G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Active inverter output filtering methods

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Korhonen Juhamatti

Publisher: Lappeenranta University of Technology
Publication year: 2012
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
Number of article: 6
ISBN: 978-952-265-284-3
eISBN: 978-952-265-285-0
JUFO-Level of this publication:
Open Access: Open Access publication

Frequency converters are widely used in the industry to enable better controllability and efficiency of variable speed AC motor drives. Despite these advantages, certain challenges concerning the inverter and motor interfacing have been present for decades. As insulated gate bipolar transistors entered the market, the inverter output voltage transition rate significantly increased compared with their predecessors. Inverters operate based on pulse width modulation of the output voltage, and the steep voltage edge fed by the inverter produces a motor terminal overvoltage. The overvoltage causes extra stress to the motor insulation, which may lead to a premature motor failure. The overvoltage is not generated by the inverter alone, but also by the sum effect of the motor cable length and the impedance mismatch between the cable and the motor. Many solutions have been shown to limit the overvoltage, and the mainstream products focus on passive filters.

This doctoral thesis studies an alternative methodology for motor overvoltage reduction. The focus is on minimization of the passive filter dimensions, physical and electrical, or better yet, on operation without any filter. This is achieved by additional inverter control and modulation. The studied methods are implemented on different inverter topologies, varying in nominal voltage and current.

For two-level inverters, the studied method is termed active du/dt. It consists of a small output LC filter, which is controlled by an independent modulator. The overvoltage is limited by a reduced voltage transition rate. For multilevel inverters, an overvoltage mitigation method operating without a passive filter, called edge modulation, is implemented. The method uses the capability of the inverter to produce two switching operations in the same direction to cancel the oscillating voltages of opposite phases. For parallel inverters, two methods are studied. They are both intended for two-level inverters, but the first uses individual motor cables from each inverter while the other topology applies output inductors. The overvoltage is reduced by interleaving the switching operations to produce a similar oscillation accumulation as with the edge modulation.

The implementation of these methods is discussed in detail, and the necessary modifications to the control system of the inverter are presented. Each method is experimentally verified by operating industrial frequency converters with the modified control. All the methods are found feasible, and they provide sufficient overvoltage protection. The limitations and challenges brought about by the methods are discussed.

Last updated on 2017-22-03 at 15:29