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Design and Optimization of InterCell Transformers for Parallel MultiCell Converters

Cougo França, Bernardo. Design and Optimization of InterCell Transformers for Parallel MultiCell Converters. PhD, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2010

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Official URL: http://ethesis.inp-toulouse.fr/archive/00001413/

Abstract

In recent years, the interest for parallel multicell converters has grown, which is partially due to the possibility of coupling the inductors used to connect the different commutation cells together. Coupling the inductors to form an InterCell Transformer (ICT) does not usually modify the output current, but it reduces the current ripple in the windings and the flux swing in some regions of the core. It can be shown that this brings a reduction of copper and core losses in the magnetic component. The reduction of the phase current ripple also reduces the difference between turn on and turn off current in the switches, which brings a reduction of switching losses for devices generating more losses at turn off than at turn on. The design of an ICT is not that different from any other magnetic component but it is very specific and inherent features must be taken into account. Taking full benefit of the potential advantages of ICTs requires the development of special tools and methods which are the focus of the study. We show how to design ICTs considering several topologies and different methods, from the most precise and time-consuming to the less accurate but more quickly calculated. The explanation of the ICT design is divided in four main parts: Copper Losses, Core Losses, Flux Density Saturation and Thermal Aspects. Further attention is given to high frequency copper losses since complex phenomena such as skin and proximity effects highly influence the ICT design. Based on Finite Element Method simulations, smart practices are suggested to reduce high and low frequency copper losses, not only in ICTs but also in inductors and transformers. Simple tables are developed to help transformer designers to identify the best configuration of conductors inside a given core window, depending on the current waveform and frequency, number of turns and geometrical parameters. Optimization routines to reduce the ICT total mass, volume, losses or cost are developed and multidimensional interpolation of pre-simulated values of AC resistance and leakage inductance is used to speed up the optimization routine. Comparison of ICT designs with regard to core and conductor material, number of cells and switching frequency is performed. Comparison with regular inductors is also made in order to verify the benefits of this kind of magnetic component. Multilevel converter control aspects applied to three- hase systems is also investigated in terms of the ICT flux. Zero sequence signals, specific for a PWM strategy and converter/load topology, are created in order to minimize the flux in ICTs and consequently reduce even further the mass and size of these components. Comparison between several PWM methods are performed and experimentally verified.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
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Institution: Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT
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Research Director:
Meynard, Thierry
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