photovoltaic panel – see Fig. 3.0240 893 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 . where v10 . 892– 903 doi: 10. vl 2 and vl 3 ) are given in Table 1 at the converter voltages row. v∗ + v∗ }. 2b) with the synchronisation technique can operate with the same rated voltage as the five-leg converter (Fig. 2b interfaces different energy sources: single-phase grid. 2b) was first discussed in [7] for supply three-phase loads from a single-phase grid. Note that when v∗ max or l l l0 l0 Figure 2 Single-phase to three-phase ac – ac converters a Five leg converter b Four leg converter IET Power Electron. v∗0 min or l l0 l v∗0ave = (v∗0 max + v∗ min )/2. The converter voltages at the grid side (vs ) and at the load side (vl1 . photovoltaic panel and single-phase utility grid (see Fig. The four-leg converter (see Fig. pp. whereas the proposed system can compensate the grid voltage and grid current distortions..1049/iet-pel. v30 and v40 are the pole voltages. 2 Converter model and PWM strategy Converter with four legs (named here as converter 4L) has been used in the studied system. v∗ = max q and c max v∗ = min q with q = {v∗1 . such as operation at the same frequency. Such characteristics guarantee that the system presented in [1] assures the compensation of grid current distortion and power factor control. 6. respectively. which means that the four-leg converter (Fig. v∗ . Iss. losses comparison. If the reference voltages of the input and output converter sides are given. In this application. then the s l1 l2 l3 reference pole voltages may be expressed as observed in Table 1 at the PWM strategy (with four legs) and the system presented in [1] (with three legs) has some advantages in relation to the proposed one. 2010. A comparison between the proposed system where v∗ is the reference dc-link voltages. Several aspects not explored in [7] are dealt in this paper.www. impose the power factor close to one and control the amplitude of the load voltages. by v∗ . In [1] the single-phase grid is connected in parallel with the load and the converter operates as a shunt active filter. but in this case.2009. 3. which was implemented the experimental development of a four-wire single-phase to three-phase static converter for rural distribution system. the load frequency is equal to that of the single-phase grid. v∗ and v∗ . Such converter of Fig. Voltage min l l2 l s l3 v∗0 can be chosen equal to v∗ max . voltage and current analysis.

one of the converter-leg operates with zero l switching frequency. When three-phase load and single-phase grid operate with same frequency. us is the phase angle between vs and es and j ¼ 1. 6. IET Power Electron. the voltage synchronisation can be used in order to increase the voltage capability of a reduced switch count converter.1049/iet-pel. given in Table 1 at dc-link voltage row.www. Then the required values of v∗ are c c c 894 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 where 1 is the phase angle between vl 3 and vs . 3. 2. For example. 2. 3). v∗ . On the other hand. 2. 3 ( p = q) and k ¼ 1. Vol. The l l l0 l0 switching period (T ) can be made equal to the sampling period (the smallest value) or multiple of the sampling period to reduce the average switching frequency. The maximum and minimum values can be used alternatively.2009. The gating signals can be obtained comparing pole voltages with a high-frequency triangular carrier signal. pp. 3. where p. When the dc-link voltage ripple is neglected. Iss. 2010. during a time interval t choose v∗0 = v∗0 max and in the next choose v∗ = v∗ min . Lets consider in steady state that vlj = √ 2Vl cos[(vt − ( j − 3)2p/3 − 1] vs = 2Vs cos(vt) √ es = 2Vs cos(vt + us ) √ (3) (4) (5) 3 Voltage analysis The voltages limits can be determined by considering that all voltages are purely sinusoidal. Input and output voltage synchronisation can be used in this case in order to increase the voltage capability of converter 4L. v∗ and v∗ are l 10 20 30 40 defined from Table 1. Once v∗0 is chosen. The maximum v∗ obtained from Table 1 defines the value c of the dc-link voltage required by converter 4L in the distributed generation electrical system (see Fig.0240 . pole voltages v∗ . operation with v∗0ave l generates pulse voltage centred in the sampling period. pole voltages have only two available values v∗ /2 and −v∗ /2.. q ¼ 1. 892– 903 doi: 10. such strategy influence the total harmonic distortion (THD) of Figure 3 Distributed generation electrical system Table 1 Mainly relations for configuration 4L Converter voltages vs ¼ v40 2 v30 vl1 ¼ v10 2 vl0 vl2 ¼ v20 2 vl0 vl3 ¼ v30 2 vl0 PWM strategy ∗ v10 Dc-link voltage ∗ vc ¼ Shared-leg current iq3 = iq3 = ∗ v30 1 + (il3 + is ) ∗ vc 2 ∗ v30 1 − (il3 + is ) ∗ vc 2 ¼ ∗ ∗ vl1 + vl0 |vs| ∗ ∗ ∗ v20 ¼ vl2 + vl0 ∗ vc ¼ |vlp 2 vlq| ∗ ∗ ∗ v30 ¼ vl3 + vl0 ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ v40 ¼ vs + vl3 + vl0 ∗ vc ¼ |vs + vl3 2 vlk| v∗0 min is selected.

when the synchronisation technique is not considered the shared-leg current can increase. 4a and b show the phasor diagram for voltage synchronisation analysis considering two cases. In this figure. respectively. vs and vl 3 . V l 2 . the voltages V 31 and V 32 represent the the third condition (v∗ = |vs + vl 3 − vlk |) at dc-link c voltage row (see Table 1). as observed in Fig. For this reason the synchronisation technique with 1 = 1808 must be choice. in this case the shared-leg will be smaller.. V s and V l3 are the current and voltage phasors associated to variables is . In this diagram I s . Figure 5 Phasor diagram for voltage synchronisation analysis a No optimised voltages (V 31 and V 32 ) with 1 ≃ 08 b Optimised voltages (V 31 and V 32 ) with 1 ≃ 1808 IET Power Electron. 4 shows the voltages generated by converter 4L. V l 2 and V l 3 ) with a small 1 (1 ≃ 08) (Fig. Iss. and cos(fl ) is the load power factor.2009. E s . that is. 7b. 6. V l 2 and V l 3 ) with a big 1 (1 ≃ 1808). vl 3 . vs and vl 3 have a displacement of 1808 and then is and il3 are also related. 892– 903 doi: 10. that is. il 3 . In that diagram V l 1 . V s and E s are the voltage phasors associated to voltages vl 1 . Vol. V l2 and V l3 ) voltages with 1 ≃ 08 b Synchronisation between input (V s ) and output (V l1 . Fig. where Vn is a nominal constant 4 Shared-leg current The average values (over the switching period T ) of the current flowing through the shared-leg (iq3 ) is an important design characteristic for the studied system.www. with synchronisation technique (S) and without synchronisation (WS). if any synchronisation has been considered (equivalent to make 1 = 1808). 5a and b. in which show that the values of V 31 = V s + V l 3 − V l1 and V 32 = V s + V l3 − V l 2 change as a function of synchronisation angle (1). the dc-link voltage of converter 4L is equal to that of the five-leg converter (converter 5L). vc = f (Vl ). as observed in Fig. 3. I l3 . 2010. converter 4L indicates the converter used in the studied system. for 1 ¼ 08 and 1808. V l2 and V l3 ) voltages with 1 ≃ 1808 Figure 6 Dc-link voltage for Converters 4L and 5L with Vl variable and Vs ¼ Vn reference value. given Vs = Vn . vs and es . These currents are given in the Table 1 at the shared-leg current Figure 4 Phasor diagram for voltage synchronisation analysis a Synchronisation between input (V s ) and output (V l1 . 7a. V l3 .ietdl. 7a and b show a phasor diagram to illustrate the relation between the currents. On the other hand. 4a) and synchronisation between input (V s ) and output voltages (V l1 . vl 2 . Figs. The same cases (1 ≃ 08 and 1 ≃ 1808) have been considered in Figs. respectively. as observed in Table 1 at dc-link voltage row. the voltages V 31 and V 32 define the dc-link voltages of converter 4L.0240 895 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 . es .1049/iet-pel. Figs. synchronisation between input (V s ) and output voltages (V l1 . respectively. As observed in that figure. Then. When the synchronisation technique is used and considering the input power factor unitary. The phasor diagram in Fig. 6 shows the dc-link voltage of converter 4L as a function of load voltage. pp.

15 — Configuration 5L √ Vl ¼ Vs Vl = 3Vs 1 1 1 2. the power rating analysis is similar. In these simulated results the rated conditions of the system variables were: power factor of load equal to 0. pp. Table 2 shows the quantitative values of the switches power ratings normalised in terms of the power rating of switch q1 . 2010.2009.40 — 1 1 0.15 4. Consequently.8 and switching frequency equal to Figure 8 Losses comparison between five.. Furthermore. These results are depicted in terms of the percentage of the load power.ietdl. 892– 903 doi: 10. 2). which is the composition of the load power ′ factor and of the generator power factor. it is considered the load power factor equal to 0. and cos( f ) is the power factor observed by converter L. 6). since ilk = ilk − igk . 5 Power ratings The power analysis of the switches for converter 4L will be done in relation to converter 5L (full-bridge converter). Note that. 6.15 where Is and Il are the amplitude of the grid and load current. the power rating of switch q3 can be smaller than that of the corresponding switch in converter 5L. PPV is the power furnished by the solar panel.1049/iet-pel. it can be obtained that Vs Is cos(us ) = 3Vl Il cos(f) + PPV (6) Table 2 Switch power ratings normalised in terms of current of the leg 1 Configuration 4L √ Vl = 3Vs Vl ¼ Vs q1 q2 q3 q4 q5 1 1 0.58 2. its dc-link voltage is the same of the converter 5L (see Fig. When the converter 4L operates with the synchronisation technique. current Iq3 will be higher. 896 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 Fig. depending of the load power factor. 8 shows the comparison of losses (conduction and switching losses) for both configurations: proposed and standard one (see Fig.and four-leg converters with two voltage conditions: es ¼ vlab ¼ 1 pu √ (top) and es ¼ 1 pu. q2 and q4 in converter 4L is equal to their corresponding ones in converter 5L. The shared-leg current of the converter 4L can be reduced with the synchronisation technique. the power rating of switch q3 is lower than the other switches. the power rating of switches q1 . as a function of synchronisation angle (1).4 2. 3. Vol. For the complementary switches.8 and two different voltage conditions: (i) input and output voltages √ equal (Vs = Vl ) and (ii) are output voltage is higher (Vl = 3Vs ). From shared-leg currents (Table 1 – shared-leg current field) the maximum value of iq3 for PPV = 0 is given by cos(us + f) 2 sin(us + f) + ku cos(f) cos(f) 2 Iq3 = Is 1 − ku (7) 6 Losses comparison where ku = 3Vs /Vl cos(us ).4 1 1 1 Figure 7 Phasor diagram for current synchronisation analysis a No optimised shared-leg current with 1 ¼ 08 b Optimised shared-leg current with 1 ¼ 1808 Neglecting the converter losses. When PPV is not zero.0240 .www. respectively.76 4. For this table. Iss. elab = 3 pu (bottom) IET Power Electron.

in this case the extra energy generated by the induction machine (IM) – as generator – and photovoltaic panel (PV) returns to the grid voltage (GV). which is a standard proportional-integral (PI) type controller. respectively.. and L. Finally. where L – load. PV). Kg . 7 System operation modes 8 Control system The control block diagram of the proposed systems is presented in Fig. Iss. The capacitor dc-link voltage vc is adjusted to a reference value by using the controller Rc . there is no load connected to the system. the extra energy returns to the grid voltage (GV). The performance improvement of the proposed system is due to the lower number of switches than that of the conventional system. 8 (bottom)]. In Modes V and VI the induction machine is operating as a motor and in Mode VII the grid voltage (GV) is not connected to the system. GV. 9a) the load power demand is supplied by the three energy source (IM. induction machine.2009. In Modes III and IV the photovoltaic panel (PV) is out of operation. and the control associated with the induction generator is considered just when the prime mover (pm) allows to control the mechanical power.0240 897 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 . Vl = 3 pu [see Fig. GV. 9 shows the complete sketch maps of the energy flux under different operation modes. PC. PC. which means that the energy generated by IM and PV returns to grid voltage (GV). Vol. Changes in the operation modes can be obtained either by switches Kl . In Mode I (Fig. 9b) the load power demand is lower than that of Mode I. 8 √ (top)]. IM. Kp or by energy level of each element of the system (L. This controller Fig. GV. Such figure highlights the energy flux among the principal elements (IM. PV). in terms of losses. PV. where Vs is the input converter side and Vl is the phase of the load voltage. and 1 ¼ 2308 for Vs = 1 pu.1049/iet-pel. 10.2 kHz. when the load demand is lower than that generated by the other energy sources in operation (IM or GV). 3. power converter. Notice that. 892– 903 doi: 10. pp. and as mentioned before. 2010. GV – grid voltage and PV – photovoltaic voltage a b c d e f g h Mode I Mode II Mode III Mode IV Mode V Mode VI Mode VII Mode VIII IET Power Electron. in Mode VIII. grid voltage.ietdl. Vl = 3 pu (bottom). IM – induction machine.www. For these angles (1 ¼ 200 and 2308) the losses reduction in the proposed system is close to 27 and 22%. load) of the 5. the best angle choice for the proposed system is 1 ¼ 2008 for Vs = Vl = 1 pu [see Fig. 6. PC – power converter. In Mode II (Fig. photovoltaic panel. Such control block diagram highlights the scheme control of the power converter. Figure 9 Complete sketch maps of the energy flux under different operation modes. Two voltage conditions have been considered: √ Vs = Vl = 1 pu (top) and Vs = 1 pu. as in hydraulic systems.

the input power factor changes with the input boost filter (Ls ). Kl and Kp . especially with non-linear loads. pp. This is obtained via block GEN-is. When the other operation mode is addressed. The block GEN-vl 123 is similar to that of block GEN-is. Fig. 11. On the other hand. which gives ki = rs /(4Tv ). 13a shows the current and the voltage of the grid (is and es ) indicating the high power factor of the grid. kp is obtained considering the pole cancellation strategy. which can be overlapped by the correct controller parameters adjustment. but in this case it is not possible to impose a sinusoidal waveform to the grid current. that is. The closed-loop transfer function is given by Gf (s) = ki /rs s(Tv s + 1) + ki /rs (8) Figure 10 Control block diagram provides the amplitude of the reference current. and considering the pole cancellation strategy to obtain the proportional gain. The gain ki is obtained by considering the closed-loop transfer function with real identical poles. 9). switches Kp and Kg are initially open and the whole system operates as the simple single-phase to three-phase converter. 12 depicts the experimental power circuit diagram. 8. Notice IET Power Electron. 13b illustrates dc-link voltage (vc ) under control – at the transient instant the control system acts and the dc-link voltage tracks its reference. find out the closed-loop transfer function to impose real identical poles and then obtain the integral gain. 3 has been implemented experimentally in the laboratory. 3. 13 shows the experimental results for the proposed system under load power transient. The value of the reference speed v∗ indicates the power r PPM furnished by the PM. The load voltage control is implemented by PI controller Rl . The controller Rm controls the speed of the generator (when the PM allows to control the mechanical power). Is∗ . that is. the dc-link capacitor charging is the critical startup procedure. Vol. 2010. 892– 903 doi: 10.1049/ Figure 11 Controller parameters design inductor parameters). Iss. The PM supplies the part power required by load that was not furnished by the single-phase grid. the instantaneous reference current is must be synchronised with voltage es .www.ietdl. where Tv is time constant of the PWM rectifier including all delays because of parasitic elements and Ts = ls /rs (ls and rs are the boost 898 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 . 13c and d show the load currents and voltages. capacitor and inductor values. and with the load power as well. Fig.2009. In this figure. Fig. which gives kp = (rs T )/(4Tv ).0240 8.2 Start-up procedure The start-up procedure of the system is facilitated by using the auxiliary switches Kg . the auxiliary switches are turned on or turned off depending of the operation mode. The same strategy can be used for specification of Rl and Rm . In these results the system operation mode changes from Mode III to Mode IV (see Fig. A suitable value of dc-link voltage controller parameters (kp and ki ). In this case. Furthermore. On the other hand. in which the switch ratings. Another way to implement the capacitor dclink voltage control is by using us (the power angle on the single-phase source side) as discussed in [8]. data of the machines are presented.. respectively. is obtained as shown in [33]. based on a PLL scheme. the grid voltage (es ) is considered as a perturbation for the control system. which is obtained from a maximum power point trackers algorithm [32]. To have ∗ power factor control. The block DET-vc gives the dc-link voltage reference. 6.1 Controller parameters design The procedure for computing the grid current controller parameters is explained with the Fig. Fig. with the proposed approach the power factor is controlled even in the case of load change and it guarantees the sinusoidal waveform to the grid current. 9 Experimental results The system presented in Fig. Figs. The PWM rectifier is modelled as a first-order transfer function. which generates ∗ the current is . The set-up used in the experimental tests is based on a microcomputer equipped with appropriate plug-in boards and sensors.

6. 2010.1049/iet-pel.www.ietdl. Vol. Figure 12 Experimental power circuit Figure 13 Experimental results with load power transient a b c d Grid power factor control Dc-link voltage control Load currents Load voltages IET Power Electron.. pp.2009. 3.0240 899 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 . 892– 903 doi: 10.

when t . Figure 14 Experimental results with load power transient – Mode VII a Load currents b Load voltages c Variables of panel circuit 900 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 IET Power Electron. 892– 903 doi: 10. Mode VII of the system operation modes (see Fig. On the other hand. 2010. 9) was also considered during the experimental tests.3 s – Mode III) the power demanded by the load is furnished by both the induction generator and grid voltage. 14a – c which illustrate the transient detail of the load currents.3 s). Notice that.2009. pp. Vol.. Figs. Fig.0240 . 15b shows the input converter variables (es and is ) highlighting the power factor control. Iss. load voltages and variables furnished by the panel. In this case.www. since the energy of the induction generator is constant. which means that the extra power (generated by the induction machine) is returned on back to the grid. Fig. 14. 15a shows the dc-link voltage (top) and induction generator speed (bottom). 15c and d illustrate the load voltages and current. as observed in Fig.ietdl. 0. the energy from the photovoltaic panel emulator becomes higher after the transient interval. that before the transient instant (t . Figs.3 s – Mode IV – the power of the induction generator is higher than that of the load (the load power is decreased at t ¼ 0. 15 shows a transient in the induction generator speed. 6. Fig. 0. and even in the transient scenario the control system acts in a proper way.1049/iet-pel. the power converter with reduced number of components has been used to manage the proposed distributed generation system.

A. : ‘A line-interactive single-phase to three-phase converter system’. 3.. Iss.1049/iet-pel.Q.www. Vol.. POMILIO J. 892– 903 doi: 10.0240 The authors would like to thank the financial support provided by the CT-Energ/CNPq. IEEE Trans. 12 References [1] MACHADO R. a squirrel-cage three-phase induction generator and a photovoltaic panel. Furthermore. 2010. . 2006. without lack of functionality in this application. 21. The different energy sources are connected through four-leg power Figure 15 Experimental results with transient of the generator speed a b c d Dc-link voltage (top) and induction generator speed (bottom) Input converter variables (es and is) Load voltages Load currents 10 Conclusion 11 Acknowledgment This paper proposes a distributed generation system based on a single-phase grid. Power Electron. pp.ietdl. IET Power Electron. BUSO S. it is observed the performance improvement in the proposed system because its reduction in the number of switches. current and power ratings very closed to those of the full-bridge converter. pp. such as voltage.2009. which gives some advantages when compared to the standard configuration.. 1628 – 1636 901 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010 . 6.

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