2 ^{n}^{d} Canadian Solar Buildings Conference Calgary, June 10 – 14, 2007
DESIGN OF A 400W SINGLEPHASE BUCKBOOST INVETER FOR PV APPLICATIONS
Corresponding Author: Liuchen Chang Dept. of Elec. & Comp. Eng., University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada Phone: (506) 4473145, Fax: (506) 4533589, Email: LChang@unb.ca Coauthors: Yaosue Xue, Gene Guo Dept. of Elec. & Comp. Eng., University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada
Type of Paper: Refereed
ABSTRACT
A singlephase buckboost inverter is proposed for gridconnected photovoltaic applications. Topologically, the proposed inverter has a low component count with only three power switches, while conventional PV inveters may require five switches in twostage power conversions for the same functions. Functionally, the new inverter can adapt to a wide range of photovoltaic dc variations, lower or higher dc voltage compared to utility voltage, and in the meantime track the maximum power points of solar energy all in one single power stage. Analysis, simulation and design of such a 400W inveter are presented in this paper.
INTRODUCTION
Distributed generation (DG) systems are small modular devices close to electricity users, such as wind turbines, solar energy systems, fuel cells, micro gas turbines, and small hydro systems, as well as relevant control and energy storage systems. Such systems normally need inverters as interfaces between their ac loads and sources as shown in Figure 1, which depicts a typical renewable DG system using photovoltaic (PV) as energy source. DG inverters often experience a wide range of input voltage variations due to the fluctuations of energy sources, which impose stringent requirements for inverter topologies and controls.
Figure 1. Typical PV system configuration.
Tranditional fullbridge inverters do not have the flexibility of handling a wide range of dc input voltages. Especially when the dc voltage is lower than the ac voltage, heavy linefrequency stepup transformers are required. Although these inverters demonstrate robust performance and high reliability,
they demand higher volume, weight and cost for small PV applications. Buckboost inverters have the advantage of converting dc voltage higher or lower than the utility voltage without utilizing a line frequency tansformer. Two stage or multiple stage configurations are commonly used in buckboost inverters (Xue et al., 2004). Such inverter systems have dcdc or dcacdc converters added to obtain an elevated dc voltage ahead of inversion. A twostage buckboost inverter can achieve a relatively high power capacity; nevertheless, the additional power stage requires more power components and thus higher costs. Singlestage buckboost inverters perform voltage boosting and inverting at the same time and the instantaneous output voltage can be either higher or lower than the input voltage. Compared to twostage buckboost inverters, singlestage buckboost inverters present a compact design with a good performancecost ratio. In this paper a singlephase singlestage buckboost inverter is presented. The simple threeswitch circuit topology provides a lowcost solution with overall high efficiency for small PV applications. Operation principles, control methods and hardware design are discussed in following sections.
SYSTEM MODELING
The singlephase singlestage buckboost inverter (Chang et al., 2006) is shown in Figure 2. It is composed of three MOSFET power switches, two mutuallycoupling inductors, two power flow reverse blocking diodes, and an output LC filter.
1
Figure 2. Threeswitch buckboost inverter circuitry.
Switch Modeling The fundamental principle of the inverter is characterized by a series of recharging and discharging operations. During discharging periods, the output current is provided by the mutual inductors and the output capacitor is recharged; during recharging periods, the output is supported ad continued by the output capacitor. Table 1 lists all possible combinations of switching logics, which in turn brings out the switching
functions of
S
1
, S
u
1
)(
2 and
pwm
)
−
u
pwm
S
3 defined in Equation (1).
)
(1)
uu
1
=
sync
(
(
1
uu
u
=−
2
3
=
u
pwm
1
−
sync
where
u
pwm
⎧ 1
= ⎨
⎩
0
L
1
L
1
recharging
discharging
(
f
s
in
kHz
)
(2)
u
sync
=
⎧ 1
⎨
positive half cycle
(
f
=
60
⎩ 
0 
negtive half cycle 

Table 1 Switching logic table. 

S 
3 
S 
1 
S 
2 
Operation Modes 

0 
0 
0 
Stop 

0 
0 
1 
Discharge, () 

0 
1 
0 
Discharge, (+) 

0 
1 
1 
(not allowed) 

1 
0 
0 
Recharge, (+)() 

1 
0 
1 
(not allowed) 

1 
1 
0 
(not allowed) 

1 
1 
1 
(not allowed) 
Hz
)
(3)
2 ^{n}^{d} Canadian Solar Buildings Conference Calgary, June 10 – 14, 2007
System Dynamics
The inverter system dynamics can be described by the state space equations in (4). The state variables are chosen to be the mutuallycoupling inductor
,
and the output capacitor voltage, v . The control
currents
i L
1
,
i
L
2
, the output ac inductor current
C
i
ac
inputs of the system are defined by the PWM
and the synchronizing signal
as well as the dc voltage v _{d}_{c} and grid voltage
v _{a}_{c} as disturbance inputs. The inverter model defined in (4a) is a mixedinteger nonlinear system.
switching signal
u sync
u pwm
• 
f 
( 
) 

x 
= 
, ux 
[
where xi
=
L
1
uu =⎡ ⎣
sync
i
L
2
u
i
ac
pwm
which is defined as,
v
v
C
dc
]
T
v
ac
⎤
⎦
T
(4)
L
1
di
L
1
dt
=
uv
pwm
dc
(
1
−−
sync
u
u
pwm
)
v
C
L
2
di
L
2
dt
(
=− 1
C
dv
C =
u
dt sync
u
sync
)(
1
−
(
1
−
u
pwm
)
)
(
u
v
C
+
pwm
i
L
1
uv
pwm
)(
−−
11
u
sync
L
di ac
dt
=
vv −
C
ac
dc
−
u
pwm
)
ii −
L
2
(4a)
ac
System Control Structure The system control consists of an innerloop feedback current controller and an outer loop MPPT controller, which will be discussed later in details. Figure 3 illustrates the overall system control structure. Sinusoidal pulsewidth modulation (SPWM) technique is adopted, which achieves good output waveform for this class of inverter with predefined spectra and without subharmonics as investigated previously (Xue, 2004). Closedloop SPWM control is deployed to regulate ac output instantaneous current and to control SPWM duty cycle so that the output follows a sinusoidal reference current as
accurately and as fast as possible.
i
dc
v
dc
v
ac
i L1
i L2
Figure 3.Overall system control block diagram.
2
It was found that, for a PI controller, there exists the
tradeoff between the rise time and overshoot (Xue, 2004). Therefore, a ProportionalIntegralDerivative (PID) controller is used, as given by Equation (5), for fast response, good tracking, and insensitivity to disturbance.
()
C s
=
K
p
+
K
i
s
+
K
d
s
(5)
To
dc
gains have to adapt with the changes of the dc voltage and the ac current reference. Simulations
were performed to tune the parameters for a less than 5% total harmonic distortion (THD) of output current
operate well for the inverter with a wide range of voltage input of 55V to 300V, the PID controller
for 
various operating conditions. In practical, a look 
up 
table, as in Table 2, can be used to select the 
appropriate gain values depending on the dc voltage
and the ac current reference.
Table 2 PID gains for different operating points.
V _{d}_{c} (V) 
I _{a}_{c} (A) 
K 
p 
K 
i 
K 
d 
50V 
1A 
0.055 
4e5 
60e6 

100V 
1A 
0.013 
5e6 
10e6 

100V 
5A 
0.11 
5e6 
5e6 

150V 
1A 
0.11 
3.5e5 
5e6 

150V 
2A 
0.001 
5e6 
5e6 

150V 
5A 
0.001 
5e6 
5e6 

200V 
1A 
0.001 
4e6 
5e6 

200V 
5A 
0.001 
4e6 
5e6 

300V 
1A 
0.052 
4e5 
15e6 

300V 
5A 
0.01 
3.5e5 
15e6 
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
A maximum power point tracker is used to extract
maximum power from the PV system. From the
power outputvoltage characteristics of a PV array, at
a certain solar radiation there exists an optimal V _{d}_{c} for which the power output is maximum. The reference ac current which corresponds to the maximum power is set by the maximum power point tracker. As shown in Figure 3, the MPPT controller uses fuzzy logic technique combined with hill climbing algorithm. Hill climbing searching (HCS) method is popular for MPPT control due to its simplicity and independence of system characteristics. In order to extract
2 ^{n}^{d} Canadian Solar Buildings Conference Calgary, June 10 – 14, 2007
maximum power from the PV, the optimal dc voltage is searched in real time using HCS method. The basic principle of HCS method is as follows: if the previous increment of V _{d}_{c} reference results in an increase of P _{d}_{c} , then the search of V _{d}_{c} reference continues in the same direction, otherwise the search reverses its direction. In the controller, V _{d}_{c} and I _{d}_{c} are sampled as the power feedback input and the V _{d}_{c}
reference is found in real time using the HCS method, which represents for the system’s optimal operation point. In the inner loop a fuzzy logic controller (FLC) is designed to force real V _{d}_{c} to follow its reference by adjusting the load current demand for the inverter current controller. The FLC is highly insensitive to the system variations, including component uncertainties and disturbances, and nonlinearity. It also demonstrates fast response for the system to reach equilibrium. The FLC block diagram is shown in Figure 4.
The two inputs of FLC are dc voltage error e and its rate of change ce. The output of FLC is the incremental current demand ΔIdm. In the fuzzification process, two input variables are normalized first and triangular membership functions are used, which are shown in Figure 5 along with the membership function for the output fuzzy variable. In the fuzzy inference engine, IFTHEN rules with AND logical operator are designed for fuzzy variables process, and MINMAX method is employed for fuzzy rule implication and aggregation. Table 3 lists a total of 49 fuzzy rules for the proposed FLC. For the defuzzification, the FLC employs the center of gravity method and the result is de normalized to output the desired ΔIdm. In order to avoid the unnecessary frequent fluctuations of inverter output current, the control period of the FLC and the base value for ΔIdm denormalization are chosen in a moderate pace.
Table 3 Fuzzy logic rules.
ce\ e 
PL 
PM 
PS 
ZR 
NS 
NM 
NL 
PL 
PL 
PM 
PM 
PS 
ZR 
ZR 
NS 
PM 
PM 
PM 
PM 
ZR 
ZR 
NS 
NS 
3
PS 
PM 
PM 
PS 
ZR 
NS 
NS 
NM 
ZR 
PM 
PM 
PS 
ZR 
NS 
NM 
NM 
NS 
PM 
PS 
PS 
ZR 
NS 
NM 
NM 
NM 
PS 
PS 
ZR 
ZR 
NM 
NM 
NM 
NL 
PS 
ZR 
ZR 
NS 
NM 
NM 
NL 
Figure 5. Membership functions for fuzzy variables.
SIMULATION RESULTS
Systemlevel simulations were performed using PSIM software to verify the proposed control strategy. Figure 6 to Figure 9 show the waveforms of the output current for different V _{d}_{c} and I _{a}_{c}_{.} Figure 10 demonstrates the output current changes from 3A to 5A in response to a dc voltage change from 150V to
200V.
Figure 6. Output current waveform for V _{d}_{c} = 300V.
Figure 7. Output current waveform for V _{d}_{c} = 150V.
2 ^{n}^{d} Canadian Solar Buildings Conference Calgary, June 10 – 14, 2007
Figure 8. Output current waveform for V _{d}_{c} = 100V.
Figure 9. Output current waveform for V _{d}_{c} = 50V.
Figure 10. Output current jumps from 3A to 5A.
HARDWARE DESIGN
The singlephase buckboost inverter in this paper is targeted to utilitytied small PV applications. Table 4 lists the major targeted specifications of a 400W PV inverter. This section presents design considerations during implementation.
Table 4 Technical specifications of 400W PV inverter.
Rated Power 
400 
W 
Maximum Power 
600 
W for 1 minute 
Rated DC Voltage 
200 
V 
Input DC Voltage Range 
55 ~ 300 V 

Rated AC Output 
120V/60Hz 

Output AC Voltage and Frequency Range 
105 
~ 132 V, r.m.s, 
59.3 ~ 60.5 Hz 

Efficiency 
89% 
4
Output Total Demand Distortion 
<5.0% 
Interconnection Standard 
IEEE 1547 
Power Circuit Design Due to the nature of this inverter circuitry, power components need to be rearranged to simplify the control circuit. As shown in Figure 11 in the appendix, switch S2 is repositioned such that S2 and S3 share a common ground. As a result, S2 and S3 can use nonisolated drive circuits and one isolated MOSFET drive circuit is only needed for S1. One of major tasks is to design the flyback transformer, which is presented as follows. In the application here, the flyback transformer is actually two highlycoupled inductors with equal
inductances and turns,
A simple analytical method, based on inputoutput power balance, is used to find the mathematical controltooutput solution (Xue, 2004) and to determine the inductance value. The value of flyback inductance for discontinuouscurrent mode (DCM) operation is calculated using Equation (6).
L
1
= L
2
and N
1
= N
2
.
L
=
2
M V
s
2
4 Pf
s
(6)
where M is modulation index, V _{s} is dc voltage , P is the power input and f _{s} is switching frequency, 24kHz. Modulation index, M can be calculated from Equation (7). In this application, we need to select an appropriate inductance value to make sure the inverter normally works for the DC input voltage range from 55V to 300V and provides rated power output of at rated voltage.
M ≤
(7)
The flyback transformer design depends on which current operation mode is applied to the inverter, DCM or continuous current mode (CCM). For the same output power, DCM requires less inductance and reduces transformer size but operates with higher losses and lower efficiency due to higher peak current. The tradeoff between transformer size and power supply efficiency depends on the detail application requirements. For this application DCM was selected in order to get smaller transformer size and maximize the control capability of the inverter. Furthermore the peak shortcircuit current must be less than the maximum pulse current of the MOSFET. The final inductance values were determined to be 150μH corresponding to a peak current of 28A.
Control Circuit Design The control circuit reads the dc voltage, dc current, ac voltage, ac current, and temperature signals,
2 ^{n}^{d} Canadian Solar Buildings Conference Calgary, June 10 – 14, 2007
processes the signals, and sends to the microprocessor for control and protection purposes. The real time switch control signals are fed to power MOSFET through the drive circuit. The control circuit also provides immediate hardware protections for overcurrent, overvoltage, overtemperature faults and controller power failure. A functional block diagram of control circuit is shown in Figure 12 in the appendix. Microchip’s dsPIC33FJ64MC506 is selected to be the microcontroller of control circuit. It is a lowcost, 16bit 40MIPS processor with DSP capabilities for advanced control algorithms. It has multichannel fast ADC and PWM modules. The current control and MPPT algorithms are programmed using standard C language. Softwarebased system protections are also embedded in the control codes.
CONCLUSION
The proposed buckboost inverter offers many advantages as compared to traditional twostage buckboost inverters. Its low component count and compact design will help to reduce the size and cost of the inverter. The ability to convert wide range of input dc voltage is very important in small PV applications. Fuzzy logic based MPPT and closed loop current control offer fast and reliable performance. Simulation results show that the inverter is feasible for the specified dc voltage and power levels. A 400W PV inverter system is currently under implementation.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors would like to thank the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for its financial support to this project.
REFERENCES
Chang, L., Liu, Z., Xue, Y., and Guo, Z., “A novel buckboost inverter for photovoltaic systems,” in Proc. CSBC’06, Montreal, QC, Canada, Aug. 2024, 2006, [CDROM]. Xue, Y., Chang, L., Baekhj Kjaer, S., Bordonau, J. and Shimizu, T., “Topologies of singlephase inverters for small distributed power generators:
an overview,” IEEE Trans. Power Electronics, vol. 19, pp. 13051314, Sept. 2004. Xue, Y., Analysis, Simulation, and Test of A Novel BuckBoost Inverters, University of New Brunswick, M.Sc. Thesis, Jan. 2004.
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APPENDIX
2 ^{n}^{d} Canadian Solar Buildings Conference Calgary, June 10 – 14, 2007
Figure 11. Inverter power circuit and controller interface.
Figure 12. Controller hardware block diagram.
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