Variable speed constant frequency power conversion with permanent magnet synchronous and switched reluctance generators

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Virginia Tech


Power electronics is inevitably concerned with the processing of variable speed power generations such as in wind turbines, aircraft systems and naval on-board ship systems. The nature of these types of energy is distinct in that their frequency and power vary depending on the speed of the prime-mover. To make use of the variable speed energy, a power processing scheme which transforms the variable speed energy into a constant frequency power is required. There are measures such as mechanical and electrical links for such purposes. Electrical link systems are chosen in this study due to their fast responses and high reliabilities. The power conversion stage may be a dc link with a line-commutated converter, a dc link with a self-commutated inverter, or a cycloconverter. The line-commutated converter and cycloconverter power stages require a fixed frequency supply for operation whereas the self-commutated inverter is capable of stand-alone operation, thus making it attractive.

Two cases of variable speed power generation using a permanent magnet synchronous machine (hereafter referred to as PMSM) and a switched reluctance machine (hereafter referred to as SRM) were studied in this dissertation. The possible use of PMSMs has been proved by the good correlation between the experimental results and the theoretically predicted results. Three different control strategies have been proposed, implemented in hardware, and experimentally verified. The efficiency of the VSCF power conversion with a self commutated converter were comparable to the one using a line-commutated converter.

A novel converter topology with no dc link capacitor has been proposed for the application of SRMs to the VSCF power conversion. The proposed topology directly links the constant frequency ac source to the SRM. This feature enhances the reliability of the power conversion scheme and reduces the weight and volume of the system. The correlation between the theoretical and experimental results of some key issues showed the feasibility of the proposed VSCF power conversion scheme.

In the course of the study, one stage ac to dc power conversion with a compact transformer was required for dc loads. However, phase-controlled ac to dc conversion has the disadvantages of low power factor and harmonic pollution on the utility side, particularly in the case where dc voltage regulation is required. Therefore, a novel single phase rectifier for dc load which provides ohmic isolation with a high frequency transformer is extensively investigated. The proposed scheme had a wide output variation on dc output while maintaining unity power factor and sinusoidal current in the ac input side. Three control strategies for the operation of the converter were proposed and verified experimentally. The harmonic spectra on ac and dc sides are analytically derived and experimentally proved under some load conditions.