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The 30th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, November 2 6,2004, Busan, Korea

Analysis of Carrier Based PWM Methods In relation To Common Mode Voltage For Multilevel Inverter
Nguyen Van MO', Gun-Woo Moon', Member, IEEE, and Myung-Joong Youn', Senior Member, IEEE
'Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIST, Korea, e-mail : ,,


Abstruct-This paper presents a new approach to implement a carrier based P W M modulator in a multilevel inverter, using correlation between carrier based PWM and space vector PWM. Using the performed reIation, different CPWM methods in a multilevel inverter can be simply clarified and appropriately modified for obtaining required performance. In this paper, the principle of carrier based P W M with medium and minimum common mode voltage and possible variants of implementation will be introduced. It also shows several advantages from the minimum common mode voltage methods. The proposed CPWM modulator algorithms are advantageous for the simplicity and flexibility to apply to a high level inverter 1,Introduction In a two-level inverter, the CPWM can be implemented equivalent to the SVPWM method, in which two-zero redundant vectors are equally centered. This approach has been utilized in a multilevel inverter and introduced as an equally- centered PWM method [1],[2]. However, the relation between CPWM and SVPWM method has not been deduced and explained in detail. In three-level inverter, the common mode (CM) voltage of the equally-centered PWM is generated from a sequence of switching states with the possible lowest CM. If the number of levels is higher than three and for high modulation indices, the algorithm of the previous methods will involve a sequence of switching states with a high CM while two redundant vectors are equally centered. This paper will analyze and propose algorithm to implement both continuous (including SVPWM) and discontinuous PWM (DPWM) in relation to CM, demonstrated with medium and minimum CM PWM methods. It also shows several advantages of the minimum CM PWM methods, which could be considered for further applications. . Unlike other CPWM methods [1],[2],[3], which are valid only for particular CM cases, the described CPWM algorithm in the paper is applicable for any variable CM and unified for both PWM modes, therefore is of universal character.
2. Basic terminologies, definitions and equations

GI,02and 0, can be described in abc coordinates as


v' = K l o l t K 2 0 2+ K 3 0 3 .
K, + K, + K, = 1 .

Let's define the modulating pattern (MP) which are described in abc coordinates and derived from corresponding - . pivot voltage vector U j =[iJ,,U,j,Uc,]T and total dc-source voltage Vdcas

Fj = [P, ,Pw ,Pcj]' =

V& /(?I - 1)

' v,, /(n - 1) ' Y ,

/ ( n - 1)

(2) Let v ~ ~ vrb(l) ( ~ ) and , vrc(l)be three fundamental components

of modulating signals and three functions Max,Mid and Min be their greatest, the middle and the smallest values, respectively as follows: Max = max(v,(l),Vrb(l)rV,(l)) (3) Mid = m W m ( 1 )IVrb(l)> Y C ( 1 ) )

AfbI = min(v,(,)

9Vrb(l) 9



Let define Inf be integer function, for ex. Int(5,4) = 5 , and function S for determination of vector location as S=In@4ux- Mi@ -Inl(iwid- Min) - InifMax- Mi&),(4) The equation (1) can be transformed into its corresponding carrier based PWM equation by using MPs as
= K,J: K2F2+ K3E,. (5) Parameters K,, K , and K3 can be derived as follows [4]:

Kl = 1-Max + M h + Int(Max - Min) for S = O K , = Max - Mid - m ( M m -Mid) K , = 1- Mid + Min t Int(Mid - Min)
K , = 1-Max

+ Mid + Int(Max - Mid)


s =1

K, =l-Kl - K ,
The area locations described by function S=l and S=O are distinguished by "X" (TVMAXR) and '' (TVMINR)in Fig. 1, All MPs ?;- of a five-level inverter are described in the M p diagram in Fig.1. In equation ( 5 ) , the quantity Pj can be a single MP or a linear combination of two subsequent redundant MPs o f the same pivot vector. lmportant pattems in the vector diagram are MPs with zero redundant

The SVPWM equation, in which a reference voltage vector in a triangle is implemented by the three nearest pivot vec-

0-7803-8730-9/04/$20.00 02004 IEEE


40, P~O and &, which correspond to three voltage vectors and give rise to the smallest zero sequence voltage values. In the area ABD, three ZRF MP are
factors (ZRF MP) [-1,-2,-2]T,[-1,-1,-2]T and [0,-l,-2lT.Any MP or combination of redundant MPs can be expressed using ZRF and redundant factor prj as follows:
I -

~ K+ , v~K, where vrOmin =P ~ , , Min


+ v ~ K+ ,v


Pj = Pi,+ V j I


(8b) and K1, K 2 ,and K3 are proportional to switching time durations of pivot vectors and determined by (5), and P , ; " is given by the lowest peak amplitude of multi-carrier waveforms, that is P ~=n -(n - 1) / 2 for odd number of level n , and Min is defined by (3). The SVPWM-CPWM correlation (8) has been derived in detail in [4]. From the required voltage vector in the hexagon and the ratios of switching time durations between redundant vectors (redundant factors), the corresponding modulating signals in CPWM can be deduced . Redundant factors q , q2 and q3 in (8) are limited by
O I q 1 1 l r 1 , O 1 q 2 Ilr2 a r 1 d O I r 7 ~ I E ~ ~ . (9a) For unipolar CPWM method, there are at least two integer values from the factors, and the following conditions will be satisfied as ( I + q 3 ) >7 1 q2 7 3 . (9b) The parameters I,, ,Er* and lr3 , termed as levels of vector redundancies, characterize numbers of existing redundant vectors of pivot vectors, and are determined as I,, = n - 1- Int(Mux - Min) (1 0)

where I' =[l,l,1lT is a unit vector. Indices 1,2,3 in (1) and (5) are arranged in an increasing sequence of zero sequence values of ZRF patterns. Each sequence of switching states and vector redundancy control in the SWWM corresponds to a set of redundant controlling factors (ql,q 2 ,q3) . If q is an integer number, related switching state (Paj0 +qj,Pbj0 +vj,Pcjo + v j ) will be implemented for a time duration

KjTs (Ts is a sampling time period). I f vi is

active redundant





states and

(~~+n:+~~~in5.+1,Izp+N,+l), N , = h t ( v j ) will
be implemented, corresponding to switching time durations of (I N j -vj)KjT' and (qj - N , ) K j T , , respec-

tively. The parameters K j are determined as in (6). For instance, the MP [ 1,O,OIT and a combination of two equally centered redundant MPs [I, O , O ] ' and [0,-1,-1jT of


= n - 2 - Int(Mid - Min) - Innt(Max - Mid)

the pivot vector OA can be expressed

Pi0= [-1,-2,-21T
as follows:


= I,, - 1.

through ZRF MP

[1,0,01~ = [-1,-2,-21T

+ 2[1,1,11T, i.e. (q = 2)

For instance, in the area ABD, levels of vector redundancies areas1,,=3,1,,=3 a n d l r 3 = 2 . The characters of vector redundancies in the SVPWM presented by parameters vj in (X), can be determined from

Fig 1: Yector/MP diagram offive level inverter and selected

active redundant vector locations (dashed circles) o f the medium CM PWM and medium CMV equally-centered methods.

v,,, =


+no + x , K ,



vrOmin+ n o + K , + x , K , vr0- + n o + K , + K , + x , K ,


K , vrl 2 K , + K , K , + K , < v,, i1


Under the consideration Of redundancy (71,r72 and q3), the general zero sequence function of an n-level inverter can be derived and expressed as

where (0 I < 1) , j = 1,2,3 and v,, is defined in (1 1). If

0 < v,, < K , , two active redundant vectors will appear at pivot vector

U , . similarly, two

remaining inequalities of


(13), correspond to the active redundant vectors at

G2 and


vj is a real
= 3P-

number, two related redundant vectors in

- Min ) +

~ 7f ~ i e .algorithm (11)-(12) or (13) is universal for analyzing correlation between S V P W and corresponding CPWM methods. Its applications will be demonstrated by the following medium and minimum CM PWM methods.
Average CM vultuge:can be evaluated by the zero sequence function of modulating signal. The minimum zero sequence function is obtained in (8j by setting (171, qz,173 ) equal to (O,O,O) . The maximum value can be calculated by setting

switching sequence have their PCw values as


+ Int (Mar - Min ) + Jnt (Mid


j-1+ 31nt(~,)

( 1 7b,c) 3. A sequence of switching states will perform a sequence of values PCw from a minimum PcM min to a maxiPcM.I+l

redundant factors to ( I r k , I r , ~ Z r 3 ) , as follows:

Vromax = P ~ + "( n - l ) - M a x . (14) For the linear PWM limit (PI, corresponding to the voltage amplitude equal to V d c / & ) , the maximum and minimum o f zero sequence hnction are determined as

v , ~ - ,= P,,

- Min


VrOmaXl = Pmi,

+ ( n - 1) - Max,
Min, are derived using (3) with funda-

mum PCMm(and vice verse). In continuous PWM, both extreme values are equal to that of two active redundant vectors given by ( I 7b,c). If the reference vector passes into a new hexagon area and active redundant vectors be exchanged by new ones, the extreme PCM- (and PcM ) can be increased or decreased by a step. This will give rise to adding d v , ldr current pulse. For instance, in the area DGH (Fig.l), sequence of switching states with active redundant vectors at point G are (1,-1,-2),(1,0,-2),(1,0,-1) and (2,0,-1j, corresponding to values PcMi of -2,-1 ,O and 1.

where Mcucl and

mental voltage amplitude equal to Vdc /& . Their peak amplitudes attain values 0.077 ( n - 1j , corresponding to average CM of 0,077 y, (Fig.2~). If the reference vector moves on an outer periphery of hexagon (m=l.O5), the condition (kfa;r - Min) = (n - 1) is satisfied. Then two extreme zero sequence functions or CM voltages are equal each other, and can be determined as follows (Fig.2d):
Min =

The following switching sequence with active redundant and (2,1,-1), vectors at point H are (1,0,-2j,(1,0,-1),(2,0,-1) corresponding to the values P c - of -l,O,l, and 2. The transition from the first to the second sequence at the beginning of a sampling period will add a dv,, / dr (positive) pulse to the CM current.

3. The reduced CM PWM methods 3.1 The minimum CM PWM

The zero sequence function of the minimum CM method can be defined as follows:

( n - 1)Min

M a r - Min

= preie- Mia = P , , , + ( n - 1) - M a r

where vrOm and vr0- are described by (8) and (14). The CPWM using this zero sequence function will always obtain a minimum average CM and be implemented as a sinusoidal CPWM if vro,opr= O and as a DPWM if
v ~ ~ # 0. , The ~ ~diagrams , of v , . ~ ,(1 ~8) ~ and , corresponding

modulating signals for several values of modulation indices are drawn in Fig.3. I f m=l, the function vro,opt reaches a

Fig. 2: The limits of thezero sequencefunctionfor a)m=U, b) m=O.75, c)m=i and d) m=1.05.
1nstunlaneou.s CM voltage: For simplicity, the instantaneous CM, which corresponds to switching stateFj, can be

peak value of ? 0.077(n - 1) , corresponding to average CM f0.077Vdc(Fig.3~). This method is advantageous for its simplicity and minimum average CM. Disadvantage is that, calculated redundant factors using (12) of the sinusoidal PWM show unbalanced switching time durations of the upper and lower redundant vectors and it may cause a large variation o f the neutral point voltage in diode-clamped multilevel inverter and influence negatively on the load current quality IS].
3.2 The medium CM PWM In this method, the zero sequence function is defined as an average value from two extreme zero sequence functions and determined for an odd level inverter as follows:

evaluated where






PCMj= Poj + Pbj + Pcj ,

Prj, x = a,b,c

are explained in (7). If factor


j=1,2,3 in (S) is integer, then [ 4 ] :

PcW = 3Pmin + Int(Max- min)+ Int(Mid -Min)

+j - 1 + 3 q l .



substituting vro = v , ~ , ,(19) ,~~ into (1 la,b), and modifying factors q j (1 2), as follows:

A h :dl


i.-I \


Y ~

if q j =integer N j + O S if q j =real


where N j = I n t ( q j ) ; j = 1 , 2 , 3 . Substituting (21) into (S), the SVPWM zero sequence function v,o,cenl approximate to v ~can be ~ obtained. , ~ Func~ tion
~ can ,

4.511 .i.o

be ~ simply ~ , derived in another way by sub-

Fig .3: Five-level inverter: The minimum zero sequence function and corresponding modulating signal for diflerent modulation indices a) m=0.5, b)m=0.9 and d)m=i

stituting (19) into (1 1 ab) for obtaining no, vrl,and setting

xi =0.5 in(13) as

For modulation index -1, peak value of

the function


attains a

0.145(n -1) , corresponding to CM

0.145vdc. in comparison with the minimum CM method (IS), the CM increases as twice. In two-level inverter, the method gives redundant factors ql = 0.5 and q2 = v3 = 0
and becomes equally-centered PWM. In multilevel inverter, this method cannot guarantee the equally-centered redundant vectors in the whole hexagon. It has been proved the following characteristics of the medium CM method, (it is not described in the paper for a space limitation). a) Only the pivot vector j = 1,2,3with odd The characteristics ofthis method are similar to that of the average medium CM method as committed in 3.2a,b, and c, except time durations of two active redundant vectors are set equally. The diagrams o f function vro,cenl and the reference modulating signal are drawn in Fig.4b. The diagrams of PcMm and PoMmin in Fig.5a show that a number of positive and negative dvldt CM current pulses are added for changing of PcMmand


level of redundancies (hnt(l, / 2) # 1, / 2 ) will be centered.

b) If there exist two pivot vectors




PcMmin during a fundamental period.

with odd level of redundancies, the vector nearer to the reference vector will be selected as active. This condition can be realized by comparing parameters K i and K j . For instance, two redundant states of the pivot vector selected and centered, if Ki > Kj.

ci will be

c) Active centered redundant states are determined from ZRF MP and levels of redundancies as follows:

Fig. 4: Five-level inverter: Diagrams o f zero sequence function and moduluting signal for m=O. 75 in a) medium CM PWM b} medium CM SVFWM , e) minimum CM SYP WM and d) minimum CM RPWM.

The location of active centered redundant vectors in the medium CM method are marked by small dashed circles in Fig. 1. The diagrams of zero sequence function (19) and reference modulating signal are drawn in Fig.4a.
3.3 The medium CM SYPWM The medium CM SVPWM has been introduced in many research works [1],[2]. This paper will clarify its relation to vector redundancy. This method is realized by modifying the medium CM PWM by adjusting active redundant vectors equally centered. The redundant factors nj,cent of the medium CM SVPWM can be obtained by

FigS: II-level inverter: Diagrams of zero sequence and modulating signal for m=0.75 in a) medium CM SVPWM b} minimum CM SVF WM and c) minimum CM LIP WM.


3.4 The minimum CMSVPWM This method will reduce the average CM to minimum. Two active equally-centered redundant vectors are selected according to the minimum CM function, i.e. this SVPWM zero sequence function vrOminc will be the closest to the function
(18) vro,minc =v ~ ~ . If, vro,, ~ ~ #, 0,to obtain CM closest

CM method (see Fig.6a). Therefore, the d v l d t CM current

would increase.

to zero, the redundant factors can be set directly as follows:

3.5 The minimum CM discontinuous PWM This discontinuous PWM (DPWM) can give rise to less switching losses for smaller number of switchings in a sampling period. Redundant factors of corresponding zero sequence function vro,dis can be derived as following.

- By setting vr0 = v , ~ ,into ~ ~( I, lab), the corresponding factors q j j=1,2,3 can be derived. The obtained factors qj will be used to derive redundant factors n j,djs

in DPWM.Since the factors


are integer numbers, it is

needed to use a round function to apply to 7 . If factor q j is a real number and the difference ( q j - h t ( q j ) ) is less The locations of the active redundant vectors can be derived and drawn with dashed circles in Fig.7. There are several (dashed) areas on the most outer hexagon periphery, where location of two active redundant vectors is denoted by (X), for instance (1,1,-2)/(2,2,-1) are active redundant states for two related triangles. The algorithm can be realized by (24). than 0.5, a more negative (Iower) redundant vector will be = h t ( q j ) .If the difference is greater selected and qj,dis than 0.5, a more positive (upper) redundant vector will be = I n t ( q j ) 1 . Redundant factors of selected and

DPWM can be proposed from factors q j in (16) as follows:

= Int(qj



The previous adjustment enables to obtain DPWM and CM closest to the optimal function. Another algorithm can be simply derived. First, parameters no,vrl are derived by substituting (18) into ( I 1). To obtain function vro,dir using
(13), let's define following functions as

I and
d2 0

Fig.&: Five-level inverter: Diagrams o f


P,, min in a fundamental period. From top to bottom: Medium CM SVP WM, Min CM SVPWM and min CM discontinuous PWMmethods for U) m=0.55 6) m=0.75 c)m=I.
Substituting v,,, = v , ~ from , ~ (1 8) ~ into ~ (1 1) to derive ,and setting x j K j = 0.5Kj = C , in (13), function can be also simply defined as follows:
vro,minc =

i J

(v,] - K , ) <

K 2 K


K (vrl - K , - K , ) < 2, 2 Finally, the vrOidis can be expressed as follows:

d, = {

(v,~ - K , -K,)T 1 2

f i

Olvr,IK, K, < vrlI K, + K, (25) v,,,, + n ,+ K, +c, v , ~ + ~ + K , + K , + c if , K , + K , <v,,<1.




For m=0.75, the diagrams of the function using (25) and modulating signal are drawn in FigAc. The diagrams of PcM- and pcMmin in Fig.6b show that as a result of alternating switching sequences while the reference voltage vector passes through areas, a number of positive and negative dv idt pulses will be added to the CM current. This number varies , depending on the modulation index and generally equal or higher than that of the medium

For the 5-level inverter and m=0.75,tbe zero sequence function and modulating signal are drawn in Fig.4d. Similar to minimum CM continuous PWM methods, the minimum CM DPWM obtains a smaller average CM than the medium CM method. The effect of minimum CM PWM methods will become more evident, if level of inverter is higher as shown in Fig3 for 1 I-level inverter. At high modulation index, difference between them decreases.


PCMmand PCMmin drawn in Fig.6~ dead-time effect, the minimum CM DPWM can give the smalLest number of added d v , , / dt current pulses and the show that from all CPWM methods, the minimum DPWM
The diagrams of has the least adding dv, ldt CM current. Since it has a minimum average CM, it would obtain the least low frequency CM current, too. 3.6 Optimization o f sequences of switching states From active redundant locations shown in the Fig.1 and Fig.7, it can be concluded that behaviors of the minimum and medium CM SVPWM are similar if reference vector is located in the smallest hexagon and a part of its outer area. Their difference occurs for the remaining areas. It means , for two- and three-level inverters, both methods have the same behaviors. The sequence of switching states of the medium CM SVPWM cannot be always optimized while the space voltage vector passes triangle borders. In Fig. I , the switching state at dashed circle becomes starting state of related switching sequence. For instance, if reference voltage vector is located in the area ACD, two active redundant vectors are at the location A and switching sequence starts by the state (0,-l,-l). If reference vector enters into the area CDG, where two active redundant vectors are at the location G and switching sequence starts by the state (1 ,-1,-2), it will be required two extra switchings at the beginning of the first transient sampling period. A high number o f extra switchings happens if the reference vector passes a periphery of the hexagon without locations of active redundant vectors (for instance, the section CE in Fig. I). A detail study on the medium and minimum CM SVPWM, using deduced redundant vector locations in Fig. 1 and Fig.7 has revealed numbers of extra switchings for both methods for five level inverter as shown in table 1.

smallest average CM. Moreover, the minimum CM SVPWM obtains better balancing of switching losses among switching devices than medium CM SVPWM. The medium CM SVPWM is more advantageous to the minimum CM SVPWM if adding dVcM / dt currents is considered. The carrier PWM methods with redundancy control are also convenient to apply to three phase four wire system, where zero sequence function is related to the load zero sequence voltage component . The application problems related to balancing neutral voltage in a diode clamped inverters and utilizing of phase redundancies in a cascade inverter have been investigated. hey will be introduced in further works.

E 2



Table I : Number o f extra switchingsperfundamental period .forfive level inverter Modulation ind. Min CM SVPWM Med. CM SVPWM 0-0.433 6 6 0.433-0.5 18 6 0.5-0.577 118 I30

Fig. 7: The minimum CM SVP WM: the positions o f active redunduni vectors : X for dashed areas and *for
white ureas.

[I] F.Wang, Sine-triangle versus space vector modulation for three level P W M voltage source inverters, IEEE Trans. Industry Applicutions, voE.38, pp.500-506,March/April2002 [2]McGrath, B.P.,Holmes, D.G.,Lipo, T.,Optimized space vector switching sequences for multilevel inverters, Power Electronics, lEEE Transactions o n , Votume: 18, Issue: 6,Nov. 2003 ,Pages1293- 1301 [3] P.C. Loh,Holmes, D.G., Fuhtn, K, Lipo.T.A, Tieduced common-mode
modulation strategies for c w a d e d multilevel inverters Industry Applications, E E E Transactions on, Volume: 3 9 , Issue: 5 , Sept.-Oct. 2003 [4]N.V.Nho, M.J.Youn, A General Correlation Between Space vector Modulation and Carrier based Pulse Width Modulation Using Modulating Panerns in Multilevel Inverter, was submitted to IEEE Trans. on Power Electronics for review. [5] Liu, H.L., Choi, N.S.,Cho, G.H., DSP based space vector PWM for three-level inverter with DC-link voltage balancing Industrial Electronics, Control and Instrumentation, 1991. Proceedings. IECON Pages: 197 - 203



From table 1 and diagrams of modulating waveforms for instance in Fig.4 and Fig.5, it can be seen that in comparison with medium CM SVPWM, the minimum SVPWM gives a better balancing of switching loss among switching devices for the whole modulation index range a n d , becomes perspective even if it shows a higher number of extra switchings in modulation index range of (0.5,0.577).Similar results can be derived for higher level inverter.
4. Conclusions The paper has described algorithms to generate zero sequence functions for carrier based SVPWM and DPWM methods from reference CM. The established algorithms are based on the redundancy analysis of the general zero sequence function of multilevel inverter, and able modified for any application. The zero sequence functions of SVPWM and DPWM can be described in a unified form. It has been shown that the low frequency CM can be reduced by the minimum CM PWM. Between them and neglecting the