Title page for ETD etd-02022005-200417

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zhang, Bin
Author's Email Address bizhang@vt.edu
URN etd-02022005-200417
Title Development of the Advanced Emitter Turn-Off (ETO) Thyristor
Degree PhD
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Huang, Alex Q. Committee Co-Chair
Thorp, James S. Committee Co-Chair
Lai, Jason Committee Member
Liu, Yilu Committee Member
Nelson, Douglas J. Committee Member
van Wyk, Jacobus Daniel Committee Member
  • Emitter Turn-off Thyristor
  • Gate Turn-off Thyristor
  • Hard-driven GTO
  • Voltage Source Converter
Date of Defense 2005-01-21
Availability unrestricted

Advancements in the power electronics systems have been directly related to the availability of improved power semiconductor devices. The device performance greatly determines the efficiency, reliability, volume, and cost of the power electronics system. This dissertation is dedicated to develop an advanced high power semiconductor device, the emitter turn-off (ETO) thyristor, which is targeted to improve the limitations of the present high power devices.

Major improvements in electrical and mechanical designs of the ETO for high power and high frequency operation are proposed which result in improved snubberless turn-off capability, low conduction loss, and low gate drive power consumption of the new generation ETO.

A revolutionary self-power generation method of the ETO is proposed. Different from the conventional high power devices which require the external power input for their gate drivers, ETO achieves complete optically controlled turn-on and turn-off and all the internal power required is self-generated. This advancement will have a major impact to high power converter designs.

A novel integrated method to eliminate the dead-time requirement is proposed for ETO. This method not only improves the output waveform quality but also increases the reliability and reduces the cost of the high power PWM voltage source converters. With this unique function, the upper and the lower ETO’s within a converter phase leg can receive the ideal complementary (without dead-time) PWM signals and solve shoot-through problems.

Method to measure the ETO current and transfer the current information to a PWM signal is proposed. Based on the ETO’s built-in current sensor, the over-current protection function of the ETO is designed as well. The experimental results show that the built-in current sensor has a very high precision, and the over-current protection function can effectively protect the ETO during the short circuit faults.

In order to improve ETO’s turn-off capability, a comprehensive investigation of the turn-off failure mechanism of the ETO was performed. A series of simulations and experiments are carried out to study the ETO turn-off operation. The detail turn-off failure mechanisms are presented. The conditions to cause the ETO failure are addressed. The approaches to improve the ETO’s turn-off capability are discussed.

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