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Can Multilevel Inverters(MLIs) provide the voltage regulation,which can be connected to Ac line directly without using transformers, to prevent malfunctioning of sensitive instruments and to improve the voltage reliability ?

The Series voltage regulator(MLIs), regulates the output voltage by injecting voltage in synchronism with the supply when an upstream sag is detected ,thus protecting the loads from voltage sags.It is a cost effective customer based solution to regulate the voltage sag which improves voltage quality at load side and can be directly connected to AC power line. As MLIs synthesize a near sinusoidal voltage from several level of DC voltage , can reach high voltages with low harmonics without the use of transformers.Even though transformers presents advantages in terms of voltage matching, protection and insulation it increases the cost and reduces the overall efficiency of the compensator.DC voltage sources can be replaced by distributed or renewable energy sources like fuel cells,solar cells etc. The MLI structure can overcome the shortcomings in solid state switching device ratings, limitations in operation at high frequency mainly due to switching losses and the problems associated with seriesparallel combination of devices that are necessary to obtain capability of handling high voltage and currents. I have chosen the cascaded MLI which is having lot of advantages as the power line conditioner.

Cascaded MLI
The power circuit consists of series of N independent H-bridge (single phase full bridge ) inverter units, where N depends on o The injected voltage harmonic distortion and current harmonic distortion requirements. o The magnitude of the injected voltage required o The available power switch voltage ratings Each H-bridge inverter is fed from separate DC source (SDCS), which may be obtained from batteries ,fuel cells or solar cells. Each H-bridge inverter can generate three different voltage outputs +Vdc, 0 and -Vdc by connecting the DC sources to the AC output by different combination of the four switches S1,S2,S3,S4 The AC output of each of the different full bridge are connected in series such that the synthesized output voltage waveform is the sum of the inverter outputs. The number of output voltage levels m=2N+1 where N is the number of separate DC sources. The advantages of cascaded MLI o Modularised layout and packaging o manufacturing process quick and inexpensive o better redundancy and high efficiency o suitable for medium to high power applications o an ideal interface between a utility and renewable energy sources such as fuel cell, solar panels etc.

The Experiment- The working Principle

The system configuration of the cascaded multilevel inverter for series voltage compensation in one phase of a distribution system is illustrated in figure where ZS and ZL represent the source and load impedance's respectively. The back-to-back thyristor bypass in parallel conducts the line current under normal operating conditions when no sag/swell is present and also protects the multilevel inverter from fault current. Compensation is initiated when a sag or swell is detected (i.e the amplitude of the supply load voltage (VS or VL) deviates from the reference voltage (VRef)). The back-to-back connected thyristors first have to be force commutated before the multilevel inverter starts to inject a voltage in series with the line.

The Experiment- The working Principle

During sag or swell, all the Full Bridge Inverter units of the multilevel inverter are switched on. The compensating voltage is injected in synchronism with the supply voltage under sag conditions and out of synchronism under swell conditions. At the end of sag/swell or when a load fault current is detected with an analog circuit, all the FBI units of the MLI are switched into a zero state before the thyristors are switched on. After a sufficient turn on delay for the thyristors, all FBI units are switched off. The neuro controller is trained using quasi newton back-propagation algorithm to synthesize gate pulses. These gate pulses controls the on-time of the devices in FBI depending upon the output feedback received.

Pulse Width Modulation(PWM)

Sinusoidal PWM is developed as modulation stratergy. In this method, a number of triangular carriers are compared with a controlled sinusoidal modulating signal and the switching rules for the semiconductor devices are decided by the intersection of the carrier waves with the modulating signal. For a five-level inverter, a modulating signal and four carrier waves are required are shown in Fig. All of the carriers are in phase and have the same frequency fc and the same peak to peak amplitude Ac.

The Experiment
Training Of Neural Network(NN) controller:
The NN is off-line trained using input data (error voltage) and the target (compensating signal) pairs. The weights obtained after 5000 epochs of the training phase are used in NN is used to control the inverter on-line. The error in output voltage is fed as the input to the NN. The compensating signal instead of the whole modulation signal is collected as the output of the NN. Quasi-Newton back-propagation algorithm which has a powerful (fast) convergence property known as quadratic convergence is employed to update weights in this work. This algorithm requires less memory space than other training algorithms.



The specifications of the dSPACE DS1104 system:

Power PC603e running at 250MHz 8 ADC and 8 DAC channels 20 digital input/output lines Incremental encoder interface Serial interface Slave DSP TMS 320F240 for three phase PWM signals 8 MB boot flash RAM, 32 MB SDRAM The MATLAB and SIMULINK block diagram environments are useful for design and analysis of control systems. The dSPACE DS1104 controller board provides the means for acquiring data for system identification and implementing discrete time controllers for analog plants. The dSPACE system consists of three components: the DS1104 controller board mounted within a personal computer, a breakout panel for connecting signal lines to the DS1104 controller board and software tools for operating the DS1104 board through the SIMULINK block diagram environment.

Specifications of chosen arrangemeny (Experiment)

The Experimental Setup

Results And Observations

Output voltage of MLI (5 steps, 2 H-bridges connected in series)

Steady state voltage, current and harmonic spectrum

The supply voltage sag is generated (measured in volts).And after some cycles load disturbance is also generated.

When I used the MLI voltage regulator, the output voltage was maintained constantly, though there was both load disturbance and input voltage sag.

The supply voltage swell is introduced (measured in volts)and after some cycles load disturbance is also generated.

When I used the MLI voltage compensation, the output voltage was maintained constantly, though there was both load disturbance and input voltage swell.

Observations and advantages of my regulator:

The voltage regained its original value within 0.1 Milli seconds The total harmonic distortion is less in the output even when both the disturbances are simulated at the same time as the injected voltage is from MLI which is approximately a sinusoidal voltage . The voltage redefines within half a cycle, only because of the neural network controller(even though the training of the NN is time-consuming) The capacity of the compensator system can be increased just by adding a full bridge unit in series. As the devices are operated at 50 Hz, the losses due to switching is less.

My compensator can be made more eco-friendly by using renewable energy sources like solar panels,fuel cells etc. as DC source to the MLI. The usage of distributed power resources can be used for high voltage power system to provide reliable voltage in rural.

The neural network can be trained using yet better algorithms.

I have implemented in real time for single phase and low voltage due to cost constraints. I will extend to three phase power voltage so that this inverter can be used to achieve reliable voltage for practical use.