Low Switching Frequency Pulse Width Modulation for Induction Motor Drives
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Induction motor (IM) drives are employed in a wide range of industries due to low maintenance, improved efficiency and low emissions. Industrial installations of high-power IM drives rated up to 30 MW have been reported. The IM drives are also employed in ultra high-speed applications with shaft speeds as high as 500; 000 rpm. Certain applications of IM drives such as gas compressors demand high power at high speeds (e.g. 10 MW at 20; 000 rpm). In high-power voltage source inverter (VSI) fed induction motor drives, the semiconductor devices experience high switching energy losses during switching transitions. Hence, the switching frequency is kept low in such high-power drives. In high-speed drives, the maximum modulation frequency is quite high. Hence, at high speeds and/or high power levels, the ratio of switching frequency to fundamental frequency (i.e. pulse number, P ) of the motor drive is quite low. Induction motor drives, operating at low-pulse numbers, have significant low-order volt-age harmonics in the output. These low-order voltage harmonics are not filtered adequately by the motor inductance, leading to high total harmonic distortion (THD) in the line current as well as low-order harmonic torques. The low-order harmonic torques may lead to severe torsional vibrations which may eventually damage the motor shaft. This thesis addresses numerous issues related to low-pulse-number operation of VSI fed IM drives. In particular, optimal pulse width modulation (PWM) schemes for minimization of line current distortion and those for minimization of a set of low-order harmonic torques are proposed for two-level and three-level inverter fed IM drives. Analytical evaluation of current ripple and torque ripple is well established for the induction motor drives operating at high pulse numbers. However, certain important assumptions made in this regard are not valid when the pulse number is low. An analytical method is proposed here for evaluation of current ripple and torque ripple in low-pulse-number induction motor drives. The current and torque harmonic spectra can also be predicted using the proposed method. The analytical predictions of the proposed method are validated through simulations and experimental results on a 3:7-kW induction motor drive, operated at low pulse numbers. The waveform symmetries, namely, half-wave symmetry (HWS), quarter-wave symmetry (QWS) and three-phase symmetry (TPS), are usually maintained in induction motor drives, operating at low switching frequencies. Lack of HWS is well known to introduce even harmonics in the line current. Impact of three-phase symmetry on line current and torque harmonic spectra is analyzed in this thesis. When the TPS is preserved, there are no triplen frequency components in the line current and also no harmonic torques other than those of order 6, 12, 18 etc. While TPS ensures that the triplen harmonics in the three-phase pole voltages are in phase, these triplen frequency harmonics form balanced sets of three-phase voltages when TPS is not preserved. Hence, triplen frequency currents flow through the stator windings. These result in torque harmonics of order 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 etc., and not just integral multiples of 6. These findings are well supported by simulation and experimental results. One can see that two types of pole voltage waveforms are possible, when all waveform symmetries (i.e. HWS, TPS and QWS) are preserved in a two-level inverter, These are termed as type-A and type-B waveforms here. Also, QWS could be relaxed, while maintain-ing HWS and TPS, leading to yet another type of pole voltage waveform. Optimal switching angles to minimize line current THD are reported for all three types of pole voltage wave-forms. Theoretical and experimental results on a 3:7-kW IM drive show that optimal type-A PWM and optimal type-B PWM are better than each other in different ranges of modulation at any given low pulse number. In terms of current THD, the optimal PWM without QWS is found to be close to the better one between optimal type-A and optimal type-B at any modulation index for a given P . A combined optimal PWM to minimize THD is proposed, which utilizes the superior one between optimal type-A and optimal type-B at any given modulation index and pulse number. The performance of combined optimal PWM is shown to be better than those of synchronous sine-triangle (ST) PWM and selective harmonic elimination (SHE) PWM through simulations and experiments over a wide range of speed. A frequency domain (FD) based and another synchronous reference frame (SRF) based optimal PWM techniques are proposed to minimize low-order harmonic torques. The objective here is to minimize the combined value of low-order harmonic torques of order 6, 12, 18, ..., 6(N 1), where N is the number of switching angles per quarter cycle. The FD based optimal PWM is independent of load and machine parameters while the SRF based method considers both load and machine parameters. The offline calculations are much simpler in case of FD based optimal PWM than in case of SRF based optimal PWM. The performance of the two schemes are comparable and are much superior to those of synchronous ST PWM and SHE PWM in terms of low-order harmonic torques as shown by the simulation and experimental results presented over a wide range of fundamental frequency, The proposed optimal PWM methods for two level-inverter fed motor drives to minimize the line current distortion and low-order torque harmonics, are extended to neutral point clamped (NPC) three-level inverter fed drive. The proposed optimal PWM methods for the NPC inverter are compared with ST PWM and SHE PWM, having the same number of switching angles per quarter. Simulation and experimental results on a 3:7-kW induction motor drive demonstrate the superior performance of proposed optimal PWM schemes over ST PWM and SHE PWM schemes. The di_erent optimal PWM schemes proposed for two-level and three-level inverter fed drives, having di_erent objective functions and constraints, are all analyzed from a space vector perspective. The three-phase PWM waveforms are seen as a sequence of voltage vector applied in each case. The space vector analysis leads to determination of optimal vector sequences, fast o_ine calculation of optimal switching angles and e_cient digital implementation of the proposed optimal PWM schemes. A hybrid PWM scheme is proposed for two-level inverter fed IM drive, having a maximum switching frequency of 250 Hz. The proposed hybrid PWM utilizes ST PWM at a _xed frequency of 250 Hz at low speeds. This method employs the optimal vector sequence to minimize the current THD at any speed in the medium and high speed ranges. The proposed method is shown to reduce both THD as well as machine losses signi_cantly, over a wide range of speed, compared to ST PWM Position sensorless vector control of IM drive also becomes challenging when the ratio of inverter switching frequency to maximum modulation frequency is low. An improved procedure to design current controllers, and a closed-loop ux estimator are reviewed. These are utilized to design and implement successfully a position sensorless vector controlled IM drive, modulated with asynchronous third harmonic injected (THI) PWM at a constant switching frequency of 500 Hz. Sensorless vector control is also implemented successfully, when the inverter is modulated with synchronized THI PWM and the maximum switching frequency is limited to 500 Hz.