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A Novel and Simple Current Controller for Three-phase IGBT PWM

Power Inverters - A Comparative Study

J. F. Martins, A. J. Pires J. F. Silva

Escola Superior de Tecnologia, Instituto Politecnico de Centro de Automatica da Universidade Tecnica de
Sehibal, Rua do Vale de Chaves, Estefanilha Lisboa. Instituto Superior Tecnico, SMEEP,
29 10 Setubal, Portugal. AV.Rovisco Pais 1, 1096 Lisboa Codex, Portugal.
Phone: 35 1-65-761621, fax: 35 1-65-721869 Phone: 35 1-1-8417426 fax: 35 1-1-8417167
E-Mail: j martins@est.ips.pt E-Mail: el962fas@beta.ist.utI.pt

Abstract - A new feedback current controller for three-phase achievement is the accurate knowledge of rotor dynamics and
pulse width modulated power inverters is presented. To achieve parameters, which is a difficult task. The use of learning
robustness against load parameter variation, fast dynamical through examples algorithms can be a powerful tool for
response, reduced switching frequency and simple hardware automatic modelling variable speed drives [3]. They can
implementation, a three-level hysteresis sliding mode controller
extract a functional relationship, representative of the drive
is used. The voltage vectors applied to the load are accurately
selected in order to minimise the current error. Controller behaviour, without accessing the rotor variables [4]. Since
structure based on simple analog-digital hardware is shown and this functional relationship is extremely complex it is
experimental results are presented. The results of a desirable to conjugate these algorithms with other
comparative study ilustra1:e the performance of the proposed procedures, such as internal control loops. Provided that is
controller with other known controllers. possible to assume controlled stator currents, in a sufficient
small time scale, the drive mathematical model can be
I. INTRODUCTION simplified and also the learning algorithm.

Variable speed drives (Fig. l), equipped with squirrel-cage For operation and security reasons an internal control loop
induction machines, play a key role in modern industrial for the ac-machine stator currents is usually considered. The
applications. The benefit; of using this type of machine - overall performance of the drive is greatly influenced by the
high reliability and low maintenance - make it widely used power inverter strategy. The adopted strategy plays a key role
through various indwtrial processes, with growing in high-performance ac-motors variable speed drives, which
performance demands. need a fast and accurate control of the motor stator current.
Elaborated control methods [ 1,2] achieve good dynamic
performance. However, an essential condition for this

Fig. 1. Schematic: representation of the PWh4 power inverter-fed induction motor variable speed drive system

IEEE Catalog Number: 97THS280 - 241 - ISIE'97 - GuimarSes, Portugal

A variety of PWM techniques have been studied and can be represented in a two dimensional ap reference frame,
reported in the literature [ 5 ] . Variable switching frequency as shown in Fig. 2 for the output voltage vectors. It is only
hysteresis regulators are widely used mainly for their necessary to consider two independent currents (2) and
simplicity. Various strategies have been proposed in order to therefore two control inputs and current errors (3) in the
simplify the controller andor increase its performance. This power inverter.
paper analyses a new and simple control strategy that, in a cxp
reference frame and using all the inverter voltage vectors,
exactly defines which one must be applied to the ac-motor.
In this paper the second section describes the system and
discusses requirements for a control strategy. The third
section discusses the proposed control strategy and presents
its hardware implementation. The fourth section presents
some simulation and experimental results concerning the
implementation described. A comparative study with other
known controllers is also presented. I
Fig. 2. Space vector representation of power inverter output

The output voltage vector of a three-phase power inverter i, + il, + i, =0 (1)

can assume only eight values, as presented in Table I, where
U, denotes the voltage vector, Si denotes the command signal
for each inverter arm, U, denotes the voltage applied to each
phase of the ac-motor, U, and U, denotes the voltage applied
to the ac-motor in a ap reference frame and E denotes the dc
input voltage.
Current regulated PWM inverters can be implemented with
on-line sliding mode current feedback [6]. This
implementation can exhibit fast current response and low
current ripple. Its stability does not depend on load
parameters, provided the dc input voltage - E - is sufficiently
high to impose adequate current derivatives in all operating From this equations a very simple and low-cost analog
conditions. hardware type of control can be implemented, considering a
pair of two-level hysteresis comparators, and neglecting four
TABLE I of the eight possible output voltage vectors [8]. This
POWER INVERTER SWITCH STATES AND CORRESPONDING implementation can consider the output vectors U,, U,, U,
and U6, where the output voltage is chosen according to the
s, Sb sc U,, U,, U, U, up
current error defined in ( 3 ) . However, this type of control
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 presents some problems. With the output vectors selected, the
0 0 1 -E13 -E13 2E13 -E/& -E142 highest valued U, voltage vectors are not used. This
0 1 0 -E13 2E13 -E13 -El& E142 compromises the power inverter performance, since outside
0 1 1 -2E13 E/3 E13 -d(2/3)E 0
1 0 0 2E/3 -E13 -E/3 d(213)E 0
sliding mode the output current error is greatly influenced by
1 0 1 E13 -2E13 E13 El46 42/42 the dc line input voltage. When inside the sliding mode the
1 1 0 E13 E13 -2E13 E146 E142 output current error is defined by the histeresys considered.
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Recent papers propose some techniques to achieve better
The simplest way to control the ac-machine stator current performances [9,10], however they tend to increase the
is based on a non-linear feedback loop with three complexity of the inverter control system.
independent two-level hysteresis comparators [7]. However
for loads with isolated neutral the instantaneous current error With the use of three-level comparators the drawback
can reach the double of the hysteresis value considered. reported in [8] - the highest valued U, voltage vectors are
not used - can be overcomed [ 1I]. These comparators can be
For drives equipped with squirrel-cage induction motors, defined using (4), where H,, and H,, are the two hysteresis
the power inverter must supply three currents, one of them levels for the a-current, H,, and H,, are the two hysteresis
dependent on the other two (1). Therefore, these variables levels for the p-current, E,, and are the current errors

IEEE Catalog Number: 97TH8280 - 242 - ISIE'97 - GuimarSes, Portugal

defined in ( 3 ) , 6, and 6, are the results of the comparators, In cases (i) and (ii) the following formulas must be taken
and t denotes the time ins1 ant. into consideration. Assuming that there is a positive error in
the P-component of the current - case (i) - the relation (5) is
I+sgn(s,,, + H a , sgnElatJ + -I+Sgn(E,,, + H a 2 SgnEI,.,) valid.
sat =
2 2 (4) 6, = + 1 ip <
~ ipref ipref- ip > 0 3
1 + sgn( 4 p , + H p , sgn 48 - 1+ sgn( E1p, +Hp2 sgn&18.1) (5)
sA= + 3 Eip > 0 3 &ib - &ic > 0 3 &ib > qc
2 2
Using an EPROM implemented look-up table, all of the Therefore the b-phase current error is greater than the
eight voltage vectors can be used, optimising the output c-phase error. The analysis of the three possibilities (6),
current error outside sliding mode. However, as presented in results in a decision based in the comparison of the absolute
Table 11, there are still some problems with the choice of the current errors of phases b and c (7). If the absolute current
right vectors to use. Some authors empirically chose the error of phase b is greater than the absolute current error of
vectors to be applied [l 11. In Table I1 6, and 6, denote the phase c the voltage vector to be applied should present a
results of the three-lewel comparators, U, and U, the higher b-component. This leads to the choice of voltage
component output voltages to be applied in order to reduce vector U, whenever this condition verities and to the choice
the output current error, and U, the respective output voltage of voltage vector U, otherwise.
In this work the voltage vectors applied to the load are
&ib <o ; &ic <o l&ibl <l&icl

exactly de\fmed. Eib >0 ; &ic <0 3 l&ibl < l&icl or > I&icl (6)
Sib >0 ; &ic > IEibl> l&icl

When there is a negative error in the P-component of the

0 +1 current - case (ii) -, a similar procedure leads to the choice
0 -1 of voltage vectors U, and U, according to (8).
+1 0
+1 +1
+1 -1
-1 0 Considering the previous decisions the output voltage
-1 +1 vectors not accurately selected in Table I1 disappear. Table I1
-1 -1 can be replaced by Table 111, where, with a new decision
+ : Positive component; - : Negative component; x : Irrelevant component.
condition - I E ~ ~ >/ -, all states are accurately defined.
According to the current error (3) a novel methodology to CONDITION AND CORRESPONDING OUTPUT VOLTAGE VECTORS
chose the output voltage vectors is proposed. These voltage
vectors are accurately selected in order to achieve better 6, 6, Ua Up IEibl’tEiCl
performance of the power inverter. 0 0 X X X
0 +1 X yespo
The analyse of Table I1 states that the zero voltage is 0 -1 X + no,yes
applied when there is no current error on both components. +1 0 X X
Otherwise, the component of the voltage vector and the +1 +1 X
. . ..
output current error must have the same sign. An ambiguous +1 -1 + X
situation - identified by (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) in Table I1 - -1 0 + X X
arises when this condition can be satisfied by more than one -1 +1 + X
output voltage vector. -1 -1 + + X
+ : Positive compor t; - : Negative con inent; x : Irrele
In cases (iii) and (iv) voltage vectors U, and U, are,
respectively, applied since there is no P-component current

IEEE Catalog Number: 97”8280 -243- ISIE’97- Guimariies, Portugal

Fig. 3. Schematic representation of the PWM power inverter current controller

The ap current errors, defined in (3), and the above The IGBT power inverter load considered for this section
additional condition - I E , ~ ~> Iqc/ - are used as a digital word was a 3-phase inductive load, with L=0,014H, R=lR,
which, via an EPROM look-up table, selects the appropriate E=lOOsin(2nft), where f=37,5Hz.
output voltage vector, by generating the switching pulses S,,
S, and S,. The schematic representation of the proposed Fig. 4 shows the waveforms for the two two-level
methodology is presented in Fig. 3 , where analog amplifiers hysteresis comparators controller [SI and for the proposed
and comparators are used to code the controller EPROM controller, considering a low value of power inverter input dc
inputs. The accuracy of the current generation is voltage - E. For this available voltage the proposed controller
determinated by the width of the hysteresis zone in the is able to keep the system in sliding mode, while the
three-level comparators. controller using a pair of two-level comparators (and
consequently only four output voltage vectors) is not.
IV. SIMULATION AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS Thorough the accurate use of all voltage vectors the proposed
methodology needs a lower dc input voltage value, than the
Simulation and experimental results are shown to controller using only four output voltage vectors, to keep the
demonstrate the performances of the proposed control system in sliding mode.

0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 3.2 3.6 4.0
i - ! I Time [msec]
0.0 0.4 0.6 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.6 3.2 3.6 4.0
Time [msec]

1.0, ,

Time [ m i e c l

(b> Fig. 4.2. Simulated waveforms for the proposed controller
Fig. 4.1. Simulated waveforms for the two two-level (a) Output voltage vectors
comparators controller (b) Output currents and their references
(a) Output voltage vectors
(b) Output currents and their references

IEEE Catalog Number: 97TII8280 -244- ISIE’97 - Guimdes, Portugal

Results, obtained from experimental tests, are presented in
Fig. 5. As expected, fo:r the same input dc voltage, load
parameters and reference c k e n t , the proposed controller
shows improved performances, better using the available dc
voltage and keeping the current error within the desired
accuracy. This is illustraced in Fig. 6, where the current error
trajectories are considixed for the experimental tests
presented in Fig. 5.

Error-alfa [pu]

Fig. 6.2. Experimental current error trajectories for the

proposed controller

The evolution of the output RMS current error (9), under

Time [msec] the same working conditions, for different dc input voltage,
is illustrated in Fig. 7. It is clear that, after a minimal dc
Fig. 5.1. Experimental waveforms for the two two-level
input voltage value, both control methods are able to keep the
comparators controller - output currents and their references
system in sliding mode and the output current error depends
1.0 . only on the three-level comparator hysteresis. It is also
apparent that using all accessible voltage vectors the
proposed methodology minimizes the needed dc input
voltage to obtain this limit.

-1,o J ' J
Time [msec]

Fig. 5.2. Experimental waveforms for the proposed controller

- output currents and their references

Fig. 7. Output Rh4S current error evolution

Considering the controllers that sample only two of the

output currents, the proposed methodology make a better use
of the available output voltage vectors, than the ones
described in [8,11], improving the power inverter
, , , , , , , / performance. However this improvement is only significant
Error-alfa [pu] when compared with a two-level comparators methodology.
When compared with the controller described in [ l 11 the
Fig. 6.1. Experimental current error trajectories for the two results are similar. The arbitrary choice of voltage vectors
tw80-levelcontroller made in [ 111 concerns four of sixteen possible combination
of current errors. The accurate choice of voltage vectors
performed by the proposed methodology slightly improves
the phase current error, as shown in Fig. 8.

IEEE Catalog Number: 97TH8280 -245- ISIE'W - Guimariies, Portugal


This work is supported by JNICT contracts



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lEEE Catalog Number: 97TH8280 -246- ISIE’97 - Guimarses, Portugal