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A Novel Active Common-mode EMI Filter for PWM Inverter

Yo-Chan Son and Seung-Ki Sul

School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science #024, ENG420, Seoul National University
Kwanak P.O.BOX 34, Seoul, Korea (ZIP 151-742)

Abstract – This paper presents a novel active common-mode should increase the inductance of the common-mode choke
EMI filter for the PWM inverter application. The proposed in order to increase the insertion loss, which makes the com-
filter is based on the current sensing and compensation circuit mon-mode filter bulky. Many researchers have tried to de-
and it utilizes a fast transistor amplifier for the current compen- velop some active filtering techniques in order to overcome
sation. The amplifier utilizes an isolated low-voltage dc power
supply for its biasing and it is possible to construct the active this limitation [8~12].
filter independent of the source voltage of the equipment. Thus In this paper, a novel active common-mode EMI filter is
the proposed active filter can be used in any application re- introduced in order to mitigate the conducted common-mode
gardless of its working voltage. The effectiveness of the pro- EMI. It can provide the sufficient attenuation under the limit-
posed circuit is verified by experimental results. ed LC product and there is a promising possibility of its ap-
plication regardless of the working voltage of the system. Its
analysis and experimental verification will be given.

The PWM inverter as shown in Fig. 1, is the inherent noise II. ACTIVE COMMON-MODE EMI FILTER
source that makes abrupt voltage transitions (high dv/dt)
accompanied by switching actions [1, 2]. Coupled with the Fig. 2 shows the basic concept of the proposed Active
stray capacitance of the load machine the high frequency Common-mode EMI Filter (ACEF). The circuit is based on
current is generated, which can affect nearby equipments due the topology using the current sensing and compensation [8,
to the conducted and radiated electromagnetic interference 9, 11, 12]. The noise source is the PWM inverter in Fig. 2
(EMI) [3, 4]. As the semiconductor technology progresses and the input filter can be an additional passive filter, which
power devices are getting faster to reduce the switching loss gives additional insertion loss. The series-connected com-
and to increase the controllability of the system, but the in- mon-mode choke LCM works as the common-mode current
crease of dv/dt is accompanied by the increase of the EMI sensing element by the additional winding. The high frequen-
level. Especially the leakage current by the common-mode cy current that passes through LCM generates the high fre-
voltage of the PWM inverter is the primary concern of the quency flux in the common-mode choke, which makes the
conducted and radiated EMI. Because the high frequency high frequency voltage at the input terminal of the trans-
leakage current at the motor returns through the earth ground, conductance amplifier. The output of the amplifier is con-
its circulation loop is relatively large compared with that of nected to the output capacitor Co that is used for the current
the normal-mode current. This large circulation loop plays as injection to the earth ground. In this filter circuit, the injected
a role of the antenna for the radiated EMI. These days many current cannot be circulated within the system without using
countries limit the EMI emission under their regulations the coupling capacitor Cc because the closed loop cannot be
[3~6]. To meet such regulations many efforts to EMI mitiga- made. Thus Cc is used to provide the low-impedance path of
tion have been concentrated and most of them have been the high frequency common-mode current for the internal
related to the design of input/output EMI filters [1~3, 7]. circulation. The supply voltage of the filter circuit Vc is used
Most of conventional filters were passive filters. In designing to give the bias voltage to the amplifier. At low frequency the
passive filters the obtainable insertion loss is limited by the impedance of Cc is large enough to isolate the bias voltage
available LC product that should be increased to meet the from the main voltage.
requirement. In case of the common-mode EMI, one cannot The required bias voltage of ACEF can be calculated as in
increase the total capacitance for the safety reason [3] and (1). For example, if 0.5[A] of the high frequency current at
LISN PWM Inverter

ig s

ig 2 ig 1

Fig. 1. PWM inverter system using single-phase ac input.

LCM ig ig1 LCM
Input Noise Rectifier + dc i g1
Filter Source ig
or Vdc Load
zs Cc Cc Converter System

(a) Cc
rin gm io Vc
Co Vc
Fig. 2. Basic concept of proposed ACEF.

1[MHz] should be supplied, then the bias voltage should be LCM

ig ac or dc i g1
larger than 7.96[V] in order to drive 10[nF] of Co. Load
Vc ≥ max o (1)
2πfCo (b) ib Cc
Fig. 3 shows the application of the proposed ACEF. In this
example the single-phase, three-phase and dc applications are Vc
shown. As introduced in [12], a push-pull amplifier is used Co
and Cc is connected to the dc-bus of the PWM inverter or any
dc load system. In case of the PWM inverter supplied by the
commercial 60[Hz]/220[Vrms] utility line, the dc-bus voltage LCM
is about 300[V]. As in [11], if the push-pull amplifier should ig Rectifier + dc i g1
be placed across the dc-bus capacitor, then each transistor or Vdc Load
Converter System
should be able to handle the full dc-bus voltage. In this case −
the high-voltage/high-current pnp-transistor is hardly avail- (c)
able, that limits its application. Moreover the required volta-
ge of the push-pull amplifier is very small compared to the Vc
dc-bus voltage as calculated in (1) and it can make the ineffi-
cient voltage usage. However in the proposed circuit the Co
additional low voltage supply can be used to drive the push-
pull amplifier. This enables the use of low voltage devices LCM
and extends the application of the proposed ACEF. Fig. 3(a) 3-phase
shows its application when coupling capacitors are placed Load
between the dc-bus voltage Vdc and the filter supply voltage Cc
Vc. While coupling capacitors in Fig. 3(a) isolate the dc-bus
and the ACEF at low frequency, they make the low impedan-
ce path at high frequency, which allows the internal circula- Vc
tion of the high frequency leakage current between the sys-
tem and the ACEF as introduced in [12]. Coupling capacitors Co
also can be connected to ac input lines of the system as
shown in Fig. 3(b) and it is possible to construct a separate
Fig. 3. Configurations of proposed ACEF.
input filter stage. The same idea can be extended to the 3- (a) ACEF using dc-bus coupling, (b) ACEF using ac line coupling for sin-
phase applications, which is shown in Fig. 3(c) and (d). gle-phase application, (c) ACEF using dc-bus coupling, (d) ACEF using ac
The proposed circuit works as follows. In this analysis line coupling for three-phase application.
there is an assumption that coupling capacitors have suffi-
ciently low impedance at the frequency band of interest. If where µ is the relative permeability, Ae is the effective area
the inductance of the common-mode choke seen at the pri- and le is the effective length of the magnetic core. Thus the
mary winding is LCM without the consideration of the secon- cutoff frequency ω1 can be represented as (4) regardless of
dary winding, then the relation between the input common- the number of turns N.
mode current ig and the base current of the push-pull ampli- r l
fier can be found as (2). ω1 = in e . (4)
ib s N 2 rin
= −N ⋅ and ω1 = , (2) If the bandwidth of the transistor amplifier is ωT and the
ig s + ω1 LCM amplifier is modeled as a first-order system, then the injecti-
where N is the turn ratio between the primary winding and on current io of the amplifier can be derived as (5). Because
the secondary winding, and rin is the input impedance of the the input common-mode current ig is the sum of the injection
push-pull transistor amplifier including the additional resistor. current io and the load leakage current ig1, then the relation
When the leakage inductance of the common-mode choke, between ig and ig1 can be found as (6).
the common-mode inductance LCM can be represented as (3). h fe Nh fe s
N 2 µAe , io = ib = − ⋅ ig , (5)
LCM = (3) 1 + s ωT 1 + s ω T s + ω1
le where hfe is the ac current gain of the transistor.
Conduction Radiation input common-mode current is effectively suppressed
0 without increasing the low frequency leakage current.
1 . (9)
-10 LCM ' = LCM ⋅
1 + s ω1



In this section, several experimental results are shown.

-40 First, Fig. 5 ~ Fig. 9 show the evaluation of the proposed
ACEF using ac line coupling for a single-phase application
and Fig. 10 shows the evaluation of the proposed ACEF for a
three-phase application using ac line coupling.
Fig. 5 shows the configuration of the experimental system.
-60 4
10 10
Detailed parameters of the experimental system are listed in
Frequency (Hz) Table I. A 3.7[kW] induction motor is used as a load machine
Fig. 4. Frequency response of proposed ACEF. of the PWM inverter and a dc smoothing reactor is used in
i g = io + i g 1 =
(1 + s ω T )(1 + s ω1 ) i g1
. (6) order to reduce the input harmonic current. An input filter
printed circuit board (PCB) is used separately from the PWM
 1 1 + Nh fe  s 2
1 +  +  s + inverter PCB. The input filter is composed of the ACEF and
 T ω 1  ω T ω1 additional passive filtering elements. A single-phase LISN is
If the bandwidth of the transistor amplifier and Nhfe are used to provide the stable source impedance at the high fre-
high, then (6) can be simplified as (7). quency as shown in Fig. 1 and the peak detector is used in the
ig ≈
(1 + s ω T )(1 + s ω1 ) i , (7) measurement of the conducted EMI spectrum [3~5].
(1 + s ω 2 )(1 + s ω 3 ) g1 Waveforms of leakage currents and the conducted EMI
spectrum of the system without any EMI filter are shown in
where ω2 = ω1/(1+Nhfe) and ω3 = NhfeωT. If ωT is much Fig. 6. Because there is no Y-capacitor, the motor leakage
higher then ω1 then (7) is simplified as (8). current generated by the switching of the PWM inverter is
1 + s ω1 , (8) directly reflected to the input common-mode current as
ig ≈ i g1
1+ s ω2 shown in Fig. 6(a). The conducted EMI spectrum includes
Fig. 4 shows the frequency response of the proposed both of the common- and normal-mode EMI. Although they
ACEF without including the effect of coupling capacitors. should be separately considered, the normal-mode EMI will
Parameters used in Fig. 4 are listed in Table I. As can be seen not be discussed in this paper with the assumption that some
from the figure, the approximation (8) holds in the conducted appropriate normal-mode filtering elements are installed for
EMI frequency band (0.15 ~ 30[MHz]). But the attenuation each design stage. After sufficient normal-mode filtering, the
performance is degraded in the radiated EMI frequency band common-mode EMI plays as the bottleneck of the total con-
(30 ~ 300[MHz]) due to the limited bandwidth of the tran- ducted EMI [12, 13].
sistor amplifier. The maximum attenuation of 1/(1+Nhfe) is Fig. 7 shows leakage current waveforms and the conducted
achieved between ω1 and ωT. Simple passive filters can be EMI spectrum when the proposed ACEF is added in the sys-
inserted at the input or output of the transistor amplifier to tem of Fig. 6. Low-voltage complementary transistors (VCEO-
reduce the effect of the limited performance in the radiated max = 30[V]) are used in this filter circuit and a 12[V] dc pow-
EMI frequency band. Also as concerned with the inflow of er supply is used as the bias voltage Vc. Actually this voltage
the low-frequency leakage current, it cannot be attenuated is coming from the control power supply in the inverter sys-
because of the nature of the sensing circuit of (2). tem. In this experiment Cx1 and Cx2 are installed along with
The equivalent inductance of the common-mode choke the ACEF. Using parameters listed in Table I, corner fre-
due to the ACEF can be calculated using the relation shown quencies, ω1 and ω2, can be calculated as 11.2[MHz] and
in (2) and it is given as (9). Combined with (7) and (9), the 14[kHz] respectively when rin and hfe are assumed to be
C x 2 LCM 2 LCM 1
AC s
C x1

Cy2 C y1 3.7kW
Q1 Inverter
io Vc ig1
Input Filter Q2
Fig. 5. Configuration of experimental system.
ig 1
(a) ig


Fig. 8. Additional passive EMI filter installed.

Fig. 6. No EMI filter installed. (a) Cy2 installed, (b) Cy1 installed.
(a) Leakage currents (200[mA/div], 1[µs/div]), (b) conducted EMI spectrum.

ig 1

(a) ig


Average Measurement


Fig. 7. Proposed ACEF installed. Quasi-peak

(a) Leakage currents (200[mA/div], 1[µs/div]), (b) conducted EMI spectrum.

100[Ω] and 100, respectively. Between ω2 and ω1, the pro-

posed ACEF attenuates the conducted EMI according to (7) (b)
as shown in Fig. 4. Above ω2 the attenuation by the proposed
ACEF is effective as shown in Fig. 7(b). Most of the high
Average Measurement
frequency leakage current ig1 from the motor is absorbed by
the proposed ACEF and only the low frequency ripple can be
seen from the waveform of ig as shown in Fig. 7(a). Conse-
quently the high frequency input common-mode current is
much reduced compared with that of Fig. 6(a). Because its
peak magnitude is considerably reduced and this may help Fig. 9. Application example of ACEF for commercial air conditioner.
preventing the saturation of the magnetic core in the addi- (a) 2 stage passive filters. (b) 1 passive filter + 1 ACEF.
tional filter, which helps improving the performance of the
additional filter stage. Thus one can get the enhanced attenu- In Fig. 8(b) Cy1 is installed instead of Cy2. The entire EMI
ation performance of the additional filter, or make the size of level is much attenuated and the conducted EMI above
the additional magnetic core smaller. 5[MHz] is not increased as in the case of Fig. 7(a).
In Fig. 8 an additional filter stage is added to the system of The proposed ACEF was adopted for the commercial air
Fig. 7. In Fig. 8(a) an additional Y-capacitor Cy2 is installed conditioner and Fig. 9 shows its evaluation result. The circuit
at the input terminal along with an additional common-mode of Fig. 3(a) was used in this experiment. Fig. 9(a) shows the
choke LCM2. With the aid of the additional filter stage the conducted EMI spectrum of the system with 2 stage cascaded
conducted EMI is suppressed about 20[dBµV] until 2[MHz] passive filters. An ACEF was implemented using the existing
but the level of the EMI spectrum is increased especially common-mode choke of filter stages of Fig. 9(a) and the
above 2[MHz]. Although the entire level is placed under the result is shown in Fig. 9(b). As can be seen from Fig. 9, the
given limit line it is not favorable to have the small margin. EMI spectrum of 150 of 500[kHz] is much attenuated so it is
3-phase Induction amplifier by introducing coupling capacitors between the
Input Motor
LCM = 114µH power line and the amplifier circuit. Thus the proposed
ACEF can be applicable to various power electronics system
1µF 1µF regardless of the working voltage. Also it helps improving
(a) PLIP
10 nF
the performance of additional filter stages. Its effectiveness
has been verified by experiments.
Spectrum io


[1] G. Skibinski, R. Kerkman, and D. Schlegel, “EMI Emissions of

Modern PWM ac Drives,” IEEE Industry Applications Maga-
zine, pp. 47 ~ 81, Nov/Dec 1999.
Without any EMI filter
[2] S. Chen, “Generation and Suppression of Conducted EMI from
(b) Inverter-Fed Motor Drives,” in Conf. Rec. of IEEE IAS, pp.
1583 ~ 1589, 1999.
[3] L. Tihanyi, Electromagnetic Compatibility in Power Electronics,
With ACEF IEEE Press, 1995.
[4] T.Williams, EMC for Product Designers, 2nd ed., Newnes, 1996.
[5] EN 55 014 : 1993, “Limits and Methods of Measurement of
Radio Disturbance Characteristics of Electrical Motor-operated
and Thermal Appliances for Household and Similar Purposes,
Electric Tools and Electric Apparatus”
[6] L. Rossetto, P. Tenti and A. Zuccato, “Electromagnetic Com-
patibility Issues in Industrial Equipment,” IEEE Industry Appli-
cations Magazine, pp. 34 ~ 46, Nov./Dec. 1999.
With LCM Only [7] M. J. Nave, Power Line Filter Design for Switched-Mode Power
(c) Supplies, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991.
[8] L. Lawhite and M. F. Schlecht, “Design of Active Ripple Filters
for Power Circuits Operating in the 1-10MHz Range,” IEEE
With ACEF Trans. Power Electron., vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 310 ~ 317, Jul 1988.
[9] N. K. Poon, J. C. P. Liu, C. K. Tse and M. H. Pong, “Techniques
for Input Ripple Current Cancellation: Classification and Im-
Fig. 10. ACEF example for three-phase system. plementation,” IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 15, no. 6, pp.
(a) Configuration of experimental system, (b) Comparison with raw EUT, 1144 ~ 1152, Nov 2000.
(c) Comparison with the case of LCM only. [10] S. Ogasawara and H. Akagi, “Circuit Configurations and Per-
formance of the Active Common-Noise Canceler for Reduction
possible to meet the EN standard, although the EMI spectrum of Common-Mode Voltage Generated by Voltage-Source PWM
was increased above 1[MHz]. Inverter,” in Conf. Rec. of IEEE IAS, pp. 1482 ~ 1488, 2000.
[11] I. Takahashi, A. Ogata, H. Kanazawa, “Active EMI Filter for
Fig. 10 shows the evaluation result of the proposed ACEF Switching Noise of High Frequency Inverters,” in Conf. Rec. of
for a three-phase application. The circuit of Fig. 3(d) was IEEE PCC-Nagaoka `97, pp. 331 ~ 334, 1997.
used in this experiment. Fig. 10(a) shows the configuration of [12] Yo-chan Son and Seung-Ki Sul, “Conducted EMI in PWM
the current experiment. Instead of using LISN for the con- Inverter for Household Electric Appliance,” in Conf. Rec. of
ducted EMI measurement, a PLIP (Power Line Interference IEEE IAS 2001, pp. 2441 ~ 2447, 2001.
Probe) was used. This voltage probe is used in place of LISN [13] M. J. Nave, “A Novel Differential Mode Rejection Network for
when an EUT requires high current supply or when there are Conducted Emissions Diagnostics,” IEEE National Symposium
difficulties in connecting a LISN into the circuit [5]. Main on Electromagnetic Compatibility, 1989.
power source is corner-grounded delta-connection. Because
the PLIP attenuates the detected voltage signal by 30[dBµV], TABLE I. SYSTEM PARAMETERS FOR FIG. 5.
it was taken into account in the measurement. From the Fig. Single phase 220[V] 60[Hz] input,
10(b) and (c), the proposed ACEF provides good attenuation Rating
145[Vrms] 60[Hz] V/f operation.
performance until 10[MHz] and the EMI spectrum above PWM 2.5[kHz] switching frequency, SVPWM.
10[MHz] is not much decreased due to the limited bandwidth Load machine 3.7[kW] induction motor.
of the amplifier circuit, which shows the validity of the pro- LCM1 : 570[µH], N = 8
posed ACEF for the three-phase application. LCM2 : 7.7[mH]
Cx1 = 680[nF], Cx2 = 330[nF]
Cy1 = Cy2 = 2.2[nF]
V. CONCLUSION Filter stages
Co = Cc = 10[nF]
Q1 : KTC3230, Q2 : KTA1276
In this paper, the concept of the novel active common- (ICmax = 3[A], VCEOmax = 30[V], fT = 100[MHz])
Vc : 12[V] isolated power supply
mode EMI filter (ACEF) has been proposed and its various
implementation examples are introduced. With the proposed
ACEF it is possible to use low-voltage transistors for the