Resonant DC link converters and their use in rail traction applications
Conventional 'hard switching' converters suffer from significant switching loss due to the simultaneous imposition of high values of current and voltage on the devices during commutation. Resonant converters offer a solution to this problem. A review of resonant circuit topologies is presented, which includes a summary of the interference problems which may occur when using power converters in the rail traction environment. Particular attention is given to the Resonant DC Link Inverter (RDCLI) which shows a great deal of pronuse using currently available devices. The frequency domain simulation of RDCLIs is discussed as a means of rapidly evaluating circuit behaviour, especially in relation to modulation strategies. A novel modulation strategy is proposed for Resonant DC Link Inverters, based on a procedure known as Simulated Annealing which allows complex harmonic manipulations such as han-nonic minimisation, to be performed. This is despite the fact that RDCLIs are constrained to use Discrete Pulse Modulation whereby switch commutations are restricted to specific moments in time. The modulation algorithms were verified by use of a low-power test rig and the results obtained are compared against theoretical values. Details of the hardware implementation are also included. A single-phase pulse-converter input stage is described which may be incorporated into the Resonant DC Link Inverter topology. This input stage also benefits from soft-sVVItching and allows four-quadrant operation at any desired power factor. A modulation scheme based on SiMulated Annealing is proposed for the pulse-converter, to achieve hannomc control whilst also synchronising with the supply wavefon-n. Practical results are presented and compared with those obtained by simulation and calculation. Finally the design of Resonant DC Link Converters is discussed and reconunendations made for the choice of resonant components based on the minimisation of overall losses. Comparisons are made between hard-switching and soft-switching converters in terms of loss and harmonic performance, in an attempt to quantify the benefits which may be obtained by the application of soft-switching.