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A Direct Control Method for Matrix Converters

Peter Mutschler, Member IEEE, and Matthias Marcks

AbstractUntil now, direct control methods are mainly investigated and used in conjunction with voltage source converters. In
this paper, we develop a direct current control method for matrix
converters. There are two objectives for the direct current control:
the desired current has to be impressed into the load, and the current, drawn from the mains, should be in phase with the voltage
and should be (nearly) sinusoidal. This implies active damping of
the 400-Hz resonance of the line filter. The method is implemented
on a DSP and tested on a 10-kVA matrix converter.
Index TermsDirect control, matrix converter.

OR THE LAST 30 years or so, the forced commutated cycloconverter occasionally became the subject of research
activities, mostly with a high scientific quality. However, despite these efforts and in contrast to the naturally commutated
(thyristor-equipped) cycloconverter, there was no breakthrough
in practical applications for the forced commutated cycloconverter. One of the reasons may be the lack of appropriate power
semiconductors. Todays power semiconductors are optimized
to high-volume-selling voltage source inverters. With only these
devices available, the chance for a breakthrough of forced commutated cycloconverters or matrix1 converters may probably
continue to be low.
Yet some day, reverse blocking insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) or, even better, bi-directional power semiconductor
switches may become available. Under this condition, matrix
converters may become competitive, especially as the lack of
energy storing passive components supports the trend of future

Pulsewidth-Modulation (PWM)-Based Control Methods

Fig. 1 shows an ideal matrix converter with three input
and three output current sources
voltage sources
. Fig. 2(a) and (b) illustrates the generation of the
and the average input curaverage output voltages
, respectively, where the duty cycles of the nine
row). Deswitches are indicated by
velopment of suitable modulation functions
Manuscript received April 7, 2001; revised August 27, 2001. Abstract published on the Internet January 9, 2002.
P. Mutschler is with the Department of Power Electronics and Control of
Drives, Darmstadt University of Technology, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany
M. Marcks is with Continental Teves AG, 60441 Frankfurt, Germany (e-mail:
Publisher Item Identifier S 0278-0046(02)02886-1.
1Each output phase of a cycloconverter originates from a bridge-connection
whereas an output phase of a matrix converter is derived from a midpoint-connected converter circuit.

Fig. 1.

Ideal matrix converter.

with the works of Gyugyi in 1970 [1] and 1976 [2]. Many
authors extended and improved the first approaches. In
1983, Braun [3] presented a space-vector-based modulation,
which extended the utilization of the converter especially
concerning the reactive power. Venturini and Alesina presented an analytical optimization procedure in 1988 [4]
and 1989 [5], which also increased the voltage utilization
of the converter. Their approach was extended by Marcks
[6], using a numerical optimization. Fig. 3 illustrates the
generation of the output voltages using the numerically
. Sinusoidal input
optimized modulation functions
currents are synthesized simultaneously from the impressed
sinusoidal output currents.




The previously mentioned modulation methods are based

on the assumption that the inputs to the matrix converter
and the
are symmetrical, sinusoidal voltage sources
load is represented by symmetrical, sinusoidal current sources
. In reality, a filter is necessary between the
mains and the matrix converter in order to avoid overvoltages
at the inputs of the converter and to reduce the amount
of high-frequency current injected into the mains. In our
experimental setup, the resonance frequency of the filter is
near 400 Hz.
Fig. 4 shows the converter including the input filter and the
voltage and current transducers necessary for signal processing.
Switching of the converter or transients in the mains
can excite resonant oscillations of the filter. Damping of
the resonant oscillations can be done by additional lossproducing resistors in the filter or by a control method,

0278-0046/02$17.00 2002 IEEE


Fig. 2.

Generation of output voltage and input current.

Fig. 3.

Generation of output voltage.

which performs active damping. In this paper, we investigate

active damping.
Active damping of a 400-Hz oscillation calls for a high bandwidth of the related control loop. It is well known that direct
control methods, which are applied to voltage source converters,
show a high-quality dynamic performance [8], [9]. Therefore,
in this paper, a direct control method for matrix converters is
The control method has to fulfill two objectives.


1) The desired current has to be impressed into the load.2

2) The current, drawn from the mains, should be in phase
with the voltage and should be (nearly) sinusoidal. This
implies active damping of the 400-Hz filter resonance.
To develop a direct control method, first the transfer characteristic of the matrix converter from input to output voltages is
2Typically, the load may be an induction machine. In the steady state, the
impressed currents should be sinusoidal.


Fig. 4.


Analyzed system.




Fig. 5. Sector of output voltage v

voltage v .

studied. For all 27 modes (switching states) of the matrix converter, Table I lists the space vector of the output voltage

as a function of the input voltages

. The modes can be assigned to the four following groups.
have the
Group1) In modes 0, 1, and 2, output vectors
same magnitude as the input voltage vector , they rotate

as function of mode and section of input

in the same direction, and have a displacement of 0 ,

120 , and 240 , respectively.
have the same
Group2) In modes 35, output vectors
magnitude as , rotate in the opposite direction, and
have a displacement of 0 , 120 , and 240 , respectively.
Group3) In modes 623 , output vectors have a fixed angular
(no rotation), but a magnitude varying
position of
with a line-to-line voltage.
Group4) In modes 2426, a zero vector is generated, i.e., no
coupling between input and output.
First, the control of the output current vector is considered. In
, an output
order to reduce the control error
has to be applied to an inductive load, which
voltage vector
.3 The direction
has the same direction as the current error
3This is true for a purely inductive load. For an induction machine, the induced
EMF vector e has to be considered also. This is neglected for simplicity here.


of the output voltage vector

is discretized into six sectors of
120 whereas the direction of the input voltage is discretized
into 12 sections. These 12 sections form the columns and the
27 modes are the rows of the matrix in Fig. 5. The elements of
the matrix in Fig. 5 indicate the sector ( direction) of the corre. Let us assume the following
sponding output voltage vector
example. The direction of the current error may be in sector 6
330 ). Then we need an output voltage vector that is
also within sector 6. The direction of the input voltage vector
may be somewhere between 180 and 210 in our example
(shaded area in Fig. 5). Fig. 5 shows that, under this condition,
modes 1, 4, 12, 13, and 23 produce an output voltage vector with
the desired direction (i.e., sector 6). Generally, there are always
at least three modes that reduce the output current error. If the
control of the output current would be the only objective, this
could be easily satisfied every time. Actually, the input current
has to be controlled simultaneously, which implies the active damping of the input filter.
As previously discussed, the control law for output current
is quite simple: the applied output voltage vector has to have
the same direction as the vector of the output current error.
, a -controller is used
To control the line side current
to determine the sector of the desired input current vector (see
the Appendix). To complete the control of the line side current
, we study the transfer characteristic of the matrix converter
from output to input current.
For all modes, Table II lists the space vector of the input current as a function of the output current . The direction of is
is discretized
discretized into six sectors and the direction of
into 12 sections. With this discretization, Fig. 6 follows from
Table II. The elements of the matrix in Fig. 6 indicate the sector
of the input current, as a function of the output currents segment
and the mode. If, for example, the control of the line side current wishes an input current within sector 2 and the angle of the
current vector is somewhere between 120 and 150
( shaded area in Fig. 6), then modes 5, 10, 13, and 16 would
satisfy the line-side current controller. If at the same time the situation for the output current controller is as discussed for Fig. 5,
then mode 13 is the only one that satisfies both controllers simultaneously. The flowchart of the control is given in Fig. 7. If
both the line-side and the load-side control error are small, then a
group-4 mode, which produces a zero-vector, is applied. If there
is no mode satisfying both the line side as well as the load-side
controller, then the controller having the larger weighted error
is served only. Depending on the magnitude of the control error,
i.e., low, medium or large, the line-side controller selects within
group 3 a mode which produces a vector in the desired direction and a low, medium, or large amplitude, respectively. A
similar algorithm is used for the load-side controller as well.
The upper part of Fig. 8 represents the mains, line-filter, converter, and the load. In the lower part, the block diagram of the
control is shown. The reference value for the line-side current,
, is generated in the following way. The amplitude of the
measured line current is low-pass filtered to remove distortions.
A phase-locked loop (PLL), which is a filter for the phase, generates a smooth phase signal, which is combined with the am-



plitude signal by a Polar to Cartesian (P/K) transformation. The

represents smooth, sinusoidal quantities. In
reference value
the block Mode selection, the previously discussed Figs. 57
act together and select the mode, which is used by the converter.
A more detailed description of the control is given in [6].
Subsequent to intensive simulations, an experimental setup
was built. The three-phase input voltage is 400 V/50 Hz and
the rating of the matrix converter is 10 kVA. Each bi-directional
switch uses two antiparallel IGBTs (Toshiba MG50Q1BS1) and
diodes (Endrich EPUF 2301000). The design allows a maximum switching frequency of 20 kHz. The inductance and capacitance of the line filter is 4 mH and 48 F, respectively, per
phase. A detailed description of the matrix converter, especially
its commutation behavior, is given in [6]. An extension to zero
current switched matrix converters is discussed in [7].



Fig. 8. Block diagram of the control.

Fig. 6. Sector of input current i as a function of mode and segment of output

current i .
Fig. 9. Measured line- and load-side currents. Control cycle: 50
frequency: 1 Hz.

Fig. 7.

Mode selection.



As load, an induction motor at standstill is used. The control is done by a TMS320C30 signal processor with a 33-MHz
clock. In order to avoid time-consuming searches in the tables
according to Figs. 5 and 6, a lookup-table is used, which consists of all possible combinations of 12 line-side voltage sections
with 6 load-side sectors and 12 load-side current sections with
6 line-side sectors. This look-up table consists of
elements. The control routines are written in C, and the
cycle time is 50 s.
Fig. 9(b) illustrates the load-side currents at a very low fre, all three
quency of 1 Hz and an amplitude of 15 A. At
currents are zero and the current error is large, so that the control algorithm prefers the load side. Due to this, within the first
5 ms, there is a poor control of the line-side currents.
As can be seen from Fig. 9(a), the 50-Hz line-side currents are
considerably distorted also in steady state. The distortion of the
line-side currents could be reduced, if a shorter cycle time of the
controller could be realized. The average switching frequency


Fig. 10. Simulated line- and load-side currents. Control cycle: 25

frequency: 1 Hz.


s. Load

of each bi-directional switch is about 67 kHz in Fig. 9. As it

was not possible to reduce the control cycle time of 50 s with
the TMS320C30 (33 MHz) in the experimental setup, Fig. 10
shows simulation results with a control cycle time of 25 s. With
a 25- s control cycle time, the average switching frequency of
each bi-directional switch is 13.3 kHz in Fig. 10.
From the two line-side currents plotted in Fig. 10(a), it can
be clearly seen that the reduction in cycle time also reduces the
distortion in the currents considerably. To get a cycle time of
25 s or less, some control functions could be realized by an
application-specific IC (ASIC) or by a CPLD. However, at the
experimental setup, everything is realized by software in order
to get a highly flexible controller.
All measurement results in this paper are based on a 50- s
cycle time. As a blocked induction machine (standstill) is used
as load, the load-side fundamental voltage and power is rather
small in all measurements. Consequently, the fundamental
line-side currents are small too, as the line-side displacement
between fundamentals of voltage and current is about zero.
With this low fundamental line-side current, the distortion is
easily overestimated in the figures.
Fig. 11 is an example for a step-change in the amplitude of
the load-side current. The load-side frequency is 30 Hz. At
ms, the reference value for the amplitude of the load-side
currents is increased from 10 to 15 A. The load-side control
performs well.
Next, a step change in the load-side frequency is shown in
ms, the reference value of the load-side freFig. 12. At
quency is reduced from 30 to 5 Hz. Please note that the line-side
distortion could be reduced with a reduced control cycle time.
In the previous figures, the output frequency was lower than
the line-side frequency (50 Hz). Of course, it is no problem to
produce an output frequency higher than the input frequency
with the proposed control method. Fig. 13 shows a simulated
example with an output frequency of 130 Hz. The control cycle
is 25 s in Fig. 13, which gives smooth input currents (just like
in Fig. 10.)
The lower part of Fig. 14 shows the voltage between both neutral points of the load and the filter capacitors. It can be seen that

Fig. 11.

Step change of load current. Load frequency: 30 Hz.

Fig. 12.

Step change in load-side frequency.

Fig. 13. Output frequency of 130 Hz.

there is a significant voltage at the loads neutral point. Neveris zero

theless, the sum of the three voltages
as long as the load itself has identical impedances in all three
phases. This has been proved by simulation alsoo. As long as the
loads neutral point is isolated, the sum of the current in the load



Fig. 15.

Fig. 14.

Trajectory of line-side current i

Voltages between neutral points of load and filter caps.

is zero and the sum of the line currents is zero as well. The fundamentals of the line and the load currents form a symmetrical
three-phase system, if the line voltage and the load impedance
are symmetrical.
The new direct control method for matrix converters was
implemented on a TMS320C30 DSP and was successfully
tested with a 10-kVA matrix converter. The load-side current
control performs rather well; the distortion of the line-side
currents could be considerably reduced if a shorter cycle time
of the control algorithm could be achieved. To reduce the
control cycle time, some of the control functions should be
transferred to hardware, like a CPLD or an ASIC.
In this Appendix, the control of the line-side current
is imdiscussed. Due to the inductive load, the load current
pressed. For a certain , Table II lists the input current for
each mode. The job of the line-side current controller is to select
the input current in such a way that the line-side current
, there is the oscilclose to its reference value. Between and
lating transfer characteristic of the line-side filter. To get a first
idea of the oscillations, we carry out an experiment in our mind
according to Fig. 15. At the beginning, an input vector

Fig. 16. Single-phase representation.

applied and the line current

oscillates along the axis, but
this oscillation cannot be seen in Fig. 15. Some time later, the
. Due to this excitation,
moves along
input changes to
an elliptical trajectory. The center of the ellipse is the tip of
and its long axis is determined by the derivative
at the
were to be applied for a sufficiently
instant of switching. If
would come close to the tip of
long time, the trajectory of
by natural damping. However, long before the oscillation
and the trahas died away in Fig. 15, the input changes to
changes to an ellipse around the tip of
. Fig. 15
jectory of
only should show that the short time behavior of the current
does not follow the applied current
but it follows any direcat the
tion depending on the actual speed and location of
switching instance. This needs a special controller, described in
the following.
The state variables describing the line filter are the inductor
and the capacitor voltages . In Fig. 15, only the
are displayed. We have no method to display all
state variables simultaneously. Therefore, we introduce a simplification and use a single-phase representation of the line filter
as shown in Fig. 16(a). If the voltages are normalized by


Fig. 17. Intersection of state trajectory and switching line. (a) Unstable.
(b) Stable.

the trajectory in the (

state plane is a counterclockat (
, as shown in
wise circle with the midpoint
Fig. 16(b). The single-phase representation of the control loop
is given in Fig. 16(c). At first, the
for the line-side current
linear controller (dashed line) is assumed to be a unity gain
block. There is some delay (e.g., control cycle time) between
and the real change of the mode in
the zero crossing of
, the transfer
the matrix converter. For high frequencies
. For this
function of the line filter is approximately
situation, Fig. 17 shows the trajectories in the state plane of a
is used for the voltages to
single-phase filter. An offset of
axis. If the refershift the midpoints of the circles to the
is not zero, then the whole figure has to be
ence value for
axis. Fig. 17(a) illustrates that the system is
shifted along the
destabilized by the delay. To stabilize the system, the switching
line must be rotated clockwise around the origin, as shown in
Fig. 17(b). In Fig. 17(b), the crossing between the state trajectory and the switching line depends not only on the inductor
[as in Fig. 17(a)] but also on the capacitor voltage .

the voltages at the vertical axes of Fig. 17 are replaced by the

derivative of the current. Then the crossing between the state
trajectory and the switching line depends on the inductor current
and its derivative. This is realized by a linear PD-controller
in Fig. 8.
[1] L. Gyugyi, Generalized theory of static power frequency changers,
Ph.D. dissertation, Salford Univ., Manchester, U.K., 1970.
[2] L. Gyugyi and B. R. Pelly, Static Power Frequency Changers. New
York: Wiley, 1976.
[3] M. Braun, Ein dreiphasiger Direktumrichter mit Pulsbreitenmodulation zur getrennten Steuerung der Ausgangsspannung und der
Eingangsblindleistung, Ph.D. dissertation, Darmstadt Univ. Technol.,
Darmstadt, Germany, 1983.


[4] A. Alesina and M. Venturini, Intrinsic amplitude limits and optimum

design of 9-switches direct PWM ACAC converters, in Proc. IEEE
PESC88, 1988, pp. 12841291.
, Analysis and design of optimum amplitude nine-switch direct
PWM ACAC converters, IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 4, pp.
101112, Jan. 1989.
[6] M. Marcks, Direkte Regelung eines Matrixumrichters sowie die
Mglichkeit zum stromlosen Schalten, Ph.D. dissertation, Darmstadt
Univ. Technol., Darmstadt, Germany, 1998.
, A new double resonant zero current switching matrix converter,
in Proc. 6th Eur. Conf. Power Electronics and Applications (EPE95),
vol. 2, Seville, Spain, 1995, pp. 2.1002.105.
[8] P. Mutschler and E. Flach, Digital implementation of predictive direct
control algorithms for induction motors, in Conf. Rec. IEEE-IAS Annu.
Meeting, vol. 1, St. Louis, MO, 1998, pp. 444451.
[9] E. Flach, Direkte Regelung des Drehmomentmittelwertes einer Induktionsmaschine, Ph.D. dissertation, Darmstadt Univ. Technol., Darmstadt, Germany, 1999.

Peter Mutschler (M88) was born in Gundelsheim,

Germany, in 1944. He received the Dipl.-Ing. (M.S.)
and Dr.-Ing. (Ph.D.) degrees in electrical engineering
from Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany, in 1969 and 1975, respectively. He
conducted his Ph.D. research in the Laboratory of
Power Electronics and Control of Drives, Darmstadt
University of Technology, and the Collaborative
Research Centre High Voltage Direct Current
Transmission (HVDC). on HVDC subjects.
In 1975, he joined Brown Boveri Company (later
Asea Brown Boveri ABB), Mannheim, Germany, where he worked in the R&D
Department. First, he developed control and protection systems for HVDC
plants. Since 1977, he has mainly developed microprocessor-based control
and protection equipment for a variety of applications, including converter-fed
drives for railways and trams, motor control and battery management for electric cars, and OEM converters for general industrial applications. The first fully
microprocessor-controlled in series produced converter at the German market
was developed by his group. In 1988, he became a full Professor at Darmstadt
University of Technology and took over the chair of Power Electronics and
Control of Drives. His research activities include ac drives, especially servo
drives and linear drives, soft-switching and high-frequency converters, as well
as converters and control for renewable energy (photovoltaic, wind turbines).
Dr. Mutschler is member of VDE, ETG, and the IEEE Power Electronics,
IEEE Industry Applications, and IEEE Industrial Electronic Societies.

Matthias Marcks was born in Gttingen, Germany,

in 1966. He received the Dipl.-Ing. (M.S.) and
Dr.-Ing. (Ph.D.) degrees in electrical engineering
from Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany, in 1992 and 1998, respectively. He
carried out his Ph.D. dissertation in the Laboratory of
Power Electronics and Control of Drives, Darmstadt
University of Technology, on A direct control
method for self commutated matrix converters and
resonant switching (ZCS) of matrix converters.
From 1997 until 2001, he was with the R&D department of a company producing industrial automation machines. In 2001, he
joined Continental Teves AG, Frankfurt, Germany, where he is presently developing basic electronics for automotive safety systems.