Dead-Time Induced Oscillations in Voltage Source Inverter-Fed Induction Motor Drives
The inverter dead-time is integral to the safety of a voltage source inverter (VSI). Dead-time is introduced between the complementary gating signals of the top and bottom switches in each VSI leg to prevent shoot-through fault. This thesis reports and investigates dead-time induced sub-harmonic oscillations in open-loop induction motor drives of different power levels, under light-load conditions. The thesis develops mathematical models that help understand and predict the oscillatory behaviour of such motor drives due to dead-time act. Models are also developed to study the impact of under-compensation and over-compensation of dead-time act on stability. The various models are validated through extensive simulations and experimental results. The thesis also proposes and validates active damping schemes for mitigation of such sub-harmonic oscillations. The thesis reports high-amplitude sub-harmonic oscillations in the stator current, torque and speed of a 100-kW open-loop induction motor drive in the laboratory, operating under no-load. Experimental studies, carried out on 22-kW, 11-kW, 7.5-kW and 3.7-kW open-loop induction motor drives, establish the prevalence of dead-time induced sub-harmonic oscillations in open-loop motor drives of different power levels. An experimental procedure is established for systematic study of this phenomenon in industrial drives. This procedure yields the operating region, if any, where the motor drive is oscillatory. As a first step towards understanding the oscillatory behaviour of the motor drive, a mathematical model of the VSI is derived in a synchronously revolving reference frame (SRF), incorporating the of dead-time on the inverter output voltage. This leads to a modified dynamic model of the inverter-fed induction motor in the SRF, inclusive of the dead-time act. While the rotor dynamic equations are already non-linear, dead-time is found to introduce nonlinearities in the stator dynamic equations as well. The nonlinearities in the modified dynamic model make even the steady solution non-trivial. Under steady conditions, the dead-time can be modelled as the drop across an equivalent resistance (Req0) in the stator circuit. A precise method to evaluate the equivalent resistance Req0 and a simple method to arrive at the steady solution are proposed and validated. For the purpose of stability analysis, a small-signal model of the drive is then derived by linearizing the non-linear dynamic equations of the motor drive, about a steady-state operating point. The proposed small-signal model shows that dead-time contributes to different values of equivalent resistances along the q-axis and d-axis and also to equivalent cross-coupling reactance’s that appear in series with the stator windings. Stability analysis performed using the proposed model brings out the region of oscillatory behaviour (or region of small-signal instability) of the 100-kW motor drive on the voltage versus frequency (V- f) plane, considering no-load. The oscillatory region predicted by the small-signal analysis is in good agreement with simulations and practical observations for the 100-kW motor drive. The small-signal analysis is also able to predict the region of oscillatory behaviour of an 11-kW motor drive, which is con consumed by simulations and experiments. The analysis also predicts the frequencies of sub-harmonic oscillations at different operating points quite well for both the drives. Having the validity of the small-signal analysis at different power levels, this analytical procedure is used to predict the regions of oscillatory behaviour of 2-pole, 4-pole, 6-pole and 8-pole induction motors rated 55 kW and 110 kW. The impact of dead-time on inverter output voltage has been studied widely in literature. This thesis studies the influence of dead-time on the inverter input current as well. Based on this study, the dynamic model of the inverter fed induction motor is extended to include the dc-link dynamics as well. Simulation results based on this extended model tally well with the experimentally measured dc-link voltage and stator current waveforms in the 100-kW drive. Dead-time compensation may be employed to mitigate the dead-time and oscillatory behaviour of the drive. However, accurate dead-time compensation is challenging to achieve due to various factors such as delays in gate drivers, device switching characteristics, etc. Effects of under-compensation and over-compensation of dead time are investigated in this thesis. Under-compensation is shown to result in the same kind of oscillatory behaviour as observed with dead-time, but the fundamental frequency range over which such oscillations occur is reduced. On the other hand, over-compensation of dead-time effect is shown to result in a different kind of oscillatory behaviour. These two types of oscillatory behaviour due to under- and over-compensation, respectively, are distinguished and demonstrated by analyses, simulations and experiments on the 100-kW drive. To mitigate the oscillatory behaviour of the drive, an active damping scheme is proposed. This scheme emulates the effect of an external inductor in series with the stator winding. A small-signal model is proposed for an induction motor drive with the proposed active damping scheme. Simulations and experiments on the 100-kW drive demonstrate effective mitigation of light-load instability with this active damping scheme. In the above inductance emulation scheme, the emulated inductance is seen by the sub-harmonic components, fundamental component as well as low-order harmonic components of the motor current. Since the emulated inductance is also seen by the fundamental component, there is a fundamental voltage drop across the emulated inductance, leading to reduced co-operation of the induction motor. Hence, an improved active damping scheme is proposed wherein the emulated inductance is seen only by the sub-harmonic and low-order harmonic components. This is achieved through appropriate altering in the synchronously revolving domain. The proposed improved active damping scheme is shown to mitigate the sub-harmonic oscillation effectively without any reduction in flux.
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