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A New Approach to Generate PWM Patterns for Four-Switch

Three-phase Inverters
M.B.R. Correa, C.B. Jacobina, A.M.N. Lima, E.R.C. da Silva
Departamento de Engenharia ElCtrica, Universidade Federal da Paraiba
58109-970 Campina Grande, PB, Brasil, Caixa Postal 10105
Fax: +55-83-3 101015 Email: j acobina@dee.ufpb. br

Abstract: This paper presents a new method


to generate pulse width modulated signals to control four switches three phase inverters. The proposed method provides a simple scheme to select three or four vectors to synthesize the desired output voltage. The method is based on
the so called space vector modulation but the paper also presents its scalar version. The paper
presents a comparative study where the different
vector combinations are investigated. The paper
also discusses how the use of the wye and delta
connections of the machine windings affects the
implementation of pulse width modulator. Simulation and experimental results are presented to
corroborate the analytical developments.

R
e

C
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I

f
I

e
r
A

I. INTRODUCTION
The conventional structure of a three-phase voltage inverter comprises three legs, six power switches (SSTPI),
a pair of complementary switches for each phase. The
four-switch three-phase inverter (FSTPI) employs only
two legs, that is four switches as shown in Fig. la. Several
papers have investigated this structure [l-91. The FSTPI
structure allows one to generate four active vectors in the
CY@ plane instead of six as usual in the SSTPI structure.
This paper presents a new method to generate pulse
width modulated signals to control four-switch threephase inverters. The method is based on the so called
space vector modulation but the paper also presents its
scalar version. The proposed method provides a simple
way to select three or four vectors to synthesize the desired output voltage during the switching period. In the
proposed approach the choice between the use of three
or four vectors is parameterized by a single variable and
this permits to simulate and implement 'all the alternatives making possible a fair comparison of the different
techniques. The influence of different switching patterns
on the output voltage symmetry, current waveform and
switching frequency are examined. The paper also discusses how the use of the wye and delta connections of
the machine windings affects the implementation of pulse
width modulator. The utilization of an induction machine with its windings connected in delta is studied here

0-7803-5421-4/99/$10.000 1999 IEEE

Fig. 1. Ac drive system configurations.

as an alternative to operate the machine with same dc


link voltage used for the SSTPI. Simulation and experimental results are used to illustrate the use of the FSTPI
to supply a three-phase induction motor.
11. SPACEVECTORANALYSIS
With respect to the circuit of Fig. la let us assume that
the conduction state of the power switches is associated
to the binary variables 41 to 44. Therefore, from now on
the binary '1' will indicate a closed switch and the '0' an
open one. The pairs 41-43 and 42-44 are complementary
and, as a consequence, 43 = 1 - 41 and 94 = 1 - 92.
The voltages V A O ,V B O and V C O ,depend upon the states
of the power switches and may be expressed in terms of
the binary variables 91 and 4 2 , as follows:

94 1

TABLE 1. Available vectors in the a@ plane for the wye c:onnection

41

42

v1

v42

v = vup + jv,
= [E/&)e-j2"I3

vco = 0.
(3)
The space vector modulation and the problem of selecting the appropriate switching sequence are better understood if the three-phase quantities are transformed into
(YPquantities. The transformed (YOvariables are given by
vupp

= AV123

with VI23 = [VI v2 v3IT , vap = [wa


transformation matrix being

A . Wye connection

(4)
vplT and the

Fig. l b shows a three-phase induction machine with


the windings connected in wye. In this case the line-toneutral voltages are v1 = V A O - v ~ o 2,12 = vgo - v ~ o
and 213 = - U N O , with V N O being the voltage between the Fig. 2.
Vectors in the a@ plane for the same dc bus voltage. (a)
neutral ( N ) and the dc bus midpoint (0), as indicated wye connection and (b) delta connection.
in Fig. la. The induction machine is symmetric and the
neutral wire is disconnected. The a@ voltage components
TABLE 2. Available vectors in the cr@ plane for the delta connection
are given by:

(7)
The combinations of the states of the switches originate
four different vectors in the (YPplane as given in Table 1.
These vectors are 7r/2 away from each other. Using the
above vector definitions one may split the (YP plane into
four sectors, i.e. I , I I , I I I , and I V , as showed in Fig. 2a.
The vectors v2 and v 4 are opposite in directior? ( v 2 =
-vq) and their amplitude is 4 times bigger than the
amplitude of the pair v 1 and v 3 . Also, the vectors v1 and
v 3 are opposite in direction (VI = - v 3 ) .

B. Delta connection
Fig. IC also shows a three-phase induction machine but
in this case the windings are connected in delta. In this
case vi = V A O - V B O ,212 = OBO - vco and vg = vco- V A O
and consequently the (YP voltage components are given
by:
vup

- 42)E

(*)

"P

1
= -(41

fi

+ 42 - 1)E.

(9)

The combinations of the states of the switches originate


four different vectors in the aP plane as given in Table 2.
These vectors are also 7r/2 away from each other but their
amplitude is fi times bigger than the vectors of the wye
connection (see Fig. ab).
In the following sections the analytical formulation of
the space vector modulation will be~derivedfor the case
of wye connected load. Further, in section VI it will be
demonstrated how to map these results for the case of a
delta connected load.

111. SPACEVECTORPWM
Let v* represent the reference voltage to be synthesized by the FSTPI within a switching period of length T.

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According to the space vector technique this implies that:

v*T = vltl

with the time weights t l , t 2 , t 3 and

T = ti

Sector 11:

+ ~ 2 t +2 ~ 3 t +3 ~ 4 t 4
t4

5 0 and t24 > 0

(19)

restricted to

+t2 + t3 + t4.

(11)

The problem is now to find out the values of the time


weights given v * and T . In order to simplify the algebraic
manipulation let us introduce v* = v:
j v z , v, = V I =
-VQ = U,,
jv,p and Ve = ~2 = - v 4 = Ve,
jvep.
Replacing the vectors v, and ve into (10) results in

v*T

t13

(10)

= ~ , t 1 3+ v e t 2 4

t13

< 0 and t24 5 0

(20)

Sector IV:

t13

2 0 and t24 < 0

(21)

(12)

with t13 = t l - t 3 and t24 = t 2 - t 4 .


Rewriting (12) in terms of the (YP components gives
v:T = Voatl3

+ Wed24

(13)

v ~=
Tv o p t l 3

(14)

vept24.

Sector 111:

Note that equation (11) is always satisfied and the apportioning factor p indicates how many vectors with its
respective weights are employed. If U
, = 0 only three vectors are employed v 2 , v 4 and v 1 or v3 (see Table 3). If
0 < p < 1 all the four vectors are employed. If p = 1
only three vectors, V I , v 3 and v 2 or v 4 are employed (see
Table 4).

Considering the wye connection voa = -&+, vop =


-d$,vea = &f and vep = -A$,then from (13)
one find that t 1 3 and t24 are given by

TABLE 3. Two large and one small vectors

Vectors

As it can be seen from the above equations, the computation of the time weights is an under-determined problem
i.e., there are four unknowns but only three different equations. By considering that the switching frequency must
be constant there are two possibilities to solve this problem. The first alternative is to use all of the four vectors
while the second one is to select only three among the four
available vectors. The present paper proposes an elegant
way to pass from one alternative to another as it is shown
in the following.
From (12) the resultant odd vectors are applied during
t 1 3 and the resultant even vector are applied during t 2 4 .
Under these conditions the remaining time is given by:

- It131 - lt241.

t13

> 0 and t24 2 0

vqv1vz

0
0
0

TABLE 4. Two small and one large vectors

Vectors

Sector

1
1
1
1

~ 1 V 2 ~ 3
VlVZV.?
VQV4V1

(17)

(18)

v2v3v4

Now introduce an apportioning factor p (0 5 p 5 l),


p for vectors v1 and v 3 and 1 - Y, for vectors v 2 and v 4 .
The use of the apportioning factor depends on the signs
of t 1 3 and t24 as described below:
Sector I :

I
11
111
IV

v9vnv4

v3v4v1

6~ =

Sector

v4v1vZ

II
111
IV

By changing p one may use the three vectors which


are as close as possible of v * , i.e., avoiding the use of
the farthest vector for a given v * . Table 5 shows how
to select p in order to always use only the three closest
vectors for a given v ' . Fig. 3 illustrates how the value of
p is mapped into the voltage sectors A , B , C and D of
ap plane. The row labelled Condition in Table 5 indicates
when the reference vector v * enters in a given sector.
The use of the switching patterns given in Table 5 has
already been proposed by Blaabjerg et al. [8]. Also, the
switching patterns given in Tables 4 and 3 have already

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TABLE 5.

Grouped sectors around the voltage vector

Vectors

Condition

Sector

41L

*+

1.1

I;,-

I
I
I

41A

I
I

IC,

<

A I;,-.
,

<

..
.
.
.

..
.
,
,
.

.
.

-I3

Fig. 3. Sectors A , B , C and

IC2

,,
,
,
.

0
;4

71

f;

I2-1,*14*1~*1;-1~-

1-

*
I

in the a@ plane.

v; and v: are written in terms of v: and v;, the reference


voltages may be given by
been proposed by Jacobina et al. [5]. However, the generic analytical development describing all these switching
patterns parameterized in terms of a single quantity has
not been presented previously.
The above analysis has demonstrated how the selection
of a specific switching sequence is decided by a single variable, the apportioning factor p.
IV. SCALARPWM
The use of the space vector approach provides simple
analytical way to explain the functioning of the FSTPI.
However, to implement the modulator with a timer based
hardware it is more appropriate to define a scalar and
equivalent version of the proposed technique. Moreover,
this development provides a good insight about how the
pulse width modulator should be implemented in software.
The basic modification to convert a scalar PWM
strategy defined for a SSTPI to be used to control a FSTPI
relies on the reference waveform generation. In this case
the line-to-neutral reference voltages vT0, vzo and wzo supplied to the modulator that controls the FSTPI must obey
specific phase shift relationships. From the Fig. l a and l b ,
the voltages vi0
vgo are given by vT0 = vio = U; +UNO,
v ;=
~ vh0 = v; + V N O , vzo = v;o = v z + v ~ o= 0, and then
V N O = -vB . This implies that vro = vT -U;, vfo = VI - v; .
Consequently, if the line-to-neutral reference voltages v; ,

944

AV;.

vfo =
(23)
Fig. 4 shows the typical waveforms of the command
signals for the switches q1 and 42 when t24 < 0 (Fig. 3a)
and t24 2 0 (Fig. 4b) both for 0 < p < 1. From (22),
the time intervals 7 1 and 7 2 , during which the switches
q1 and q2 must be switched on in order to obtain the
desired reference voltage at the output of the FSTPI, are
determined by

72

T
T
= -+ fi-v;.

2
E
It can be noted that for both cases represented in Fig. 4,
71 = t 2
t 3 and 7 2 = t 3
t 4 . These relationships demonstrate that both the space vector and the scalar techniques
give equivalent results.
The generation of the command of the switches of q1
and q2 is done by using programmable timers. Fig. 4
shows that for the geaeral case in which all the four vector
are employed, the pulse widths 7 1 and 7 2 can be split in
two parts: 71 and 7: (71 = 71+ 7:)and 75 and 72

(72 = 7; 7;). Then, the timers are programmed twice


at each time period T . Note that if one chooses to use
only three vectors, the timers are programmed once at
each time period T .

+ p=l

30

al

V. IMPLEMENTING
THE PWM/FSTPI
Based on the equations presented in the previous section it is possible to derive an algorithm that can be included in the ac drive software. This algorithm is described by the following steps:
i) compute 213 and t24 using (15) and (16)
ii) compute ST using (17)
iii) compute t l , t 2 , t3 and t4 based on equations (18) to
(21)
iv) If t24 < 0 program the timers to count as follows:
q 1 timer is first loaded with t,l = t3 and after with tLl =
tl +t4; q 2 timer is first loaded with tc2 = t3 +t4 and after
with tb2 = tl f t z .
v) If t24 >_ 0 program the timers to counts as follows:
q 1 timer is first loaded with t,l = tz + t3 and after with
tLl = t l t4; 42 timer is first loaded with tc2 = t3 and
after with tL2 = t 2 + tl.
The time intervals t e l l tLl, tc2 and tL2 are indicated in
Fig. 4. Observing Fig. 4a and Fig. 4b it can be noted that
the number of commutations of the FSTPI switches is not
equally distributed. The tests included in steps iv) and
v) have been added in order to obtain in the average the
same number of commutation for all the FSTPI switches.
Also, steps iv) and v) may be defined in terms of t13.

0'

p=o
p=O-l

0.2

i
I

0.4 0.6 0.8

rn

p=o.5
o j~=O.6

+ p=0.8

Fig. 5. THD of the output voltage.

VI. DELTACONNECTION PWM


For the delta connection voa = 0, v,,p = -E/&, Vea =
E and v e p = 0, then from (13) one may find out
that t13 and t24 are:

sections I11 and IV. Note that Tyaap can also be used
when the delta connection is considered for the case of a

SSTPI.
VII. SIMULATIONS
RESULTS

(27)
Given (26) and (27) it is possible to use same procedure
presented in section V. However, it is also possible to
obtain v: and v; for the wye connection (named from
) terms of v z A and v i 4 (crp
now on as v:y and v ; ~ in
voltages for the delta connection). Using matrix A it can
be shown that v : ~and v i A are given by: *

Fig. 5 presents the total harmonic distortion (THD) of


the FSTPI as a function of the modulation index (m).
The THD presented in Fig. 5 has been calculated by

where x indicate the axis (x = (Y or x = p), Vrm,, is


total root mean square voltage of the axis 2 and Vrmso(l)
is root mean square voltage of the fundamental in axis
x. The total harmonic distortion of the voltage vector is
calculated from Thda and T h d p as follows

T H D = Tldu+ T& .
Then the pulse widths for the delta connection can be
determined by using the same expressions presented in

(29)

Fig. 5a presents the T H D for the case where only three


vectors are used. In this figure the label p = 0-1 indicates
that p varies as indicted in Table 5. Fig. 5b presents

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three-phase inverters. With the proposed method it was


5
possible to study several PWM schemes, using three or

-1.5 I

0.01

0.02

0.03

four vectors to synthesize the desired output voltage during the switching period. The scalar version of the proposed modulation technique can be implemented by software and may easily included in drive software with a
negligible increase in the computational load. This study
have shown that is preferable to use three vectors, where
two are the small vectors. The paper also presented PWM
strategies suitable to applied with delta connections of
the machine windings. That type of connection permit to
supply the machine with the same phase voltage of the
standard FSTPI drive.

t (s)

REFERENCES
1.5 7
[l] H. W. Van der Broeck and J . D. Van Wyk. A compar-

-1.5

'

0.01

0.02

0.03

t (s)

Fig. 6. Line current for different configurations. (a) wye connection,

(b) delta connection.

the THD when four vectors are used. To maintain the


same switching frequency, the period T used for the THD
in Fig. 5b is 1.5 times the period used in Fig. 5a. For
high m all the alternatives present similar THD, but for
medium and low values of m the alternative with p = 1
is sensibly the best.
VIII. EXPERIMENTAL
RESULTS
The proposed modulation scheme was implemented in
a microcomputer-based FSTPI drive system. The FSTPI
employs IGBTs that switches at 5kHz and supplies a
1/3hp three-phase squirrel induction motor. The motor
was started-up with a standard v/f law and when the
steady-state was reached the current of the phase 1 has
been recorded. Fig. 6 presents the stator current obtained
with the FSTPI supplying a induction machine for p = 1
and m = 0.8. Figs. 6a and 6b show the line current for the
wye connection and for the delta connection, respectively.
IX. CONCLUSION
This paper has presented a new method to generate pulse width modulated signals to control four-switch

946

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