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2, JUNE 2000 197

A Multiple Reference Frame Synchronous

Patrick L. Chapman, Member, IEEE, and Scott D. Sudhoff, Member, IEEE

Abstract—A synchronous regulator that accurately tracks

three-phase commands with arbitrary balanced harmonic content
is set forth. The regulator utilizes multiple reference frames to
realize both a novel harmonic estimator and an integral feedback
controller. The regulator is analyzed and demonstrated in the
context of a permanent-magnet synchronous machine drive. The
drive utilizes an optimized nonsinusoidal current command to
achieve superior efficiency and torque ripple performance but
which is dependent upon the commanded waveforms being pre- Fig. 1. System diagram.
cisely realized. The multiple reference frame synchronous current
regulator proposed herein readily achieves this requirement. A torque ripple is appropriate in battle situations where torsional
computer simulation and a hardware prototype demonstrate
validity of the regulator.
vibrations due to torque harmonics increase detectability. In
that case, it is particularly important to guarantee that the
commanded currents reach their commanded values exactly.
Industrial applications such as robotic positioning systems and

I N MOTOR drive and power electronic applications, it is fre-

quently of interest to control voltage and current harmonics
precisely. This is done either to eliminate harmonics, such as
numerically controlled machines are two more examples where
it is desirable to mitigate torsional harmonics.
In a conventional current source based drive with a sinusoidal
in unity-power-factor dc supplies, or to intentionally inject current command, a synchronous current regulator is often used
harmonics in certain specialty applications. Many varieties of [7] to achieve the commanded current. This control has many
power converter modulation allow the designer to modify the forms but the common feature is integral feedback in a syn-
control signal so that the appropriate harmonics are injected. chronous reference frame. This ensures the fundamental com-
However, this is normally an open loop procedure that does not ponent of the current is precisely achieved. Unfortunately, this
ensure that the exact desired operating point is achieved. control cannot be used to exactly obtain current commands that
One interesting application of harmonic injection concerns are nonsinusoidal since it does not operate on the individual
surface-mounted permanent-magnet synchronous machine harmonics.
(SMPMSM) drives with nonsinusoidal back emf’s. Several In this paper, multiple reference frame theory is used to for-
authors [1]–[6] have shown that injection of the appropriate mulate a synchronous estimator/regulator that ensures that com-
current harmonics yields superior performance in terms of manded current consisting of a fundamental component as well
efficiency and torque ripple. However, the control schemes in as arbitrary harmonic content is exactly tracked. While the reg-
all of these papers require that the current harmonics injected ulator is presented in the context of a current regulator herein, it
be exactly achieved. For example, if it is desired to minimize may also be applied to voltage regulation by utilizing the same
loss subject to achieving constant torque, it is possible to architecture. It is interesting to note that although multiple refer-
calculate a set of corresponding Fourier series coefficients for ence frame (MRF) theory has often been used as a basis for anal-
the stator currents that would result in the desired performance. ysis [8]–[13], it has not been widely used as a basis for control.
However, if the machine current does not precisely possess The proposed control has two parts, a multiple reference
these coefficients, then neither constant torque nor minimum frame based estimator, which decomposes the measured current
loss results. In fact, since the small high-order currents multiply to appropriate frames of reference, and a multiple reference
with the large fundamental back emf in the torque equation frame integral feedback controller which forces the actual
[1]–[6], considerable ripple can result if the current harmonics components to match their commands. The proposed scheme is
are in error. demonstrated using both computer simulation and a hardware
These optimal control schemes are particularly relevant prototype.
to high-power Naval propulsion drive systems. For example,
maximum efficiency operation would be appropriate for normal II. EXAMPLE SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
operation. Operating with maximum efficiency subject to no
Fig. 1 shows a block diagram of an example system in which
the multiple reference frame synchronous estimator/regulator
Manuscript received December 10, 1998; revised April 27, 1999. This work (MRFSER) is applied to a surface-mounted permanent-magnet
was supported by the Office of Naval Research.
The authors are with the Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1285. synchronous machine drive. In this particular application, the
Publisher Item Identifier S 0885-8969(00)04523-X. input to the drive system is the commanded torque, , which
0885–8969/00$10.00 © 2000 IEEE

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is converted to an optimal current command vector, . The If the position of the synchronous reference frame is set equal
conversion from a command torque to may be accomplished to rotor position, i.e. , then this transformation is sim-
by any of the methods in [1]–[6], but the exact methodology is ilar to the generalized Park’s transformation set forth in [15]
not relevant to the work set forth herein. Instead, the objective with the following exceptions. First, only reference frames that
of the paper is to set forth a means of exactly achieving the cur- are located at multiples of the electrical angle are considered
rent command. Formal definition and notational convention for since these are the harmonics generally of interest. The second
and other vectors is set forth in the following section. Given difference is that the multiple of the electrical angle, ‘ ’, multi-
the reference current vector, , the vector of measured ma- plies the quantities in the cosines and sines, , rather
chine currents, , and the rotor position, , the multiple ref- than just the electrical angle, . The harmonics of in-
erence frame synchronous estimator/regulator proposed in this terest in a balanced, symmetrical, power system are in the series
paper synthesizes a machine variable inverter command vector, and since a wye-connected system is
, which is used as the current command to either a delta not assumed, the triplen (zero sequence) harmonics
or hysteresis current regulator [14]. Although these modulation are also of interest. Notice that, for example, ‘ ’ is considered
strategies produce currents that are nearly equal to the com- and ‘5’ is not since the 5 harmonic in a balanced, symmetrical
manded current, tracking errors do exist. These tracking errors system exhibits a negative phase sequence. Defining (4) in this
do not scale with each harmonic proportionally, so a different manner has the advantage that if is a triplen harmonic, then it
error is encountered for each harmonic. It is the function of is automatically incorporated into the same transformation as is
the MRFSER to ensure that the resultant machine current, , used for the nontriplen harmonics. In [13], the triplen harmonics
corresponds precisely to the reference, , in the steady state. were considered under a different transformation that only ap-
Therefore, will not be equal to the inverter command vector, plied to zero sequence variables.
. It is important to observe that although the MRFSER is A vector of the form is defined as the union of individual
shown in the context of a SMPMSM drive herein, it is readily vectors from each reference frame, , ,..., , such that
applied to any situation in which harmonic injection for voltage
or current is appropriate. (7)

III. NOMENCLATURE In (7) and throughout the work, is the first reference frame
considered and is the last frame considered. Herein, phys-
This section sets forth the notation and transformations that
ical variables shall be depicted without a modifier as in (1-7).
are necessary for implementation of the synchronous regulator.
In contrast, estimated values will be distinguished with a cir-
Phase variables, , , and , are written in vector form as
cumflex ( ), reference commands with an asterisk ( ), and in-
(1) verter commands with a tilde ( ), but otherwise have the same
where may represent a voltage or current. The component of structure as (1-7). The two types of commands (reference and
these variables which is constant in a reference frame that rotates inverter) differ in that reference commands are physically de-
at ’ ’ times the fundamental frequency is defined as sired values. Inverter commands reflect commands to the spe-
cific inverter modulation strategy. Since the inverter gives rise to
(2) tracking error, the MRFSER synthesizes the inverter commands
The phase variable vector (1) may be approximately expressed that result in machine currents that will exactly correspond to the
in terms of the - and -axis variables as reference commands.

where a rotational transformation, , is given by The regulator portion of the MRFSER is shown in Fig. 2 in
the context of a current-controlled SMPMSM drive. In this case,
is replaced with and the synchronous reference frame of in-
(4) terest is the rotor reference frame so that . In Fig. 2, the
vectors , ,..., represent the reference axis current
and where the pseudo-inverse is defined as components in reference frames ,..., , respectively. Like-
wise, , ,..., represent the estimated axis current com-
ponents in reference frames ,..., . Details of how the esti-
In (3), is the set of all reference frames considered, where mated currents are obtained are in the next section. The operator
each reference frame corresponds to exactly one harmonic 1/s denotes time integration and is the associated controller
present in variables of (1). The set is formally defined as loop gain. The integrated error of each reference frame compo-
nent is then transformed into a component of the inverter com-
(6) mand, , ,..., , in each controller block. The vectors
where is the set of integers, is the set of natural numbers, , ,..., , from each block are summed in accordance
and only nonzero harmonics are considered as shown by the with (6) to give an aggregate inverter command, , which is
set on the right-hand side of the intersection. In (4), , is the utilized by the inverter as the hysteresis or delta modulator con-
electrical angle of a synchronous reference frame. trol signal.

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Fig. 2. MRFSER regulator applied to current-controlled PMSM drive.

The action of the MRFSER is similar to a synchronous cur-

rent regulator [7] that separately operates on each harmonic
component. The Rowan and Kerkman regulator [7] could be
used to ensure convergence of the fundamental in the presence
of current harmonics, but would not ensure convergence of the
harmonics themselves. In essence, the integral feedback of the
Fig. 3. MRFSER estimator applied to current-controlled PMSM drive.
MRFSER in each reference frame ensures that , in the
steady state. However, there is an important difference in that
the multiple reference frame current vectors , ,..., , do is isolated however, utilizing the transformation (4) becomes ef-
not physically exist nor are readily computed by a straightfor- fective since it extracts only and there are no sinusoidally
ward mathematical transformation. A means of estimating these varying components. Each branch then has an integral feedback
components is set forth in the next section. loop that drives the estimated current exactly to the actual cur-
rent in the steady state.
V. MULTIPLE REFERENCE FRAME SYNCHRONOUS ESTIMATOR To demonstrate the intuitive explanation of the estimator,
formal mathematical justification is necessary. Beginning from
There have been several papers that discuss dynamic har- analysis of the block diagram in Fig. 3,
monic estimation for power system applications [16]–[20].
These are typically designed for use with large-scale power (8)
systems and are not optimized for use in single converter
systems. Unlike [16]–[20], the estimator presented herein is
may be written for any given . Substituting (6) and sim-
specifically designed for simultaneous three-phase measure-
plifying yields
ment for a single converter and furthermore, it is presented
in a context that makes it suitable for use with the MRFSER
presented herein.
The block diagram for the estimation system is depicted in
Fig. 3. Therein, it may be observed that the estimator consists from which it will be shown that for all . First
of branches, each of which estimates the current vector associ- let us assume that each is a constant, since the objective here
ated with one reference frame. The branches are interconnected is to prove stability and convergence of the isolated estimator.
in such a way that for any branch the estimated harmonics of As will be discussed later, this assumption does not restrict the
all the other branches are subtracted from the measured current, use of the regulator to conditions in which each is constant
. In this way, the harmonic of interest to that branch becomes – in practice it simply means the estimator should be faster than
isolated in the steady state as the estimated currents from the the control. Therefore, may be subtracted from the
other branches converge to the correct values. This is necessary left side of (9)
since applying (4) directly to be produces the vector
only as an average value. Vectors from reference frames other (10)
than ’ ’ contribute sinusoidally varying components to the av-
erage value and have amplitudes proportional to the magnitudes It is convenient to define error vectors associated with each ref-
of the other harmonics. These sinusoidally varying components erence frame as
are difficult to filter since their amplitudes may be high com-
pared with the average value of the signal. When the harmonic (11)

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Substitution of (11) into (10) and pre-multiplying by the



Since this equation was written for arbitrary ‘ ’, it may be

written for each member of the set . If this is done, and all of
the equations are added, then


Note that each is a sinusoidal function of . By con-

sidering multiple values of it can be seen that a solution of
(13) must satisfy

The solution to this differential equation is a decaying expo-
nential since , is negative. Therefore, the error vectors,
, approach zero exponentially as time increases which im-
Fig. 4. Simulated estimated q -axis currents on start-up (dashed lines depict
(15) the commanded values).

as desired. The conclusion is that with a constant input, the esti- verter, such as delta-modulated, is appropriate for this compar-
mator output will converge to the correct value. Although con- ison since [1]–[5] suggest that it is sufficient to achieve op-
stant current was assumed in this derivation, the estimator does timal control. Since this application requires triplen harmonic
not require that the physical variable be constant in order to con- currents, it is necessary to use an inverter topology that allows
verge, it merely requires that signal change slowly with respect zero sequence current (such as H-bridges); otherwise, the in-
to the speed of the estimator. Such behavior is typical of any verter topology used is irrelevant to the discussion herein. Fur-
estimator. This does not prove that the overall system will be thermore, the inverter drives a SMPMSM that is equipped with
stable; that is a function of machine parameters and both the suitable rotor position feedback but may also use a suitable es-
estimator and control gains. This problem, however, is no dif- timator [23].
ferent than the design of any other control that involves both an Figs. 4-5 depict traces from an example simulation where the
estimator and controller and typically involves making the esti- SMPMSM drive is started from rest. A step torque command is
mator faster than the control. For the purpose of selecting gain, given, which represents a worst-case scenario wherein the tran-
it is appropriate to use a nonlinear average value model of the sients are likely to be most severe. Fig. 4 shows the estimated
system and control [21]. The framework for such a model for -axis currents on start-up of the machine where the dashed lines
this particular system is set forth in [13]. A convenient way to indicate the commanded values. It is apparent that the estimated
do this is to linearize the model at the fully loaded condition and currents converge to the commanded values. A similar plot may
use linear systems techniques to select and . Then, the be constructed for the -axis quantities, however, it is omitted
plant is linearized versus operating point to make sure pole lo- for brevity. Fig. 5 depicts the same study, except that vari-
cations are globally acceptable. Finally, it should be mentioned ables are shown. For reference, the electrical rotor speed, ,
that it is possible to select different values of and for each is shown in the first trace. The reference -phase current, , is
reference frame, but this is not explored herein. shown in the second trace, with the estimated current, , below.
The estimated current is reconstructed from the vector of esti-
VI. SIMULATED PERFORMANCE mated - and -axis currents, , using (6). The actual -phase
current, , is depicted in the final trace. While the bottom trace
In this section, a computer simulation is used to explore the
of Fig. 4 shows an overshoot in the estimated 5 harmonic. This
operation of a MRFSER. Here, the motor drive considered is
overshoot is small in comparison with the fundamental, and so
described in [13] and utilizes an optimal control strategy set
tracks very closely except for the high frequency switching
forth in [6]. The significant harmonics are the first, third, and
noise, which is of limited interest in terms of torque control. The
fifth, and therefore, the set is and . Since it
actual current gradually converges to the reference current as the
is desirable for the estimator to converge faster than the con-
synchronous regulator operates.
troller, gains of s and s are used.
For this study, a constant torque command of 1.4 Nm is is-
sued and the dc bus voltage is 100 V. A load torque propor- VII. EXPERIMENTAL PERFORMANCE
tional to speed is assumed. Current regulated delta modulation The test set-up is the same as that simulated in the previous
[14] (as opposed to voltage source delta modulation [22]) with section except a dynamometer is used to load the machine and
a 10 kHz switching frequency is used. A current regulated in- regulate the speed at 600 rpm.

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Fig. 7. Experimentally reconstructed (dashed) and commanded (solid)

a-phase currents for 5 kHz switching frequency (a) with MRFSER (b) without

Fig. 5. Simulated electrical speed, and a-phase quantities on start-up.

Fig. 6. Measured a-phase current.

It is interesting to observe the measured currents in the time

domain both with and without the MRFSER. First, a measured
-phase current waveform is shown in Fig. 6. Therein, both the
low frequency harmonic content and switching noise are evi-
dent. As stated, the switching induced pulsation is of little in-
terest here. Therefore, in Figs. 7-8 to follow, the switching noise
has been subtracted out of the measured signals. This is accom- Fig. 8. Experimentally reconstructed (dashed) and commanded (solid)
a-phase currents for 15 kHz switching frequency (a) with MRFSER (b) without
plished by capturing the waveform with a digital storage oscillo- MRFSER.
scope, extracting the Fourier series coefficients of the harmonics
of interest, and then reconstructing the waveform from these co- is evident in Fig. 8 (b) than in Fig. 7 (b), but there is still signifi-
efficients using (6). Fig. 7 (a) shows the measured (dashed) and cant difference between the measured and commanded current.
reference (solid) current with the MRFSER in place with a 5 Another interesting experimental study is depicted in Fig. 9.
kHz switching frequency. Here, good agreement is apparent be- Therein, the dynamometer is used to measure the mechanical
tween the two. Fig. 7 (b) shows a similar plot, except without the torque (electromagnetic torque minus friction and windage) at a
MRFSER. It is evident that the measured and reference current fixed speed for various switching frequencies of the delta-modu-
do not agree. Fig. 8 depicts the same study as shown in Fig. 7, lated inverter. The mechanical torque measured differs slightly
except that the switching frequency is now 15 kHz. Less error from the commanded electromagnetic torque (1.4 Nm) due to

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[6] P.L. Chapman, S.D. Sudhoff, and C.A. Whitcomb, “Optimal Control
Strategies for Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Machine Drives,”
Accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion,
[7] T.M. Rowan and R.J. Kerkman, “A New Synchronous Current Regulator
and an Analysis of Current-Regulated Inverters,” IEEE Transactions on
Industry Applications, vol. IA-22, no. 4, pp. 678–690, 1986.
[8] S.D. Sudhoff, “Multiple Reference Frame Analysis of an Unsymmetrical
Induction Machine,” IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, vol. 8,
no. 3, pp. 425–432, Sept. 1993.
[9] S.D. Sudhoff, “Multiple Reference Frame Analysis of a Multistack Vari-
able Reluctance Stepper Motor,” IEEE Transactions on Energy Conver-
sion, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 418–424, Sept. 1993.
[10] T.A. Walls and S.D. Sudhoff, “Analysis of a Single-Phase Induction Ma-
chine with a Shifted Auxiliary Winding,” IEEE Transactions on Energy
Conversion, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 681–686, Dec. 1996.
[11] J.L. Tichenor, P.L. Chapman, S.D. Sudhoff, and R. Budzynski, “Anal-
ysis of Generically Configured PSC Induction Machines,” Accepted for
publication in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, 1997.
[12] P.C. Krause, “Method of Multiple Reference Frames Applied to the
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Power Apparatus and Systems, vol. PAS-87, pp. 218–227, Jan. 1968.
Fig. 9. Measured mechanical torque vs. switching frequency: with and without [13] P.L. Chapman, S.D. Sudhoff, and C.A. Whitcomb, “Multiple Reference
the MRFSER. Frame Analysis of Non-sinusoidal Brushless DC Drives,” accepted for
publication in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, 1998.
frictional and windage torque. This difference is the same for [14] B.R. Bose, Ed., Power Electronics and Variable Frequency Drives: IEEE
each point in Fig. 9 since the speed is held constant, and there- Press, 1997.
fore only amounts to a uniform offset. As may be observed, [15] P.C. Krause, O. Wasynczuk, and S.D. Sudhoff, Analysis of Electric Ma-
chinery: IEEE Press, 1995.
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of switching frequency. However, when the MRFSER is not Power System Harmonics,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on
used, significant dependence on switching frequency is evident. Control Applications, 1995, pp. 631–636.
[17] A.A. Girgis, W.B. Chang, and B.B. Makram, “A Digital Recursive Mea-
Since increased switching frequency leads to larger semicon- surement Scheme for On-Line Tracking of Power System Harmonics,”
ductor losses requires and higher edge rates that lead to elec- IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 1153–1160, July
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VIII. CONCLUSIONS [19] P.K. Dash, D.P. Swain, A.C. Liew, and S. Rahman, “An Adaptive Linear
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power converter applications has been presented and the opera- [20] M. Najjar and G.T. Heydt, “A Hybrid Nonlinear-Least Squares Estima-
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ACKNOWLEDGMENT brushless DC motor drives,” IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion,
vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 318–323, Jun 1996.
The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge T. Walls of
Emerson Electric for donating the test motor.
Patrick L. Chapman (S’94, M’96) is native to Centralia, Missouri. He received
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