Title page for ETD etd-01172010-160526

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lugo Nez, David Rush
Author's Email Address dlugo@vt.edu
URN etd-01172010-160526
Title High Power Density and Overcurrent Protection Challenges in the Design of a Three-Phase Voltage Source Inverter for Motor Drive Applications
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Boroyevich, Dushan Committee Co-Chair
Wang, Fei Fred Committee Co-Chair
De La Ree Lopez, Jaime Committee Member
  • high switching frequency
  • high power density
  • voltage source inverter
  • VSI
  • overcurrent protection
Date of Defense 2007-09-28
Availability unrestricted
The voltage source inverter (VSI) is certainly the most popular topology used in dc

to ac power conversion. Virtually every commercial electric motor is driven by a VSI.

There is a need for smaller and more efficient drives in high performance applications

that is dictating unprecedented power density requirements on airborne motor drive

systems. In reply to this need, higher switching frequencies are being sought and new

switching devices like Silicon Carbide (SiC) JFETs have emerged. Although faster

switching rates favor a reduction in the size of passive components and alleviate the

current ripple in the inverter, a penalty is paid on switching losses. Owing to their low

switching energy profile, SiC JFETs stand as promising candidates in high switching

frequency environments. Their normally-on nature, however, raises a level of discomfort

among designers due to the added complexities in the gate drive circuitry and the

increased risk of dc bus shoot-through faults in voltage source inverters. Despite of these

challenges the use of SiC JFETs continues proliferating in high power density

applications. In an effort to study the new challenges introduced by this trend a 2 kW

IGBT-based three-phase voltage source inverter operating at 65 kHz was designed, built,

and tested. In addition a novel overcurrent protection residing in the inverter dc link is

proposed in response to the concern of using normally-on devices in voltage source

inverters. Successful hardware validation of both the VSI and the overcurrent protection

circuit is supported with experimental results.

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