Mctaization
v
layer. The cathode foil, the electrolyte and the oxide layer
construct a capacitor. The surface of the electrodes is etched
to widen the effective surface area and the electrolyte helps it
make good contact between electrodes. The total capacitance
of the electrolytic capacitor is the series capacitance of these
two capacitors. The equivalent series resistance (ESR) is sum
of the resistance of electrolyte, electrodes, oxide layers, leads,
and connections.
Degradation of the electrolyte capacitor is mainly caused
by the evaporation of the electrolyte due to an increased
ambient temperature or temperature rise caused by ripple
currents. As the electrolyte evaporates, the effective surface
area of the capacitor decreases, which results in decrease of
the capacitance and increase of the ESR.
D. Mll 1 (a0a./o
MPPF capacitors have received attention as an alterative
to electrolytic capacitors because of their advantages such as
long lifetime, high withstanding rootmeansquare (RMS)
current and surge voltage.
Fig. 2 shows the structure of a MPPF capacitor. The MPPF
capacitor is made of two polypropylene flms coated with thin
metallic layers. The metallized flms are overlapped and
rolled in a cylinder. The metallic layers and the
polypropylene flms do roles as the electrodes and the
dielectric membrane of the capacitor, respectively. The
metallic layers are connected to the outside connecting lead
by sprayedends.
Common degradation mechanism of the MPPF capacitor is
socalled selfhealing. If there is any defect in the capacitor
while the voltage is applied, that part of the electrode will be
blown away like a microfuse. Afer that, the capacitor
operates as a normal one with only small loss of the
capacitance and small increase of the ESR. The selfhealing is
occurred sporadically inside the MPPF capacitor as the
workinghour goes by and the accumulation of this slight
degradation may lead to catastrophic failure of the capacitor
[4] .
L (oad//oaMoa/o/aoc(a0a./o
Previous online capacitor diagnostic strategies have mainly
dealt with the electrolytic capacitors and focused on DCDC
converters [5] [6]. They employed voltage and/or current
UFROO 80QU0HC0 1UFR S0QU0HC0
Initial condition: O), O, Oopen
3eq. 1. S, on(Ground connection)
Initial condition: O; Oclosed, S3 open
5ec. 1. S2 of(Main switc of)
3eq.Z. S3 on(lnrush curnnt suppression)
3eq. O. S2on(Afer Vi is catged)
3eq.. S3 of(Main switch operation)
5ec. . S, of(Ground detachment)
Fig. 3. Electrical confguration and operation sequence of the electric vehicle.
information to estimate the ESR or the capacitance of the
capacitor to monitor the state of the capacitor. However,
those methods cannot be used in the drive system since they
exploited specifc circuit confgurations and operation modes
in the monitoring process. In addition, evaluation of the ESR
cannot be used for the case of the MPPF capacitor since its
ESR is very small, and therefore it is too diffcult to estimate
the ESR accurately.
Some researches have concered the drive system and used
the capacitance as a diagnosis index [7][9] . However, the
method in [7] is only oriented to the ACDCAC PWM
converter and the estimation of the capacitance in [8] is done
during a particular operating mode, which may not be
possible in the general case. A condition monitoring method
proposed in [9] estimates the ESR and the capacitance of the
DClink capacitor of the general drive system by applying
short voltage pulses into a motor when the motor is stopped.
The proposed condition monitoring scheme in this paper is
developed considering the system structure of electric
vehicles. It estimates the capacitance of the DClink capacitor
accurately in reasonably short time by discharging the
capacitor through the motor. The proposed method does not
generate any tractive force during the discharging process,
and proposes an appropriate capacitor current controller to
limit the current fowing to the capacitor. In addition, it does
not require any additional hardware or particular changes in
the conventional inverter control structure.
III. PROPOSED CONDITION MONITORING SCHEME
L/vcStcm oLc./. lc/.c
The typical electrical confguration of the drive system for
Electric Vehicles is shown in Fig. 3, A traction motor is
operated with a threephase inverter and the main battery is
directly connected to the DClink of the inverter through
circuit breakers for safety. The motor phase currents and the
DClink voltage are measured for the motor control but the
curent fowing into the capacitor is not measured,
When the system is starts up, ground switch S,) is closed
and initial charging switch S,) is closed to avoid high surge
current. Afer the DClink capacitor is charged above certain
634
U
Fig. 4. The DClink voltage ad the capacitor current pattern during the
discharge
level, main switch )S_) is closed and S_ is opened. When the
system is shut down, all the circuit breakers are opened.
Every time the system is ted on and off, the DClink of the
inverter can be isolated fom the battery by opening the
circuit breakers. For the turon sequence, the DClink can be
detached by opening S_before Seq. 3 of ton sequences in
Fig.3. For the tuoff sequence, the DClink is isolated afer
Seq. 2. The proposed condition monitoring scheme estimates
the capacitance at those sequences.
D. (oad//oaMoa/o/ao/m
The proposed algorithm estimates the capacitance by
discharging the DClink capacitor for a certain period. The
capacitance is estimated using the relationship between DC
link voltage variation and the discharging current as shown in
Fig. 4 and (1).
. I/
d
(
.
(1)
Where / D and V are estimated capacitance,
, ,
capacitor curent fowing into the DClink capacitor, the
estimation period, and the capacitor voltage variation during
the estimation period, respectively
Since the inverter is disconnected fom the battery during
the estimation process, the discharging current should be
fowed through the motor stator windings. A current
controller of the inverter, already existed for the current
control of the traction motor, is used to apply the current to
the stator winding of the motor. In order not to generate
torque, only the daxis current is applied and the qaxis
current is set as null.
In order to estimate the capacitance, the capacitor current
and voltage are required and they can be acquired with the
existed measured values, namely, the DClink voltage and the
stator currents. For an example, typical space vector PWM
(SVPWM) switching patters, a form of the DClink and the
motor phase current are shown in Fig. 5. The DClink current
)_ in Fig. 3) can be reconstructed fom the motor phase
currents and the PWM switching functions so that the
capacitor current can be presented as shown in (2).
' '
_
(2)
where the switching functions )S, S,, S_) stand for a, b, c
phase PWM gating signals of the inverter. Each switching
_. l
c
_ ":c
Z
'cs I:
aln
lnSIanI
Fig. 5. The DClink and motor phase current with the PWM patterns
fnction is '1' when the upper switch is on and '0' when the
lower switch is on. In the practical implementation, the
average DClink curent over switching period is calculated
as shown in (3).
.
)I / I / I / )
'._uv
I
u u: c h: c c:
S\
(3)
where I,, is the switching period and I, I,
I_ are the
gating periods when the upper switches are tued on for each
leg of the inverter. In the SVPWM scheme, the stator curents
and the DClink voltage are sampled at the peak and/or valley
of the PWM carrier. Therefore, the average stator current can
be measured, hence the accurate capacitor current can be
acquired. Furthermore, at the sampling instants, the capacitor
current does not fow to the inverter nor to battery since the
output of the inverter at the sapling instants is always the zero
vector, and the battery is isolated fom the inverter. Therefore,
the measured DClink voltage is identical to the capacitor
voltage. It means that the capacitor voltage can be measured
accurately with the existing DClink voltage sensor excluding
the voltage drop on the ESR )v_v_).
Above estimation process explains how to estimate the
capacitance with the information of capacitor voltage and
curent. Then it is required to determine the extent of
capacitor current and estimation period. These values affect
the extent of voltage variation during the discharging, which
may have certain limitation in a given system. In addition, the
magnitude of the capacitor current may have to be lower than
635
CapactorCurrent Controer
LCICllc
r
! (s) i
1: ['2(
)

ds
:
L :
(R L J
Z Z
d
(
) Vqs
R
,lqs +
L
q
d
Iqs +
+
L
dlds ,
(4)
where v ,v ,/ ,/ , Ld, Lq, R." , are the d and q axis
voltage, curent and inductance, stator resistance and fux
linkage by the permanent magnet of the motor, and the
rotational speed in electrical angle respectively. When the
DClink capacitor is discharged, the motor is at standstill and
only the daxis curent is applied. Then d axis voltage
equation in (4) can be simplifed as (5) and the instantaneous
power balance between the motor stator and the DClink
capacitor holds as (6).
(5)
(6)
By substituting (5) into (6), relationship between the daxis
current of the stator winding and the capacitor current can be
derived as the following,
.
3 1
R
L
d/
'. '
,.d,
+
2
.
d
___ Rf
2
+
L
d
(
2
d
.
(7)
Assuming the sign of the daxis current is not changed
during this estimation process, the relationship between the
square of daxis current and the capacitor current can be
regarded as a simple linear fnction. Considering this
relationship as a plant, a capacitor curent controller can be
devised as shown in Fig. 6. Under the condition that the
dynamics of the stator current controller is much faster than
that of the capacitor current controller, the stator curent
controller can be regarded as unity gain and the capacitor
current controller forms an outer loop of the stator current
controller. The capacitor current controller consists of an
TABLE I
SYSTEM PARAMETERS
Quantity
DC link voltage (Vdc)
Stator phase resistance (R,)
daxis inductace (Ld)
Switching period (T)
Rated stator current
Value [Unit]
300 [V]
0.265 [Q]
3.66 [mH]
100 [/sI
16 [Ans]
integrator and a pole as shown in Fig. 6. The location of the
pole, ], is detennined to cancel the zero in the plant, and the
integrator gain is set according to the closed loop bandwidth
of the capacitor current controller as shown in (8).
2
)
. 1
"
L
d
R
p=2f
,
(8)
where ), ,
. 1
, and ] denote the integrator gain, the
bandwidth of the capacitor current controller, the pole of the
capacitor current controller, respectively. The bandwidth of
the capacitor current controller should be as small enough
compared to that of the stator curent controller. Then the
closed loop transfer fnction between reference and the actual
value of the capacitor current can be presented as simple a
low pass flter, as shown in (9).
TV. EXPERIMENTAL RSULTS
(9)
The proposed scheme was validated through experiments
with a motor drive system. The drive system consisted of a
penn anent magnet synchronous motor and a threephase
inverter using TGBTs. All the motor control and the
estimation of the capacitance were achieved with a
commercial DSP controller (TMS320F28335 of TJ
).
Parameters for the experimental system are shown in Table I.
The DC input of the inverter was supplied by rectifed three
phase utility, emulating battery of the electric vehicle, but the
input utility was disconnected during the capacitance
estimation process as mentioned before.
To verit the performance of the proposed method, both
electrolytic capacitor and MPPF capacitor were tested. Each
capacitor was installed at the DClink of the inverter, one at a
time, and their capacitance values were estimated. The
bandwidth of the stator and the capacitor current controller
was set to 500 Hz and 50 Hz, respectively.
Fig. 7 shows the experimental waveforms during the
capacitance estimation of the MPPF capacitor. The DClink
of the inverter was isolated fom the input utility and
capacitor current reference set to 0.16 [A] was applied for
80ms through the capacitor current controller. Fig 7 (a) shows
the stator and the capacitor current waveforms at the steady
636
0
0
0
0
.e,zc,s/a..,
(a)
!
..
:/a..
; .
:c ,/a..
.e .ia..,
(b)
Fig. 7. The DClink ad motor phase current with the PWM patterns
(a) The motor phase current and the capacitor current in steady state
(b) Transient response of the capacitace estimation
state in the several switching periods. The capacitor current
was measured only for the monitoring purpose and was not
used for the estimation itself It can be seen that the capacitor
current varies as a staircase and the magnitude and the
duration of each step is determined by the stator current and
the PWM switching states as shown in Fig. 5.
Fig 7 (b) shows the transient response during the estimation
process. The capacitor curent reference was applied at 60ms
in a step manner. The capacitor curent followed the reference
well. Transient oscillation around 60 ms seemed to be caused
by imperfect polezero cancelation of the capacitor curent
controller due to inaccurate motor parameters. Since the
capacitor current was almost constant, the DClink voltage
was decreased with a constant slope. The daxis current was
controlled to make the capacitor curent follow the reference.
The estimated capacitance settled in reasonably short time,
namely, less than 10ms.
TABLE II
MEASURED AND ESTIMATED CAPACIT ANCE VALUE
Capacitor
Measured
Estimated
Electrolytic
567 [IlF]
556 [IlF]
MPPF
410 []
404 [IlF]
The estimation for the electrolytic capacitor was achieved
in same condition as the case of the MPPF capacitor and the
estimated and measured values for two capacitors were
shown in Table IT. Difference between the measured and
estimated ones seemed to come fom measurement error of
the DClink voltage and/or stator curent sensors. Regardless
of errors, the accuracy of the estimation is suffciently high
enough for the condition monitoring of the capacitor.
N. CONCLUSION
This paper proposes a condition monitoring scheme of DC
link capacitor in a drive system for electric vehicles. The
proposed method takes the capacitance as an indicator of
degradation, which is suitable for both electrolytic and MPPF
capacitors. The degradation of the capacitor is decided by the
estimated capacitance value. For the capacitance estimation,
DClink capacitor is discharged through the traction motor for
a short period. The proposed method does not require any
additional hardware or any circuit modifcation of the drive
system for the monitoring. Instead, it utilizes the existing
sensors and the control structure to control the capacitor
discharging current. Experimental results show better than 2%
accuracy of the estimation performance with the proposed
method.
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