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Automatic Identification of Magnetic Component

Equivalent Circuits Using Impedance Measurements



W. Tan
1,2
, C. Cuellar
1,3
, X. Margueron
1,2
, N. Idir
1,3

1
Univ Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France
2
ECLille, L2EP, F-59650 Villeneuve dAscq, France
3
USTL, L2EP, F-59650 Villeneuve dAscq, France
Email: wenhua.tan@ec-lille.fr

AbstractImpedance measurements are widely used to
characterize the behavior of n-windings magnetic components.
The identification process is realized manually and becomes more
and more difficult as the number of equivalent circuit
parameters increases. This paper deals with an automatic
identification method based on Rational Function Approximation
(RFA) which enables to obtain these parameter values very
quickly and leads to reliable models. The effectiveness of such
method is demonstrated with the characterization of a planar
common mode inductor and a toroidal coupled inductor.
Keywords-magnetic component; identification; impedance
measurement; Rational Function Approximation.
I. INTRODUCTION
For every passive component designer, the validation of a
power inductive component (inductor or multi-winding
transformer) is always an essential step in a design process.
Even if a lot of analytical and numerical models can be used to
design the "perfect" component, this validation step is
necessary and it allows the manufacturer to meet the initial
specifications.
Components used in power electronics are quite specific.
Because of the high efficiency power electronic conversion,
lost power is far smaller than the main power transfer so direct
specific component measurements are always very difficult [1].
However, some direct characterization methods have been
developed using oscilloscope measurements [1], [2] or
calorimetric ones [1], [3]. Non-sinusoidal condition
measurements can also be used for characterizing the PWM
power converter effect [4], [5]. With sinusoidal excitation, a
rather good approximation deals with the identification of a
large band impedance equivalent circuit. With such reliable
circuit [6], the behavior of the components can be analyzed at
each current frequency harmonics and parameters like
equivalent resistances, leakage inductances or stray
capacitances can be determined. This kind of equivalent circuit
is very useful in order to be implemented inside a circuit
simulation software like Pspice

for example.
The elements of such equivalent circuits can be determined
using impedance measurements [7]-[9]. For many years, a lot
of methods have been developed to characterize more and
more precisely high frequency magnetic components over a
wide frequency range, using impedance measurements. The
method introduced in [10] for a 2-winding transformer was
extended for a 3-winding transformer [11] taking into account,
more precisely, the parasitic capacitance effect. All these
parameters were identified at only one frequency and, for
example, magnetizing inductance and leakage one could be
determined at different frequencies. This leads to a quite
inaccurate identification because of the variation of the
different inductances due to eddy currents. In [9], the
determination process was improved and components were
identified on a frequency range. This method is very useful and
enables to determine equivalent circuits for a lot of passive
components. The identification process still requires a
specialist overview in order to adapt some impedance values.
This limitation is now over with the introduction of a specific
algorithm, based on Rational Function Approximation (RFA),
which enables, with some specific impedance measurements,
to identify the component values of a fixed topology of
equivalent circuit.
This paper focuses on the automatic identification process.
In Section II, equivalent circuits for n-winding inductive
components are presented. Impedance measurements and their
accuracies are also discussed and finally, the specific case of a
common mode inductor is presented. Then, in Section III, the
identification process is detailed. The method is based on RFA.
With 3 specific impedance measurements and a predefined
equivalent circuit topology, the implemented algorithm enables
to obtain component parameter values. In the final section, the
identification is applied to two common-mode inductors.
II. COUPLED INDUCTOR CHARACTERIZATION
A. Equivalent circuits for n-winding components and
characterization process
High Frequency (HF) power transformers and coupled
inductors mainly use ferrite magnetic material. Their behavior
is quite linear (weak hysteresis) so these inductive components
can be represented using equivalent circuit including linear
impedances (R, L, C). Numerous equivalent circuits have been
proposed in order to describe multi-winding transformers:
"Extended cantilever" with directly measurable parameters
[12], "Extended T" [13]... One of the most useful is introduced
in [6] because of its easy generalization to n-windings. The
capacitive behavior of such HF magnetic component was also
described in [14].
978-1-4244-7935-1/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE
All these equivalent circuits are always linked to an
identification parameter process. In [10] and [11], equivalent
circuit parameters were measured at different frequencies when
the impedance phase was closed to 90. This determination
gives good results only if inductances are constant with
frequency. For planar transformer, for example, magnetizing
inductance and leakage one can vary with frequency. The
method, introduced in [9], enables to determine the frequency
variation of the inductances using R-L cells. All these methods
are manual and they sometimes, require some adjustment in
order to give good parameter values.
B. Impedance measurements
The calculation of equivalent circuit parameters can be
based on impedance measurements [7]. These measurements
need to be as precise as possible on a wide frequency range.
Sometimes, the measured values are very small and can be
influenced by supplementary parasitic elements due to the
measurement setup. Using an Agilent 4294A impedance
analyzer [15], some advices are given in [8] and [9] to
minimize characterization errors.
For HF transformer, impedance measurements are often
realized with open and short circuits measurement. Indeed
these impedances can be considered as extreme ones because
the passive transformer load will always be included between
these two extreme loads. Moreover, for a passive 2-winding
transformer, the four open and short-circuit impedances are
linked as described in (1). These four specific measurements
enable to define the "confidence factor" [16].

' '
0 0 CC CC
Z Z Z Z = (1)
Z measured from one winding;
'
Z measured from the other port;
0
open-circuit measurement
CC
short-circuit measurement
C. Characterization process for a common mode inductor
A Common Mode (CM) inductor (Fig.1) is a specific case
of a 2-winding transformer because this component is made of
2 identical windings around a magnetic core. Due to its
symmetric structure, a symmetric topology has been chosen to
describe its behavior [17]. The Fig.2 shows its equivalent
circuit topology. To simplify the modeling, all the capacitances
are considered to be lossless. The impedance Z
l
groups together
the leakage part of the inductor, the DC winding resistance and
its AC impedance variation (due to skin and proximity effects).
The impedance Z
m
is associated with the magnetizing part of
the inductance and the effects of magnetic material. It should
be noted that the elements R
n
and C
n
in Z
m
are added for better
representing the ferrite core loss.
In order to determine all the equivalent circuit parameters,
three impedance measurement configurations have been
selected (Table I). As shown in Table I, the magnetic parts are
determined straightforwardly, while the capacitances C
1
, C
2

and C
3
are obtained through solving linear equations.
Two different approaches can then be used to obtain the
equivalent circuit parameters: a manual method or a computer-
aided method. With such complex system, the manual method
needs a lot of adjustment based on trial/error to give
satisfactory results. Therefore, the parameter values can be
adjusted with a lot of iterations, which is very time-consuming.

Figure 1. Toroidal common mode inductor and its simple electrical
representation
Figure 2. Common mode inductor equivalent circuit
TABLE I. MEASUREMENT CONFIGURATIONS
Impedance
name
Measurement
configuration
Equivalent circuit Parameters
ZX

Ll, Rs,
Ld, Rd, Rp
C1 + C2
ZY

Lm, Rf,
Cn, Rn
C1 + C3
ZC0

C2 + C3
The second method, based on algorithm, enable to identify
or approximate linear systems. The method introduced here is
called "Rational Function Approximation".
III. AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION
A. Rational Function Approximation
The Rational Function Approximation (RFA) is a widely
used method for macro-modeling or parameter extraction of
linear systems [18] [19]. The method presented in [18] is
applied in this work. This method is based on data
measurements and least-square approximation algorithm to
find the best rational function representation of a system.
The method is briefly presented in the following part: An
unknown system can be modeled using a rational function G(s)
(2), where M
i
and N
i
are real-valued variables. These
parameters have to be determined by fitting G(s) with
frequency measurement data T(
i
) (3), which are complex-
valued. It should be noted that G(s) is normalized so N
q
=1.
Substituting s by j in (2), real and imaginary parts can be
separated for numerator and denominator [18], as shown in (4).
2
0 1 2
2
0 1 2
( ) (with =1)
p
p
q
q
q
M M s M s M s
G s N
N N s N s N s

=

"
"

(2)
( ) ( ) ( )
i i i
T X jY X X X =
(3)
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
2 4
0 2 4
3 5
1 3 5
2 4
0 2 4
3 5
1 3 5
( ) with
A jB
G j
C jD
A M M M
B M M M
C N N N
D N N N
X X
X
X X
X X X
X X X X
X X X
X X X X

'
= 1
1
1
1
1
=
1
1
!
1
=
1
1
1
1
= 1
1+
!
!
!
!

(4)
Establishing the equality G(j
i
)=T(
i
) and separating the
real part and the imaginary one, new equations are obtained. If
q is odd, these equations are presented by (5); otherwise, they
are presented by (6).
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
1 Real part
1
1 Imaginary part
q
q
q
q
q
i i i i i i
q
i i
q
i i i i i i
q
i i
A C X Y D
Y
B C Y X D
X
X X X X X X
X X
X X X X X X
X X

' l
1

1 l
l
1
1
1
1
=
1
1
!
1 l
1
l 1 l
1
1
1
= 1
1+

(5)
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
2
2
2
2
1
1 Real part
1
1 Imaginary part
q
q
q
q
q
i i i i i i
q
i i
q
i i i i i i
q
i i
A D Y X C
X
B D X Y C
Y
X X X X X X
X X
X X X X X X
X X
' l
1
l 1 l
1
1
1
= 1
1
1
!
1 l
1
l
l 1
1
1
1
=
1
1+

(6)
B. Solution for an over-determined system
The equations described by (5) or (6) are often over-
determined since the number of the measurement points
i
is
normally much larger than the number of unknowns in the
target rational function. Therefore, least-square technique is
used to solve the equations. In order to obtain the least-square
solution of the equations, classical methods like Gaussian
Elimination or LU factorization can be applied by solving the
normal equation of the system [20]. However, this leads to
large error because the system of (5) or (6) is often ill-
conditioned. An alternative method consists in employing the
QR factorization, of which the Householder transformation
[21] is a commonly used one. This method is numerically
stable but has a cost in terms of computing time.
C. RFA for passive components identification
For passive components, equivalent circuits can be
described by rational functions so RFA can be used to firstly
approximate their coefficients and then to deduce the values of
the elements in the equivalent circuits. To determine all the
elements of the equivalent circuit (Fig.2), the three
measurement configurations (Table I) have to be realized and
impedance measurement data are obtained on 300 points from
40Hz to 110MHz. For the RFA calculation, the Householder
method is adopted and a program is implemented in Matlab

in
order to realize the automatic parameter identification. The
Fig.3 describes the whole identification process using RFA.

Figure 3. Rational Function Approximation for component identification
D. Detailed calculation for Z
Y
configuration
The measurement configuration Z
Y
(Table I) is firstly
described to detail the calculation process. The equivalent
circuit of Z
Y
configuration is presented on Fig.4 with the
relations shown in (7):

Figure 4. Measurement configuration ZY and its equivalent circuit
( )
* * *
1 1
1 3 2 2
* *
1
2
2 ; ;
2 ;
Y m m Y f
n n n n
C C C L L R R
C C R R
= = =
= =

(7)
It should be noticed that, in this configuration, the leakage
parameters are negligible in comparison with the magnetizing
inductance. The impedance Z
Y
can then be written as in (8),
with M
2
, M
1
, N
2
, N
1
and N
0
linked to the component values (9).
The goal of the RFA is to find the best M
i
and N
i
for
minimizing error between Z
Y
and Z
meas
(10). Substituting s by
j, real part and imaginary one are separated [18]. This leads to
equation (11). The obtained system can finally be represented
by matrix (12), depending on the frequencies. Using the
Householder transformation, this over-determined system can
be solved to get the values of M
i
and N
i
.
2
2 1
3 2
2 1 0
2 1 2
* * * * * * * * *
1 0
* * * * * * * * *
with
1 1 1 1 1 1
; ; ;
1 1 1 1
;
Y
Y n n Y n n Y n Y
Y m Y n n Y m n n
M s M s
Z
s N s N s N
M M N
C R C C R C C R R
N N
C L R R C C L R C

=

1

= = =


( )
1

= =

( )

(8)
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
*
2
1 *
0
1
1 2 0 *
2
1 1
1
2 1 1 2 0 *
2 2
2 1 2 1
2
2 1 2 2 0 *
2 3
1 2 1 1
1
1
Y
m
Y
n
n
C
M
M
L
N
N M N
R
M M
N M N M N
R
M M M M
N N M M N
C
M M M M

'
1
1
= 1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1 =
1
1
1
1
1
l
11
l = !
1 l
l 1
1
1
1 l
1
l = 1
1
l
1 l
1
1
1
1
1 =
1
1
1+

(9)
2
2 1
3 2
2 1 0
Y n n meas
M s M s
Z x jy Z
s N s N s N

= ~ =


(10)
2 2 3
2 2 1 0
2 3
1 2 1 0
Real
Imaginary
n n n n n n n n
n n n n n n n n
M x N y N x N y
M y N x N y N x
X X X X
X X X X
' = 1
1
1
!
1
=
1
1+

(11)
2 2
1 1 1 1 1 1
2 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
2
1
2 2
2
2
1 1 1 1 1 1
1
2
2 2 2 2 2 2
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
n n n n n n
n n n n n n
x y x
x y x
M
M
x y x
N
y x y
N
y x y
N
y x y
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
1




( )
# # # # #
# # # # #
3
1 1
3
2 2
3
3
1 1
3
2 2
3
n n
n n
y
y
y
x
x
x
X
X
X
X
X
X
1









=








)



( )
#
#

(12)
E. Detailed calculation for Z
X
configuration
The equivalent circuit of Z
X
measurement configuration is
shown on Fig.5. The correspondence of the parameters
between Fig.2 and Fig.5 is presented by (13). Similar to Z
Y
, the
impedance Z
X
can be expressed by a rational function, as
shown in (14). The relations between the rational function and
the equivalent circuit are given in (15).

Figure 5. Measurement configuration ZX and its equivalent circuit
( )
* * *
1 1
1 2 2 2
* * *
1 1 1
2 2 2
2 ; ; ;
; ;
X X p f f
s s d d d d
C C C R R L L
R R L L R R
= = =
= = =

(13)
2
2 1 0
3 2
2 1 0
* * * * *
2 1 0
* * * * * * * *
* * *
2
* * * * *
* * * *
1
* * * * * *
with
1 1
; ; ;
1
;
1
X
d d s s d
X X f d f f d X
d d s
f d f X X
d s X d
X X f f f d
M s M s M
Z
s N s N s N
R R R R R
M M M
C C L L L L L C
R R R
N
L L L C R
R R R R R
N
C R L L L L

=

1

= = =


( )
=
1

=


( )
* *
* *
* * * *
0
* * * *
;

s d
f d
s d X d
f d X X
R
L L
R R R R
N
L L C R

=

(14)
( )
( )
( )
*
2
2
2 *
2 2 1
1 2
2 1 2 0 1 *
2 2 1 2 2 1 2
*
0 *
* *
2 0 0
1 0 * * * * *
0
*
2
* *
2 *
*
0
1


X
X
f
X
s
X X
d f f X s
X
s d
d
f
C
M
M
R
N M M
M N M M M
L
N M M N M M M
M R
R
M C N R M
M M
R L N L C R
M R
R R M
L
L M

'
1
= 1
1
1
1
1
1
1
= 1
1
1
1
1
1 1
1 =
1
1 ( )
1
1
!
1
= 1

1 1

=

( ( ) )
=
+
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

(15)

IV. APPLICATION OF THE AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION
A. Planar common mode inductor
The method introduced in this paper has been tested for a
planar common mode inductor made of 3F4 ferrite magnetic
material. The approximation is realized according to the
procedures presented previously. The component and its
equivalent circuit parameters are displayed in Table II. The
equivalent circuit is simulated with Pspice

software and
comparison between measurement and simulation results are
illustrated in Fig.6, Fig.7 and Fig.8. It should be noted that the
three configurations chosen (Z
0
, Z
CC
and Z
3
) are different from
those which are used for parameter identification (Z
X
, Z
Y
and
Z
C0
).
TABLE II. PLANAR COMMON MODE INDUCTOR
Component Parameter Value Parameter Value

Lm 370 H Ld 20 nH
Rf 2.2 M Rd 600 m
Cn 2.9 pF C1 7.5 pF
Rn 12.3 k C2 9.3 pF
Lf 600 nH C3 7.3 pF
Rs 150 m Rp 2 k
It can be observed that the simulated results are in good
agreement with the impedance measurements up to 30MHz.
The difference between the simulations and measurements at
high frequency is due to the equivalent circuit topology, which
is insufficient for describing HF performance (>30MHz in this
case) of the component. A more complex topology [11] can be
adopted for better modeling this HF effect. However, it is out
of the concern of this paper.
10
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
0
10
2
10
4
Frequency (Hz)
I
m
p
e
d
a
n
c
e

M
o
d
u
l
e

(
O
h
m
)

Measurement
Simulation
Figure 6. Comparison of measurement and simulation for Z0 impedance
10
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
4
Frequency (Hz)
I
m
p
e
d
a
n
c
e

M
o
d
u
l
e

(
O
h
m
)

Measurement
Simulation
Figure 7. Comparison of measurement and simulation for ZCC impedance
10
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
4
10
5
Frequency (Hz)
I
m
p
e
d
a
n
c
e

M
o
d
u
l
e

(
O
h
m
)


Measurement
Simulation
Figure 8. Comparison of measurement and simulation for Z3 impedance
B. Toroidal common mode inductor
The same measurement and identification procedures
have been carried out on another example: a toroidal common
mode inductance with N30 ferrite magnetic material. In this
case, a more complicated circuit is used for describing more
precisely the variation of Z
l
(Fig.2) with frequency, as shown
in Fig.9. The obtained parameters are listed in Table III.
Though the capacitance C
1
is spotted to be negative, the real
measurable capacitances (C
1
+C
2
) and (C
1
+C
3
) remain positive.
Figure 9. Zl with more Rd-Ld cells
TABLE III. TOROIDAL COMMON MODE INDUCTOR
Component Parameter Value Parameter Value
Lm 2.6 mH Ld1 103 nH
Rf 7.2 k Rd1 186 m
Cn 4.2 pF Ld2 464 nH
Rn 14 k Rd2 115 m
Lf 15 H C1 -0.4 pF
Rs 9 m C2 4.6 pF
Rp 9.1 k C3 4.6 pF

10
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
-2
10
0
10
2
10
4
Frequency (Hz)
R
e
a
l

(
Z
x
)

(
O
h
m
)


Measurement
Simulation
Figure 10. Comparison of measurement and simulation for Real(ZX)
10
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
4
Frequency (Hz)
I
m
p
e
d
a
n
c
e

M
o
d
u
l
e

(
O
h
m
)


Measurement
Simulation
Figure 11. Comparison of measurement and simulation for Z0 impedance
10
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
-2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
4
Frequency (Hz)
I
m
p
e
d
a
n
c
e

M
o
d
u
l
e

(
O
h
m
)

Measurement
Simulation
Figure 12. Comparison of measurement and simulation for ZCC impedance
The simulated AC resistance variation of Z
X
is compared
with measurement in Fig.10. It is observed that the simulated
curve agrees well with the measured one, which proves the
effectiveness of the equivalent circuit and the approximation.
The Fig.11 and Fig.12 show the comparison results of Z
0
and
Z
CC
. For Z
0
, the difference between the two curves from 200
kHz to 2 MHz is due to the limit of the equivalent circuit
topology (Z
m
in Fig.2), which can not give a precise portrait of
the behavior of the N30 ferrite core. Again, it should be
mentioned that a correct and effective equivalent circuit
topology is always indispensable for identifying a component.
C. Some discussion on the results
Loss modeling
In this work, the capacitances are considered lossless and
constant, which is not true in reality. For a more accurate loss
modeling, a ladder circuit (Fig.13) can be used to represent the
dielectric loss. Similarly, the module Z
l
used in this work can
also be extended by adding more R
d
-L
d
cells. However, the
trade-off between the precision of modeling and the
complexity of calculation should always be considered.
C R
C
d1
C
d3
C
d2
R
d1
R
d2
R
d3

Figure 13. Ladder circuit for modeling the dielectric loss
Passivity issue of RFA
In circuit network theory, the passivity of a component or
a network requires that the component or network does not
generate any energy. Normally, the applied program of RFA
can not ensure the passivity of the calculated rational function
[19], so a passivity test program is always necessary.
Nevertheless, as the final representation of the component in
this work is the passive module with R, L and C elements,
the passivity of the circuit is naturally guaranteed if right
values of the elements are given.
V. CONCLUSION
In this paper, an automatic identification process for
passive component equivalent circuit has been presented. The
method is based on impedance measurements, combined with a
Rational Function Approximation algorithm. Two magnetic
components have been tested for validating the effectiveness of
the method and simulations results have been compared with
the measurement data. The comparisons show that the method
allows extracting correctly the predefined equivalent circuit of
a component. The use of such tool is very interesting for
validating power inductive component.
REFERENCES
[1] Keradec, J.-P.; , "Validating the power loss model of a transformer by
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