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7, JULY 2008
Current-Source Converter and Cycloconverter
Topologies for Industrial Medium-Voltage Drives
Bin Wu, Fellow, IEEE, Jorge Pontt, Senior Member, IEEE, Jos Rodrguez, Senior Member, IEEE,
Steffen Bernet, Member, IEEE, and Samir Kouro, Member, IEEE
AbstractThis paper, along with an earlier published paper as
Part 1, provides a comprehensive review of the state of the art
of high-power converters (above 1 MW) for adjustable-speed ac
drives. In this highly active area, different converter topologies
have been developed for various drive applications in the industry.
Due to its extensive coverage, the subject is divided into two parts:
multilevel voltage source and current source converter topologies.
This paper is focused on the second part and covers the current
source converter technologies, including pulsewidth-modulated
current-source inverters (CSIs) and load-commutated inverters.
In addition, this paper also addresses the present status of the
direct converter, which is also known as cycloconverter (CCV).
This paper focuses on the latest CSI and CCV technologies and
an overview of the commonly used modulation schemes. It also
provides the latest technological advances and future trends in
CSI- and CCV-fed large drives. This paper serves as a useful
reference for academic researchers and practicing engineers in the
eld of power converters and adjustable-speed drives.
Index TermsCurrent-source inverter (CSI), cycloconverter
(CCV), high-power drives, load-commutated inverter (LCI).
OWER converters for adjustable-speed drives can be clas-
sied into direct and indirect converter topologies [1],
[2]. In addition, indirect topologies can be grouped into two
main categories: current- and voltage-source converters. The
latter type of converters, particularly multilevel voltage-source
converters, was previously addressed in the rst part of this
paper [3]. This paper will present the rest of the power con-
verter topologies used in medium-voltage ac drives applications
(2.313.8 kV), which appear in the darkened boxes of the
classication shown in Fig. 1.
For the direct converters, the cycloconverter (CCV) is the
most used topology in high-power applications, which uses
an array of power semiconductor switches to directly connect
Manuscript received November 18, 2007; revised April 9, 2008. This work
was supported in part by the Universidad Tcnica Federico Santa Mara, in
part by the Chilean National Fund of Scientic and Technological Development
(FONDECYT) under Grant 1070725, and in part by the Industrial Electronics
and Mechatronics Millenium Science Nucleus P04-048-F (Mideplan, ICM).
B. Wu is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada (e-mail: bwu@ee.
J. Pontt, J. Rodrguez, and S. Kouro are with the Department of Electronics
Engineering, Universidad Tcnica Federico Santa Mara, Valparaso 110-V,
Chile (e-mail: jpo@elo.utfsm.cl; jrp@elo.utfsm.cl; samir.kouro@ieee.org).
S. Bernet is with the Power Electronics Group, Department of Electrical
Engineering and Information Technology, Dresden University of Technology,
01069 Dresden, Germany (e-mail: steffen.bernet@tu-berlin.de).
Color versions of one or more of the gures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TIE.2008.924175
the power supply to the machine, converting a three-phase ac
voltage with a xed magnitude and frequency to a three-phase
ac voltage with variable magnitude and variable frequency [4].
It allows power ow in both directions in an efcient way. CCV
drives are a mature technology with technical advantages in
low-speed range and high-torque applications, such as grinding
mills. Another example is a 400-MW hydropumped storage
drive with a 20-pole generator/motor fed by a 72-MVA three-
phase 12-pulse CCV [5]. Matrix converters also belong to this
category but are not addressed in this paper since the power
rating of these converters is only up to 150 kVA [6] until now,
unable to reach the megawatt level for large drives due to the
limitation of the bidirectional switching devices required by the
The indirect converters can be divided into voltage source
and current source topologies, depending on the dc-link energy
storage components. The voltage source converters normally
use dc capacitors in the dc-link circuits, whereas the current
source converters employ dc inductors (chokes) in the dc
Current-source inverter (CSI) technology is well suited for
high-power drives [7], [8]. The CSI can generally be divided
into pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) CSI and load-commutated
inverters (LCIs). The former uses symmetrical gate turn-off
(GTO) or integrated gate-commutated thyristor (IGCT) as a
switching device, whereas the latter inverter employs silicon-
controlled rectier (SCR) devices. Generally speaking, the
current-source converters feature a simple converter struc-
ture, low switch count, low switching dv/dt, and reliable
overcurrent/short-circuit protection, as summarized in Table I.
The main drawback lies in its limited dynamic performance
due to the use of large dc choke. High-power CSI drives
in the megawatt range are widely used in the industry. It is
estimated that a minimum of 700 units of large CSI-fed drives
has annually been produced worldwide in recent years.
LCIs are one of the earliest inverters developed for variable-
speed drives [9], [10]. Synchronous motors (SMs) are normally
used in the LCI drives since the SCR switches in the inverter
do not have self-turn-off capability and their commutation is
assisted by the SM operating at a leading power factor. The
LCI is suitable for very large drives with a power rating of tens
of megawatts. This is mainly due to the use of SCR devices
that lead to low manufacturing cost and high energy efciency
in comparison to the insulated-gate bipolar transistor or IGCT
devices used in other types of drives. A typical example of the
LCI drives is a 100-MW SM drive installed in NASAs wind
tunnel test facility [11].
0278-0046/$25.00 2008 IEEE
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Fig. 1. Classication of converters for high-power drives (> 1 MW).
The succeeding sections present the different converter
topologies, drive congurations, and corresponding modulation
schemes. The latest technological advancements and the future
trends of the large drives are also addressed.
This section is mainly focused on CSI technology, including
PWM CSIs for induction motor drives and LCIs for SM drives.
The PWM CSI can also be employed for SM drives. Since the
CSI drive conguration for the SMs remains the same as that
for the induction motors, the CSI-based synchronous drives are
not discussed here.
A. PWM-CSI-Fed AC Drives With SCRs
The PWM CSI was proposed in the early 1970s [12] and
gained more attention during the 1980s [13]. The inverter uses
switching devices with self-extinguishable capability. Prior to
the advent of GCTs in the late 1990s, GTOs were predomi-
nantly employed in high-power CSI drives [14], [15]. Fig. 2
shows a typical 6600-V PWM CSI drive with an 18-pulse SCR.
The PWM CSI requires a three-phase capacitor C
at its
output to assist the commutation of the switching devices. The
capacitor provides a current path for the energy trapped in
the leakage inductances of the motor at the moment when a
GTO or GCT in the inverter is turned off. Otherwise, a high-
voltage spike would be induced, causing damage to the switch-
ing devices. The capacitor also serves as a harmonic lter,
Fig. 2. Typical 6600-V PWM CSI drive with an 18-pulse SCR.
improving the motor current and voltage waveforms. The value
of capacitor is normally in the range of 0.30.5 per unit (p.u.)
for CSI drives with a switching frequency of about 400 Hz.
Multipulse SCRs can be used as a front end for the CSI
drive. Among various rectier topologies, the 18-pulse SCR is
a preferred choice due to its high performance-to-price ratio.
For a given voltage and power rating, the 12-pulse rectier has
a cost advantage over the 18-pulse rectier, but its line current
total harmonic dispersion (THD) may not meet the harmonic
guidelines set by most standards. The 24-pulse rectier has a
better line current THD than the 18-pulse rectier, but it costs
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more due to the increased number of SCR devices and complex
phase-shifting transformer [16].
Six-pulse SCR bridges, which are used as current source
rectiers (CSRs) [17], can be connected in series to form the
multipulse rectier, as shown in Fig. 2, with three units for
an 18-pulse conguration. The inverter side uses three series-
connected GCT devices per branch. With a voltage rating of
6500 V for SCRs and GCTs, the drive is capable of operating
at a utility voltage of 6600 V (line to line). The CSI drive with
an 18-pulse rectier can meet the harmonic requirements set
by IEEE Standard 519-1992. Current source topologies may
also be used for active power lters to compensate harmonic
currents in electrical power systems [18], [19].
To improve the performance of the CSRs, advanced control
schemes, such as state feedback controls, can also be em-
ployed [20].
B. Modulation Techniques
The switching pattern design for the CSI should generally
satisfy two conditions: 1) DC current i
should be continuous,
and 2) the inverter PWM current i
should be dened. The
two conditions can be translated into a switching constraint: At
any instant of time (excluding commutation intervals), there are
only two sets of series-connected switches conducting, i.e., one
set in the top half of the bridge such as S
in Fig. 2 and the other
in the bottom half of the bridge such as S
. Various modulation
techniques have been developed for the PWM CSI, including
selective harmonic elimination (SHE), trapezoidal pulsewidth
modulation (TPWM), and space vector modulation (SVM).
The SHE is an ofine modulation scheme that can eliminate
a number of unwanted low-order harmonics in the inverter
PWM current i
[21]. Because high-power applications require
low losses, low switching frequency is needed. This is why
three, ve, or seven switching angles per quarter of a cycle
are preferred. In the case shown in Fig. 3(a), ve pulses are
employed. The switching angles are precalculated and then
imported into a digital controller for implementation. Fig. 3(a)
shows a typical SHE waveform that satises the CSI switching
constraint. There are ve pulses per half cycle with ve switch-
ing angles in the rst /2 period. However, only two out of the
ve angles, i.e.,
, are independent. Given these two
angles, all other switching angles can be derived.
The two switching angles provide two degrees of freedom,
which can be used either to eliminate two harmonics in i
without modulation index control or to eliminate one harmonic
and provide an adjustable modulation index. The rst option is
preferred since the adjustment of inverter output current i
normally accomplished by varying i
through rectier control,
instead of inverter modulation index control. The switching
angles for the elimination of various current harmonics are
given in [16].
Fig. 3(b) shows the principle of trapezoidal modulation,
where v
is a trapezoidal modulating wave and v
is a triangu-
lar carrier wave. Similar to the carrier-based PWM schemes for
voltage-source inverters (VSIs), the gate signal is generated by
comparing v
with v
. However, the trapezoidal modulation
does not generate any gate signals in the center /3 interval of
Fig. 3. Modulation schemes for CSIs: (a) SHE, (b) trapezoidal PWM, and
(c) SVM.
the positive half cycle or in the negative half cycle of the inverter
fundamental frequency. Such an arrangement can satisfy the
switching constraint mentioned earlier.
In addition to the TPWM and SHE schemes, the CSI can also
be controlled by SVM [22]. A typical space vector diagram for
the CSI is shown in Fig. 3(c), where


are active vectors

is zero vector. The active vectors form a regular hexagon
with six equal sectors, whereas the zero vector

lies at the
center of the hexagon.
For a given length and position,

can be synthesized
by three nearby stationary vectors, based on which switching
states of the inverter can be selected and gate signals for the
switches can be generated. When

passes through sectors
one by one, different sets of switches are turned on or off. The
inverter output frequency corresponds to the rotating speed of

, whereas the magnitude of its output current can be adjusted
by the length of

The SVM scheme has not yet found practical applications
mainly due to the following three facts: 1) The magnitude of
the inverter output current is normally adjusted through the
rectier, instead of the inverter modulation index; 2) the by-
pass (shoot-through) operation of the SVM scheme will cause
additional switching losses; and 3) the harmonic performance
of the SVM is not as good as that of the SHE scheme. However,
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Fig. 4. Switching frequency f
versus inverter output frequency f
Fig. 5. CSI-fed drive with PWM rectier and inverter.
the SVM scheme features easy digital implementation and su-
perior dynamic performance. It can be used in future CSI drives
with time-critical control algorithms such as active damping
control for LC resonance suppression [23].
A typical switching pattern arrangement for industrial CSI
drives is illustrated in Fig. 4, where f
is the GCT switching
frequency, f
is the inverter fundamental output frequency,
and N
is the number of pulses per half cycle of the inverter
PWM current i
. The SHE scheme is used at high inverter
output frequencies, whereas the TPWM scheme is utilized
when the motor operates at low speeds. The SHE scheme
has much better harmonic performance than TPWM, but it is
difcult, if not impossible, to simultaneously eliminate more
than six harmonics. The harmonic performance of the TPWM
has minimal effects on the CSI drives since the drives normally
operate at a frequency of above 30 Hz with the SHE scheme. To
minimize switching losses, the maximum switching frequency
of the inverter is normally below 500 Hz in industrial CSI drives
[16]. The efciency of the overall drive varies, depending on the
input rectier conguration and the modulation method; it has
been reported that the CSI achieves efciencies close to their
VSI counterparts [24].
C. PWM CSI-Fed AC Drives With PWM Rectiers
Fig. 5 shows a typical conguration of the CSI drives with
a single-bridge PWM CSR as a front end. The rectier and in-
verter have identical topologies using symmetrical GCTs. With
the GCT voltage rating of 6500 V and two GCTs connected in
series in each of the converter branches, the drive is capable of
operating at the utility voltage of 4160 V (line-to-line).
The PWM rectier can use either the SVM or SHE schemes.
The SHE scheme is preferred due to its superior harmonic
performance. With a switching frequency of 420 Hz and the
utility frequency of 60 Hz, a maximum of three low-order
current harmonics (the 5th, 7th, and 11th) can be eliminated.
The other harmonics can be attenuated by the lter capacitor,
leading to a low line current THD.
DC current i
can be adjusted by the rectier delay angle or
modulation index control. The delay angle control produces a
lagging power factor that can compensate the leading current
produced by the lter capacitor, resulting in an improved power
factor. Furthermore, when the CSI drive is used in fan or pump
applications, its input power factor can be made to be near
unity over a wide speed range [25]. This can be realized by
using the SHE scheme with a delay angle control and properly
selecting the line- and motor-side lter capacitors. This control
scheme features a simple design procedure, easy digital imple-
mentation, and reduced switching loss, and is implemented in
commercial CSI drives.
Similar to the VSI drives, the rectication and inversion
process in the CSI drive generates common-mode (CM) volt-
ages [26], [27]. If not mitigated, the CM voltages would appear
on the motor, causing premature failure of its winding insula-
tion. The problem can effectively be solved by introducing an
isolation transformer and grounding the neutral of the inverter
lter capacitor, as shown in Fig. 5. In doing so, the CM voltages
will be transferred to the transformer winding, and the motor is
no longer subject to any CM voltages.
D. Transformerless CSI Drives
As discussed earlier, one of the major problems in CSI- and
VSI-based medium voltage drives is the CM voltage, which
would cause premature failure of motor winding insulation if
not mitigated.
Generally speaking, there are four possible solutions to
the CM voltages in the current-source-fed drives. 1) Add an
isolation transformer to block the CM voltages. This solution
has a couple of added benets: The leakage inductance of the
transformer can serve as a lter for harmonic reduction; and the
transformer may be arranged as a phase-shifting transformer for
multipulse rectiers for harmonic cancellation. 2) Add to the
dc link an integrated dc choke that provides both differential
and CM inductances. The main advantage of this approach is
the low cost due to the elimination of the isolation transformer.
3) Add a CM choke to the dc link for CM voltage suppression in
addition to the differential choke that is inherently required by
current-source-fed drives. 4) Add a three-phase ac CM reactor
either on the supply side or on the motor side to block the
CM voltages. The rst brings a few drawbacks such as high
cost, increased drive size and weight, and high operating cost
due to transformer power losses. The latter two solutions are
considered not practical due to the high cost of additional
components and the loss of the benets that the isolation/
phase-shifting transformer can provide. In summary, the inte-
grated dc choke technology is a viable and practical solution for
the time being to the elimination of the isolation transformer in
a current-source-fed drive.
Fig. 6 shows the schematic of a transformerless CSI drive,
where an integrated dc choke with a single magnetic core and
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Fig. 6. Transformerless CSI drive with an integrated dc choke.
four coils (two differential coils and two CM coils) is used
[28]. The choke can provide two inductances: a differential
inductance L
that is inherently required by the CSI drive and
a CM inductance L
that can block the CM voltage. The
use of the integrated dc choke leads to the elimination of the
isolation transformer, resulting in a signicant reduction in
manufacturing and operating costs. To ensure that the stator
winding of the motor is not subject to any CM voltages, the
neutral points of the line- and motor-side lter capacitors are
directly connected together or through a small RL network.
The concept of the integrated choke is veried on a low-
power laboratory CSI drive. The laboratory drive has the same
conguration as that in Fig. 6, except that a six-pulse SCR was
used, instead of the PWM rectier. The inverter operates at
a fundamental frequency of 57.7 Hz with the lter capacitor
of C
= 0.31 p.u. The switching frequency of the inverter is
180 Hz. The motor operates under no-load conditions, at which
the CM voltage reaches its highest level.
Fig. 7 shows the measured waveforms of the drive with the
integrated dc choke installed, where v
is the stator line-to-
ground voltage, v
is the stator neutral-to-ground voltage, and
is the common current [16]. Fig. 7(a) shows the waveforms
of the drive with L
= 1.0 p.u. and L
= 0 (the CM coils
are not used). The neutral point of lter capacitor C
is left
open. The stator neutral-to-ground voltage v
, which should
be zero when the motor is powered by a three-phase utility
supply, is essentially the total CM voltage v
generated by the
rectier and inverter. It contains triplen harmonics, which are of
zero-sequence components, with the third and sixth harmonics
being dominant. Line-to-ground voltage v
is composed of two
components: the motor phase (line-to-neutral) voltage v
its neutral-to-ground voltage v
. Obviously, the CM voltage
superimposed on phase voltage v
is severely distorted with
high peaks, causing damages to the motor insulation system.
With the CM coils connected in the drive (L
= 4.8 p.u.)
and the capacitor neutral grounded, the measured waveforms
are as shown in Fig. 7(b). Comparing with Fig. 7(a), we can
make two observations.
1) The waveform for v
is close to sinusoidal and free of
CM voltages. The CM voltage is fully blocked by the in-
tegrated dc choke. This observation can be veried by the
waveform for v
= v
), which is essentially zero.
2) A small amount of CM current i
ows to ground
through the lter capacitor. For the CSI drive with a
PWM rectier shown in Fig. 6, the CM current i
Fig. 7. Waveforms measured from a laboratory CSI drive with an integrated
dc choke: (a) L
= 0 and (b) L
= 4.8 p.u.
ows between the rectier and inverter through the two
capacitor neutrals and therefore will not cause any neutral
current in the utility supply.
Finally, it should be noted that the design of the integrated dc
choke is not unique. A cost-effective design with only two coils
on a magnetic core is currently employed in the transformerless
CSI drive, but the details of this choke cannot be released
here. This technology has been used in commercial CSI drives
since 2002 by one major manufacturer, Rockwell Automation
Canada. Another valid design is given in [29].
E. Parallel CSIs
To increase the power rating of a CSI-fed drive, two or more
CSIs can operate in a parallel manner [30]. Fig. 8 illustrates
such a conguration where two inverters are connected in par-
allel. Each inverter has its own dc choke, but the two inverters
share a common lter capacitor C
at their output.
The parallel operation of the two inverters may cause un-
balanced dc currents. The main reasons for the unbalanced
operation include the following: 1) unequal ON-state voltages of
the semiconductor devices, which affect steady-state dc current
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Fig. 8. Parallel CSIs for large CSI drives.
balance; 2) variations in the time delay of the gating signals of
the two inverters, which affects both transient and steady-state
current balance; and 3) manufacturing tolerance in dc choke
parameters. The dc current can be balanced by making use of
redundant switching states of the parallel inverters [16].
Fig. 9 shows a set of waveforms measured from a laboratory
parallel CSI drive operating at 1500 r/min. The dc currents i
and i
in Fig. 9(a) are kept balanced by the drive controller,
except for the middle portion of the current waveforms, where
the current balance control algorithm is temporarily disabled.
The steady-state motor voltage and current waveforms are
shown in Fig. 9(b), which are close to sinusoidal. The parallel
CSI technology can nd applications in the CSI drives with a
power rating of higher than 10 MW. However, while there are
functional and cost advantages to a single dc link, having two
or more dc current supplies has advantages in terms of reliabil-
ity, redundancy, and ac mains capability for canceling current
harmonics, which are issues that also need to be considered.
A. Topology Description
LCI is one of the earliest inverters developed for variable-
speed drives [9], [10]. Fig. 10 shows a basic conguration of the
LCI-fed SM drive. It is mainly composed of a phase-controlled
rectier and an SCR inverter. The rectier provides an ad-
justable dc current i
, which is smoothed by a dc inductor L
and then feeds the inverter. Since the SCR device does not have
self-extinguishing capability, it can naturally be commutated by
load voltage with a leading power factor. The ideal load for
the LCI is, therefore, SMs operating at a leading power factor,
which can easily be achieved by adjusting rotor eld current i
The LCI is unable to use any PWM scheme. Inverter output
current i
is of a quasi-square wave. However, the motor
voltage waveform v
is close to sinusoidal superimposed
with voltage spikes caused by SCR commutations. The motor
current contains low-order harmonics, such as the 5th, 7th, 11th,
and 13th. These harmonic currents cause torque pulsations, as
well as additional power losses in the motor [31].
The LCI-fed drive features low manufacturing cost and high
efciency due to the use of inexpensive SCR devices and lack
of PWM operation. The LCI is suitable for very large drives
with a power rating of tens of megawatts, where the initial
Fig. 9. Measured inverter dc- and ac-side waveforms of the parallel
converters: (a) dc current transient response and (b) steady-state ac waveforms.
Fig. 10. Basic conguration of LCI-fed SM drive.
investment and operating efciency are of great importance.
However, the input power factor of the drive changes with
its operating conditions. In addition, the rectier input current
is highly distorted. In practical applications, the LCI drive is
equipped with harmonic lters to reduce line current THD, as
shown in Fig. 10. The lters can also serve as a power factor
B. Latest Technology for Large LCI-Fed Drives
Fig. 11 shows a block diagram of a 100-MW variable-speed
LCI-fed SM fan drive [32]. The power converter section of
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Fig. 11. Block diagram of 100-MW LCI-fed drive system.
the drive consists of two independent channels, resulting in a
total of four identical six-pulse SCR bridges. To reduce the
line current THD, the line-side bridges are congured as a
12-pulse rectier, where the 5th, 7th, 17th, and 19th harmonic
currents produced by the six-pulse bridges are canceled by a
phase-shifting transformer with 30

phase shift between its two

secondary windings.
The line current distortion can further be reduced by har-
monic lters connected to the tertiary winding of the trans-
former or active lters [33]. These series-resonant LC lters
are normally tuned to the 3rd, 5th, 11th, and 13th harmonic
frequencies to attenuate possible 3rd and 5th harmonic currents
produced by the voltage distortion/unbalance of the utility grid
and also to mitigate the 11th and 13th harmonic currents that are
not eliminated by the 12-pulse rectier. Power factor correction
can be achieved by the proper design of the LC lters [32].
These lters can produce a leading current that can compensate
the lagging current produced by 12-pulsed rectier.
Both the line-side and motor-side bridges can operate in rec-
tifying or inverting mode, allowing the synchronous machine
to operate as a motor or generator. For fast dynamic braking,
the load mechanical energy can automatically be converted to
electrical energy by the LCI and then sent back to the utility
The SM has two sets of stator windings with 30

phase shift between the two windings. It is essentially a six-
phase motor for the reduction of torque pulsations caused by
quasi-square current waveforms in each of the stator windings.
As a result, the torque pulsations and mechanical stress on the
shaft train are greatly reduced.
The efciency of the LCI drive is usually very high. When
the drive operates under the rated conditions, the converter
efciency can be higher than 99%. This is very important
in large drives, where a small reduction in energy efciency
translates into high operation costs.
Megawatt-range drives require high reliability due to down-
time production losses. LCI-based drives have been a cost-
effective solution for very large power applications for
adjustable-speed drives; even its reliability comes close to
that of CCV drives [34]. Production losses due to converter
unavailability in a typical grinding mill application can rise up
to USD 17 000 per hour. Hence, fast and accurate detection and
diagnose of a fault can reduce emergency maintenance or trou-
bleshooting times. Some fault conditions due to asymmetrical
operation of a 12-pulse LCI drive and remedial strategies have
been presented [35], [36]. A review of important failure sources
involved in grinding mill applications is presented in [37]. In
[38], the switching failure of CSIs is analyzed, and a detection
and protection method is presented, to avoid overcurrents and
system damage.
C. Applications
Because of its simplicity and reliability, the LCI congura-
tion is applied in large drives where high dynamical perfor-
mance is not required, such as high-power fan drives, grinding
mills, and high-power motor and generator starters. The start-
ing function is very important for the black starting of large
generators with island operation, especially for recovering after
a power blackout.
In a conventional LCI-fed drive, the drive can slowly be
started by pulsing the dc-link current produced by the rectier.
This process continues until the SM generates sufcient in-
duced voltage to naturally commutate the inverter. This method
features no extra components but suffers a long starting time.
To solve the problem, an LCI-fed commutatorless series motor
drive has been proposed [39]. The drive is composed of a three-
phase diode rectier, an LCI, and an SM with its eld winding
connected in series with the dc link. This unique design enables
the drive to operate over the entire speed range, including
startup, with better dynamic performance.
Another interesting application of LCIs has been pro-
posed for a container ship [40], where a 24-pulse SCR
rectierinverter system serves as a frequency converter. This
converter converts a voltage of 14 Hz to 25.7 Hz generated by a
shaft generator to a bus voltage of 6.6 kV with a xed frequency
of 60 Hz for the ships main distribution system. In addition,
LCI-based medium-voltage ship electric propulsion is available
in the industry
with 24- or 48-pulse conguration, from 0 to
150 r/min and up to 2 21 MW.
A. Topology Description
Phase-controlled CCVs are direct acac converters based on
the antiparallel connection of thyristor converters without a dc
link employing a well-known and mature control technology of
natural commutation, as described in [41] and [42].
The basic operating principle is to use a switch arrange-
ment, as shown in Fig. 12(a) (six-pulse CCV), to synthesize
a variable-amplitude and low-frequency ac voltage by succes-
sively connecting the load to the different phases of the ac
supply Fig. 12(b).
The main advantages are the low switching losses and,
therefore, high efciency; the inherent bidirectional power ow
capability through the complete speed range; very high power
ratings with lowspace requirement; simple and robust structure;
low maintenance; and high reliability. The drawbacks are the
limited frequency range ( source frequency), low power
[Online]. Available: www.industry.siemens.com.
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Fig. 12. Six-pulse CCV: (a) power circuit (one phase) and (b) waveform
factor at low modulation indexes of about 0.8, and generation of
harmonic currents, which cause harmonic voltages in the power
supply network. Installation of lter circuits is often necessary.
This has enabled the use of CCVs for the development of high-
power drive systems for control in low-speed range and high-
torque applications, such as cement mills, ore grinding mills,
ship propulsion, and mine winders [34], [43].
This section highlights the applications in ore grinding mills,
where near 60% of the electrical energy consumed in mining
plants is employed by grinding mill drives in concentrator
facilities. Economy of scale pushes the trend for larger mill
sizes in the range of 1121 MW, as presented in [37], with
applications for semiautogenous and Ball grinding mills. The
mechanical limitations of girth gears have motivated the use
of wraparound SMs for gearless motor drives (GMDs) fed by
high-power CCVs operating with variable speed [37], [44],
[45]. Fig. 13(a) presents the power circuit of a CCV-fed mill
drive with an SM with a single three-phase winding, where
two sets of six-pulse CCVs fed by transformers with star-
delta secondaries built a 12-pulse CCV, using 72 thyristors for
reducing the harmonic interaction at the network and at the
machine side. Double stator winding motors are also employed.
The voltage and current output waveforms of a 12-pulse
CCV under steady-state operation are illustrated in Fig. 13(b)
and (c), respectively. The controlled three-phase voltages and
currents of the machine follow the references given by the
control system, to meet the position, speed, and torque required
by the grinding process.
B. Latest Advances
In order to improve the performance and reliability of
CCV-fed drives, two current issues are being faced: network
Fig. 13. Twelve-pulse CCV feeding a synchronous machine with single stator
winding: (a) power circuit, (b) output voltages, and (c) controlled phase current
with zero-crossing time of 2 ms.
harmonic interaction and commutation failures [46][49].
Harmonic interaction and reactive power compensation are
mitigated with proper modeling and lter design, including the
behavior of weak network and interharmonics, as described in
[50][52]. The network harmonic interaction is mainly char-
acterized by the injection of interharmonics and subharmonics
components by the CCV operation, which affects the power
quality of the supply. This important subject has been addressed
in many contributions, including its analysis, modeling, simu-
lation and experimental studies, harmonic reduction methods,
and their impact on the power quality [52][58].
Loss of control of natural commutations under abnormal
operating conditions at the power network is a very important
weakness to be mitigated. A commutation failure can produce
a short circuit at the machine terminals through the CCV, as
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Fig. 14. Application of CCV-fed gearless drives for mineral grinding mills.
described in [59]. At short-circuit condition, important forces
can be generated within the machine against the soil plates in
fundaments, resulting in system shutdown and even damages.
This demands proper coordination of electrical protection and
sizing of machine fundaments for avoiding stator frame dis-
placement and friction between stator and rotor poles of the
machine, as presented in [46]. In addition, harmonic torque
components may excite mechanical resonances [48]. Methods
for mitigating these effects are under development.
In order to improve reliability and performance, current R&D
work is dedicated to reduce the probability of such failures with
improved structural dynamics modeling with nite-element
analysis for the following: 1) improved monitoring of the net-
work and drive operating conditions; 2) improved electrical and
mechanical robustness of the motor; 3) improved foundation
system; and 4) improved control for eliminating the chance of
a two-phase short circuit at the machine terminals. In addition,
improved process control of grinding within the mill is a current
target in order to smooth the load uctuations and to gain
better availability and reliability of the system, avoiding stresses
and overloads. New instrumentation such as Impactmeter and
SAGanalizer has been described in [48] and [50].
C. Applications
As mentioned earlier, CCVs are used for high-power low-
speed applications, due to their high efciency and speed-
frequency limitations. They have found a special market:
gearless cement mills, steel rolling mills, ore grinding mills,
pumps and compressors, mine winders, and ship drives [60].
Fig. 14 shows a simplied diagram of the semiautogenous
grinding mill process for copper production, in which four
CCV-fed gearless SM drives are controlled using space vector
control [61].
Table II presents the typical parameters of an SM for a GMD
mill drive of 12.7 MW, highlighting the estimation of the short-
circuit torque as six times the rated torque.
As mentioned before, the CCVis also used in ship propulsion
[62], [63]. Industrial available drives can be found in 6- and
12-pulse congurations, with maximum power of 2 11 MW
and speeds ranging from 0 to 190 r/min.
The CCV can also be
found in hydropumped storage [5] applications.
The current source converter technology has been used
in high-power adjustable-speed drives over the past two
decades. The drive technology has evolved with three major
technological developments. In the late 1980s, the current
source drive was composed of a 12- or 18-pulse SCR and
a GTO PWM inverter operating at a switching frequency of
about 200 Hz. This drive conguration was used until late
1990s when the GCT device became commercially available,
with which the GTO devices in the inverter were replaced. In
the meantime, the switching frequency of the GCT inverter was
increased to about 420 Hz. To overcome the drawbacks of the
SCRs, the latest generation current source drive employs a GCT
PWM rectier with a GCT inverter. This drive conguration
has been on the market since 2003.
The use of the GCT rectier incorporated with the integrated
dc choke technology presented in the previous sections has
led to the elimination of the phase-shifting (or isolation) trans-
former in the drive, resulting in signicant cost reduction for
the drive manufacturer and end user as well. Considering the
unique features of the current source drive, such as simple con-
verter structure, reliable short-circuit protection, transformer-
less design, and inherent four quadrant operation, it is expected
that this drive technology will increasingly be used in various
industrial applications in the future.
In todays current source drives, the SHE technique is a dom-
inant modulation scheme. When the drive operates at low motor
speeds, where it is very difcult to eliminate a large number of
low-order harmonics, the trapezoidal PWM can be employed.
Although the SHE scheme provides a superior harmonic
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performance in comparison to other modulation schemes, this
is an ofine scheme with less exibility and limited dynamic
With the improvements of GCT switching characteristics, it
is expected that the SVM scheme with a switching frequency
of 500 Hz or higher will play a role in the future drives. The
increased switching frequency will improve the harmonic and
dynamic performance of the drive, whereas the exibility of
the SVM scheme will facilitate the implementation of advanced
drive control schemes. As a result, the current source drives can
be extended to other industrial applications that require high
system dynamic performance.
On the other hand, CCVs are a mature and well-established
technology. It seems that CCVs will still dominate high-power
low-frequency operation applications for some years to come,
due to their efciency, reliability, and very high power ratings
with low space requirement. Despite the maturity of the tech-
nology, power quality and interharmonic performance remain
a topic of interest and study of many researchers [52][58].
System monitoring, fault detection, and diagnosis are also some
trends under development for this technology [48], [59].
With the recent technological advancements, high-power
adjustable-speed drives are increasingly used in industry. To-
gether with the rst part [3], this paper provides a com-
prehensive overview of the state-of-the-art high-power drive
technologies. This part focuses on current source converter
and CCV technologies for high-power drives. Current-source-
converter-fed drives are todays converter family with the high-
est power rating in industrial drive applications. CSI-PWM
converter drives offer new interesting performance, overcoming
some drawbacks of natural commutated LCI- and CCV-fed
drives. However, LCI and CCV drives have a strong presence
in the industry with a niche in very high power applications
(>10 MW).
This paper covers various converter topologies and drive
congurations. In addition, different PWM techniques were
reviewed, latest drive technologies were discussed, and future
trends were analyzed. This paper serves as a useful reference
for academic researchers and practicing engineers working in
the eld of high-power converters and adjustable-speed drives.
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Bin Wu (S89M92SM99F08) received the
Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineer-
ing from the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON,
Canada, in 1993.
From 1992 to 1993, he was with Rockwell Au-
tomation as a Senior Engineer. He joined Ryerson
University, Toronto, where he is currently a Professor
with the Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering and the Natural Sciences and Engineer-
ing Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the
Rockwell Industrial Research Chair in Power Elec-
tronics and Electric Drives. He is also the Founder of the Laboratory for
Electric Drive Applications and Research (LEDAR), Ryerson University. He
has published more than 140 technical papers and a Wiley-IEEE Press book.
He is the holder of 16 patent disclosures in the area of power electronics, energy
systems, advanced controls, and adjustable-speed drives.
Dr. Wu is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He is an
and the IEEE Canadian Review. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in
the Province of Ontario, Canada. He was the recipient of the Gold Medal of
the Governor General of Canada, the Premiers Research Excellence Award,
Ryerson Distinguished Scholar Award, Ryerson Research Chair Award, and
the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation.
Jorge Pontt (M00SM04) received the Engi-
neer and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering
from the Universidad Tcnica Federico Santa Mara
(UTFSM), Valparaso, Chile, in 1977.
Since 1977, he has been a Professor with the
Department of Electrical Engineering and the De-
partment of Electronics Engineering, UTFSM, under
the R&D and graduate program of power electronics.
He leads the Laboratory for Reliability and Power
Quality, UTFSM (LACSE) and is currently the Di-
rector of the Millennium Nucleus on Industrial Elec-
tronics and Mechatronics (NEIM), UTFSM. He is a coauthor of the software
Harmonix, which is used in harmonic studies in electrical systems. He is also
a Consultant in the mining industry, particularly in the design and application
of power electronics, drives, instrumentation systems, and power quality issues,
with management of more than 80 consulting and R&D projects. He has had
scientic stays at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
(19791980); the University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany (1990); and
the University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany (20002001). He is a
Cofounder of the spin-off company ETT Ltda. (Chile) related to instrumen-
tation for large grinding mills. He has published more than 100 refereed journal
and conference proceeding papers.
Authorized licensed use limited to: Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria. Downloaded on December 18, 2008 at 14:36 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.
Jos Rodrguez (M81SM94) received the Engi-
neer degree from the Universidad Tcnica Federico
Santa Mara, Valparaso, Chile, in 1977, and the
Dr.-Ing. degree from the University of Erlangen,
Erlangen, Germany, in 1985, both in electrical
Since 1977, he has been with the Depart-
ment of Electronics Engineering, University Tcnica
Federico Santa Mara, where he is currently a
Professor. From 2001 to 2004, he was the Director
of the Department of Electronics Engineering. From
2004 to 2005, he served as Vice Rector of academic affairs, and since 2005, he
has been the Rector of the university. During his sabbatical leave in 1996, he
was responsible for the Mining Division, Siemens Corporation, Santiago, Chile.
He has extensive consulting experience in the mining industry, particularly in
the application of large drives such as cycloconverter-fed synchronous motors
for SAG mills, high-power conveyors, and controlled ac drives for shovels and
power quality issues. He has directed more than 40 R&D projects in the eld of
industrial electronics. He has coauthored more than 250 journal and conference
proceeding papers and contributed one book chapter. His research group has
been recognized as one of the two centers of excellence in engineering in Chile
from2005 to 2008. His main research interests include multilevel inverters, new
converter topologies, and adjustable-speed drives.
Prof. Rodrguez has been an active Associate Editor for the IEEE Power
Electronics and IEEE Industrial Electronics Societies since 2002. He has served
in four instances [Special Sections on Matrix Converters (2002), Multilevel
Inverters (2002), Modern Rectiers (2005), and High Power Drives (2007)].
Steffen Bernet (M97) received the Diploma de-
gree from Dresden University of Technology,
Dresden, Germany, in 1990, and the Ph.D. degree
from Ilmenau University of Technology, Ilmenau,
Germany, in 1995, both in electrical engineering.
In 1995 and 1996, he was a Postdoctoral Re-
searcher with the Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin,
Madison. In 1996, he joined ABB Corporate Re-
search, Heidelberg, Germany, where he led the Elec-
trical Drive Systems Group. From 1999 to 2000, he
was responsible for the ABB research worldwide in the areas power electronics
systems, drives, and electric machines. From 2001 to 2007, he was a Professor
of power electronics with Berlin University of Technology, Berlin, Germany.
Since June 2007, he has been a Professor with the Power Electronics Group,
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Dresden
University of Technology. During the past 17 years, he has conducted com-
prehensive research on power semiconductors, static power converters, and
ac motor drives. He has published more than 70 papers in the eld of power
Dr. Bernet was the recipient of the 2005 Second Prize Paper Award at IEEE
PESC and Committee Second Prize Paper Awards from the Industrial Power
Converter Committee and the Power Electronic Devices and Components
Committee of the IEEE Industry Applications Society.
Samir Kouro (S04M08) was born in Valdivia,
Chile, in 1978. He received the M.Sc. and Ph.D.
degrees in electronics engineering from the Uni-
versidad Tcnica Federico Santa Mara (UTFSM),
Valparaso, Chile, in 2004 and 2008, respectively.
In 2004, he joined the Department of Electronics
Engineering, UTFSM, as a Research Assistant, and
is currently an Associate Researcher. His research
interests include power converters and adjustable-
speed drives.
Dr. Kouro was distinguished as the youngest
researcher in Chile being granted a government-funded research project
(FONDECYT) as Principal Researcher in 2004.
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