Two way power flow using GTO thyristors
Two-way power flow is nothing new and has been in practical use using line commutated converters for at least 50 years. With these types of converters, reversal of power flow can be achieved by increasing the firing angle of the devices beyond 90 degrees thus producing a negative DC voltage. Line commutated converters have several known disadvantages including: the direct current cannot be reversed, the power factor decreases when the firing angle increases and the harmonics are high on the line current. To tackle the above problems a forced commutated converter can be used. The power factor can be unity and the harmonics can be reduced. Many researchers have used PWM with different control techniques to serve the above purposes. In each converter arm, they used a forced commutated device with an antiparallel diode. Under the rectification mode of operation the current path is preponderantly through the diodes and under the inverter operation the current flows preponderantly through the forced commutated devices. Although their results were encouraging and gave a unity power factor with nearly sinusoidal current, the main disadvantage was that there were difficulties in controlling the power factor when the system is needed to operate at lagging or leading power factor. In this work, a new idea was introduced by connecting two GTOs antiparallel instead of a diode and a GTO. A single phase system using two GTO converters which are connected in series was built. One converter operates as a rectifier and the other converter operates as an inverter. In the case of the inversion mode and in each inverter arm one GTO is operated as a diode simply by switching it always on and the other antiparallel GTO is operated as a normal device to carry the inverter current. In case of the rectification mode, in each arm one GTO is always off and the other GTP is operated as a controlled device. The main advantage is that the system can be operated at lagging or leading power factor.