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Parallel operation of bridge rectifiers without an

interbridge reactor
J.K. Hall, MSc(Eng), PhD, CEng, MIMechE, FlEE
J.G. Kettleborough, MSc
A.B.M.J. Razak, MSc

Indexing terms: Power electronics

Abstract: Parallel connection of rectifier circuits is


needed for very high direct-current supplies such
as those for electrochemical plant. Appropriate
phase displacement of their AC supply voltages is
used to increase the pulse number, and an interrectifier reactor, often known as an interphase
transformer (IPT), is connected on the DC side to
prevent circulating AC components between the
rectifiers and to allow them to operate independently. At very high power levels, this component
is occasionally dispensed with on economic
grounds. The interactions between two six-pulse
bridge rectifiers operating without an IPT are
described and analysed comprehensively. The rectifier, transformer winding and AC-system current
waveforms are computed, together with their harmonic components, and some typical operating
characteristics are given. Computed results are
supported by practical measurements on a laboratory rectifier system. It is noted that removal of
the IPT will considerably influence the rectifier
transformer design.
List of symbols

C
E, e
Ed
I, i
Id

I,,
Id,

L
N
p

R
r
V

Z
a

/3
y

= connection matrix
= EMF
= DC-load back EMF
= current
= total direct current
= direct current from bridge 1
= direct current from bridge
= self or mutual inductance

= number of turns
= d/dt operator
= load

resistance

= winding resistance
= voltage

=impedance
= thyristor firing-delay angle
= angle of cessation of thyristor condution
(discontinuous load current)
= angle at completion of interbridge commutation

Paper 6987B (P6), first received 27th January and in revised form 26th
July 1989
Dr. Hall and Mr. Kettleborough are with the Department of Electronic
and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University of Technology,
Loughborough, Leicestershire, LEI 1 3TU, United Kingdom
Mr. Razak is with the University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 IDP, United Kingdom
IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, MARCH 1990

6
p
Y

= angle

at completion of interphase commutation


within a bridge
= interphase commutation angle ( p = 6 - a)
= angle at completion of overlapping of interphase
commutations, one in each bridge
Introduction

The increasing size of electrochemical and electrometallurgical plant for manufacturing such products as chlorine, aluminium and copper, requires AC-DC power
convertors capable of delivering direct currents of up to
100 kA, and sometimes higher. This necessitates multiple
paralleling of the semiconductor devices within the rectifier circuit and parallelling complete circuits.
It is usual to use as high a pulse number as is economical to minimise both the ripple in the DC output
voltage and the harmonic content in the AC-supply
current waveform to the rectifier installation. For
example, 12-pulse operation is provided by supplying
two parallel six-pulse rectifiers with 30" displaced AC
voltages. A 24-pulse arrangement requires four six-pulse
rectifiers mutually phase displaced by 15". A disadvantage of a high pulse number is the increased size and cost
of the rectifier transformer arrangement to provide the
necessary phase displacement. In standard practice, the
transformer tank also encloses the centre-tapped inductor, usually known as an interphase transformer (IPT),
connected between each pair of rectifier circuits, and
circuit pairs if appropriate, on the DC side. This device
prevents interaction between the rectifiers by sustaining
the instantaneous voltage difference in their outputs
caused by the phase displacement on the AC side. Nowadays, it is usually considered most economical to use a
12-pulse system.
The three possible six-pulse rectifier circuits for this
application are illustrated in Fig. 1. Each circuit may
have to provide direct current up to about 50 kA, and the
physical arrangements for liquid cooling the parallelled
diodes or thyristors often requires the use of a circuit
containing a common cathode connection, i.e. Fig. l a or
b. An advantage of the double three-phase star connection is that the semiconductor devices carry only half the
load current, but at the expense of an additional IPT.
Fig. 2 shows a typical electrochemical 48.5 kA rectifier
arrangement with parallelled devices, snubbers and
water-cooled busbars. Generally, parallelled circuits of
the types in Fig. l a or b are used for higher currents at
voltages up to 400V. For higher voltages of about
lo00 V and lesser currents the three-phase bridge is
popular, owing to its considerably lower transformer
rating in relation to the DC output.
125

For continuously variable control of the DC output


voltage, the choice lies between using thyristors, or diodes

In this paper, the operation of two parallel three-phase


thyristor bridges with a 30" phase offset is considered.
The size and cost of an IPT connected between them in
electrochemical plant is such that, on economic grounds,
it has occasionally been omitted. As stated above, the
resulting penalty is the interaction between the bridge circuits and the consequent circulating AC flowing between
them. The ability to predict the transformer winding and
AC supply current waveforms and establish their harmonic content with reasonable accuracy is obvious, and this
has provided the incentive for this investigation.

load
b

Operating modes

2.1 Circuit representation


Fig. 3 shows a schematic diagram of the parallel bridges

'71

supplied by two separate transformer output windings

load

I
I
I

!=I.

.-

turns
Nl

B1 tertiary

[ ($b

load

Fig. 1

Some six-pulse rectifier configurations


%Firnary

n Six-phase, halfwave

b Double three-phase star with IPT needed due to the 60" phase difference of the
two three-phase circuit
c Three-phase full-wave bridge

with flux-reset transductors in the AC-supply lines to the


rectifier. The availability of diodes with higher ratings
than thyristors eases problems of device parallelling, but
has the added expense of magnetic components.

three-phase
bridges in parallel
SUWlY
Fig. 3 Schematic diagram of the 12-pulse system
Three winding rectifier transformers

(the secondary and tertiary) with equal open-circuit voltages, and with the AC voltage in bridge 2 lagging that of
bridge 1 by 30". The number of turns per phase on the
star-connected secondary windings is 1/J3 times that on
the tertiary. The primary winding has a delta connection.
The position of a conventional IPT is shown in broken
lines, although in this investigation it is omitted. The 12pulse DC output is applied to the load, which comprises
resistance, inductance and a back EMF, as is typical for
electrochemical cells.
There are two basic transformer arrangements which
may be used for supplying three-phase bridges in the
required manner. These use either
(a) two separate three-phase transformers having the
same primary winding connection (delta) supplied in
parallel, each with a secondary (one in star and the other
in delta) connected to a bridge or
(b) a single three-phase three-winding transformer with
the star-connected secondary supplying one bridge and
the delta-connected tertiary the other, as depicted in Fig.

3.

Fig. 2
126

Electrochemical plant 48.5 k A rectrJier

The latter is more complicated to deal with analytically,


owing to the larger number of mutual inductances, and is
the arrangement adopted here.
The complete equivalent circuit used for analysis is
given in Fig. 4. Each of the transformer windings is represented by a designated branch impedance Z comprising
a resistance and self-inductance. Also included are the
mutual inductances between the windings in each phase
and between the phases, e.g. L,, and L,,, respectively.
Inductances are included for the IPT for completeness,
although these values are zero for the present investigation. A conducting thyristor is represented by an impedIEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

ance in series with a constant voltage source. A


nonconducting thyristor is assumed to have infinite
impedance. The simple conventional three-winding trans-

DC load. Higher operating modes occur during overload


and short-circuit [2]. In this study, the simplest condition
occurs for large thyristor firing-delay angles, when the

L14j L25.L36

/
424

L13
233

L23

1
L39. L17. L28

Fig. 4
z,, = I,

Equivalent circuit showing impedances

+ pL,, and similarly for each winding

former equivalent circuit is shown in Fig. 5 [l]. Although


helpful in showing the important reactances for limiting
circulating currents, it was not considered sufficiently
comprehensive for the analysis adopted here. However, it
is used later to obtain approximate results for comparison.
If the AC side inductances are assumed to be zero and
with no IPT, only the bridge which experiences the
highest instantaneous voltages in any 12-pulse ripple
period of 30" will conduct. Thus the normal conduction
interval of 120" for a thyristor in one bridge is broken up
by the conduction of thyristors in the other bridge. With
the AC-side inductances present, instantaneous transfer
of load current between the bridges (and between phases
within a bridge) is impossible, and commutation effects
occur in various degrees of complexity.
When defining the operating modes of single rectifier
circuits it is conventional to consider as Mode 1 the condition where the load-current flow is continuous and the
commutation angles are small, i.e. less than a pulsewidth,
this being typical of normal operation with an inductive

primary branch

secondary branch

Fig. 5 Conventional equivalent circuit of a three-winding transformer


(per phase)
IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

load current is discontinuous and therefore no commutations occur. This condition is adopted as Mode 1.
As the firing-delay angle is reduced, the load current
becomes continuous and both the operation and analysis
becomes increasingly complicated, with simultaneous
conduction of first the two bridges and then the rectifier
phases as the firing delay is reduced and current
increases. At each change of operation the mode number
rises.
The assumptions made for consideration of these operating modes are
(i) the AC supply voltages to the transformer are sinusoidal
(ii) the thyristor firing-delay angles are all equal
(iii) the transformer reactances presented to the two
bridges are equal.
Thus the bridges operate perfectly symmetrically and
with the required 30" phase displacement.
2.2 Mode 1 :Discontinuous load current and
discontinuous bridge currents
Fig. 6 shows the conduction patterns for the five operating modes considered here and covers 150" of the operating cycle. The numbers of the conducting thyristors are
defined in Fig. 7. In Mode 1, the load, bridge and thyristor currents flow in short pulses having a conduction
interval less than 30". The bridges conduct alternately
into the load, there being one load-current loop present
at a time, say i, in Fig. 7.
Typical waveforms are shown in Fig. 8. The conduction interval is (B - a), with the firing-delay angle a measured from the zero-voltage crossing of the appropriate
bridge-supply line voltage. This reference is more convenient than the usual definition of a = 0 when the incom127

ing thyristor becomes forward biased, which is 75" later


in a 12-pulse system as shown in this Figure.

In Mode 2 a thyristor in one bridge is turned on before


that in the alternate bridge has ceased to conduct. This
7 E O

- 130"

5
I /1R+2B//1

90"

120"

2BA

150"

v/2B*3Y//1

V/lR

60"

12v

v/3Y +4R/A
n

v2B'+3YYA

-I

Fig. 8

Mode I waveforms

a = DC output voltage
b = load current
c = bridge 1 current
d = bridge 2 current
e = bridge 2 supply line current 1;
fl = angle of cessation current flow (measured from voltage zero)

Fig. 6

Conduction patterns for various operating modes

Bridge 2 conduction lags bridge 1 conduction by 30"


Interbridge commutations are shown i/b
Interphase commutations are shown by i / p
Overlapping interphase commutations between bridges are shown by i/pb
Interphase commutation overlap interference within each bridge is shown by

m2.

2.3 Mode 2: Continuous load current, discontinuous


bridge currents and interbridge commutations

Mode 2 occurs when the thyristor firing delay is reduced


and the load current rises so that the conduction angle
increases to between 30" and 60". The transition between
Modes 1 and 2 occurs at a critical firing-delay angle aCl.

initiates the transfer of current from one bridge to the


other, i.e. an interbridge commutation takes place, as
shown in Fig. 6. Referring to the circuit of Fig. 9, thyristor 1R and 6Y, say, are conducting the falling current i,
in the outgoing bridge and 1R' and 6 Y carrying the
rising current i, in the incoming bridge. The interbridge
commutation is completed when i, falls to zero, after
which i, flows alone until the next pair of thyristors in the
sequence (1R and 2B) are fired. A point to note is that
during a bridge 1-bridge 2 commutation, devices in the
same phases are coming into conduction, e.g 1R' and 6 Y
take over conduction for 1R and 6Y. During a bridge
2-bridge 1 commutation the third phase is involved, e.g.
1R and 2B take over from 1R and 6Y'. Hence the transformer current paths are different in the two commutations.
Fig. 10 shows typical waveforms. The continuous load
current is made up of two alternating parts

w5B'
nlR , r~
0

bridge 2 4 4 R * f 6 Y ' $28:

Ed

Fig. 7

Typical current loop paths for Mode I

Secondary and tertiary windings shown

128

Fig. 9

Typical current loop paths for mode 2

Secondary and tertiary windings shown

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. E, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

(a) the sum of the two bridge currents, one rising, the
other falling, during the interbridge commutation interval

(Y - a)
(b) a single bridge current similar to Mode 1.
75"

(ii) before the interbridge commutation is completed,


the next thyristor is sequence 2B in the outgoing bridge is
fired and an interphase commutation commences, 6Y
current transferring to 2B with an additional loop
current i, flowing
(iii) on completion of the interphase commutation, i,
has fallen to zero leaving an interbridge commutation
with the bridge roles reversed, i.e. the previous incoming
bridge now being the outgoing one and loop currents i,
and i, remaining. The interphase commutation angle
U < 30".
Fig. 12 shows typical waveforms. Now the bridge currents are continuous, and the individual thyristors

3Y+4R

4R+5B

75

C
I

a
n

Fig. 10

in bridge2

Mode 2 waveforms
C

a = DC output voltage
b = load current
c = bridge 1 current
d = bridge 2 current
e = bridge 2 supply line current 1;
y = angle at completion of interbridge commutation

commutations

in bridge 2

2.4 Mode 3: Continuous load current, continuous


bridge currents and separated interphase
commutations alternately in each bridge
A reduction of the firing-delay angle to a second critical
value a,*, defined by the bridge conduction intervals
reaching 60", results in the whole of each 30" output
voltage pulsewidth being taken up by an interbridge
commutation. Operation moves into Mode 3 when a is
less than aC2 and the conduction intervals within each
bridge overlap. Fig. 6 shows the conduction pattern.
Referring to Fig. 11, the sequence of events is defined
as follows :
(i) let an interbridge commutation occur with bridge 2
incoming and bridge 1 outgoing; loop currents ib and i,,
respectively, flow in the bridges
7 - - - - - - - - 7

50'

I
I

Mode 3 waveforms

= DC output voltage
= load current
= bridge 1 current

= bridge 2 current
e = bridge 2 supply line current ry
6 = angle of completion of interphase commutation within a bridge
p = interphase commutation angle

conduct for an angle of between 120" and 150", as the


two pulses of Mode 2 have widened and merged. Since
commutations are taking place throughout the operating
cycle, the DC output voltage at no time follows the sinusoidal AC supply, but is at some intermediate value
between the appropriate phase voltages depending on the
commutation conditions.

"

20'

Fig. 11

Fig. 12
a
b
c
d

Typical current loop paths for Mode 3

Secondary and tertiary windings shown

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, MARCH 1990

2.5 Mode 4 : Continuous load current, continuous


bridge currents and interphase commutations in
the bridges partly overlapping
With further reduction of firing delay and increased
current, the interphase commutation angles p in the
bridges increase to 30" at the third critical firing-delay
.
then moves into Mode 4 if p > 30,
angle a C 3 Operation
with the individual bridge interphase commutations overlapping each other by an angle (p - 30)", as shown in
Fig. 6. Again, a new loop current flows during this interval, shown as id in Fig. 13. The stages of operation are as
follows:
(i) first, let an interphase commutation take place in
bridge 1 with current transferring from thyristor 6Y to
2B; i, is rising and i, falling. Bridge 2 carries a single
current ib
129

(ii) before stage (i) is completed thyristor 2 B in bridge


2 is fired, starting at 6Y' to 2B' interphase commutation
with loop current id increasing and i, decreasing
(iii) the interphase commutation is completed when i,
falls to zero, leaving the single current loop i, in bridge 1
and the existing interphase commutation proceeding in
bridge 2.

R
L

Fig. 13

Typical current loop paths for Mode 4

Secondary and tertiary windings

Typical waveforms are shown in Fig. 14. The interphase


commutations overlap for an angle (I+$
- a)', and each
thyristor now conducts for an angle of between 150" and
180".
An interesting feature is that the convetor can operate
with a thyristor firing-delay angle of less than 75"
because the incoming thyristor becomes forward biased
earlier in the cycle than would occur with purely sinusoidal voltages applied to the bridges. The degree of such
firing 'advance' depends on the AC voltage distortion at
the bridge terminals and on the load current. This effect
was observed experimentally as results show later.
2.6 Mode 5: Continuous load current, continuous
bridge currents and complete overlapping of
bridge interphase commutations with overlap
interference in each bridge
If the firing-delay angle is further reduced until the interphase commutation in each bridge is 60, both bridges
are permanently in a state of interphase commutation,
with three thyristors per bridge conducting. The critical
value aC4 denotes the onset of Mode 5, for which p is
greater than 60".
In this mode, when the next (fourth) thyristor is gated,
this must necessarily be associated with the same phase
as that carrying the outgoing interphase commutation
current, i, in phase Y shown in Fig. 15. As long as i,
flows in thyristor 6Y, the newly gated thyristor 3Y
cannot conduct since its anode is negative with respect to
its cathode. A period of interphase overlap interference
follows until the outgoing thyristor 6Y current i, falls to
zero. Then the incoming thyristor 3Y commences to
conduct current i,, giving the start of a new interphase
Commutation. Hence all interphase commutations are
constrained to be 60" in Mode 5. Such commutation
overlap interference is well known in single bridges [2].
Fig. 6 again gives the conduction pattern, with each thyristor conducting for 180".
For typical values of AC-side inductances, interphase
commutations approaching 60" only occur under abnormally high overload conditions and Mode 5 will not be
considered further.
Table 1 summarises the conduction conditions in the
various modes.

Fig. 14

Mode 4 waveform

a = DC output voltage
b = load current
c = bridge 1 current
d = bridge 2 current
e = bridge I supply line current I ,
)t = angle of completion of coincidence of interphase commutations between the
bridges

130

Fig. 15

Typical current loop paths for projected Mode 5

Secondary and tertiary windings shown

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

Table 1 : S h o w i n g commutation angles and interaction between bridges


~~

Mode

Device
conduction

Bridge
conduction

Independent

0 -+ 30"

Interphase
commutation
within a bridge,
angle p

Overlapping of
bridge interphase
commutation
between bridges

Interphase commutation
overlap interference
within each bridge

(B - 0 )

pulses
2~30"+60"

Y -a
1 x 120" -+ 150" Continuous
pulse
overlapping
between
bridges
150" + 180"
Continuous
overlapping
between
bridges
180"
Continuous
overlapping
between
bridges

II
II
I1

-+

30"

(p = 6 - U)

30" + 60"
(p)

0 --+ 30"

60" -+ 90"
(p)

30"
Continuous

Outline of analysis

3.1 Introduction
The analysis is based on Kron's tensor methods, modified
to assist in the handling of the device conduction patterns
[3], and it incorporates all circuit elements without any
simplifying assumptions such as infinite DC-load inductance. The description of the model is limited to an
outline of the technique, which is covered fully in Reference 4. The only assumptions made are those stated in
Section 2.1, which provide symmetrical operation of the
bridges. The equivalent circuit adopted is that of Fig. 4.
3.2 Method
The technique uses tensor analysis with the circuit mesh
currents defined as the system state variables. The connection tensors, expressed in relation to the conducting
thyristors, are used to assemble the mesh state variable
equations.
The analysis involves an algorithm, which
(a) assembles automatically, for any thyristor conduction pattern, the closed-path or mesh (loop) equations in
state variable form

(w-

a)

(p- 30")

0 -+ 30"

(b) solves the equations using a numerical integration


method
(c) determines the individual branch currents and voltages from the mesh values.
Assembly of the mesh contour equations requires three
references frames
(i) the primitive or branch reference frame
(ii) the intermediate reference frame
(iii) the mesh reference frame.
3.3 Primitive reference frame
The primitive reference frame is concerned with individual branches of the network, as shown in Fig. 16. The
system-voltage equation in abbreviated matrix form is
(1)
v b - Eb = Z b b I ,
The elements of the separate matrices for the transformer,
thyristors, IPT and load are given in Appendix 11.1,
(eqns. 9, 10 and 11). The main diagonal terms contain the
branch resistances and self-inductances defined in Fig. 4,
and the off diagonal terms contain mutual inductances. It
should be noted that the laboratory transformers used in
this study were single-phase three-winding units and the

e15

1%

2-

--

I21

_e2 V21

e21

Fig. 16

Primitive referenceframe

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

131

mutual inductance terms in the I,,, , L14, L7, groups of


Fig. 4 are zero.
3.4 intermediate reference frame
Fig. 17 shows the branches of the primitive reference
frame connected together to form the circuit defined by
the intermediate reference frame. Applying Kirchhoff s
current law to the nodes defines a current transformation
between the branch and intermediate reference frame currents reflected into the secondary and tertiary windings,
to give the relationship

tion in which thyristors l R , 6Y, 1R and 6Y are conducting. Three mesh currents i, i, and ib are required, as
shown in Fig. 9. The intermediate reference frame currents (Fig. 17) Z, are related to the mesh currents Z, by
the transformation tensor C,, as follows:

'b =
(2)
The complete form of Cbiis given in eqn. 12 in Appendix
11.1. The intermediate branch currents are related by

= cbIzI

vi = CLi v,
E, = cL,E,
ziI

= CL,

zbb

noting that matrix CL, is the transpose of matrix C,, .


T

1
-1

0
0

0
1
1

1
0
1-

["I
lb

The complete master conduction transformation tensor


C,,, of which the above forms part, is given in eqn. 13 in
Appendix 11.1. It contains the twelve meshes which
describe all practical thyristor conduction patterns, with
positive mesh current defined such that thyristor extinction is indicated when the current becomes negative.

(4)

1
0
0

O
0
1

(3)
E, + Vi = ZiiZi
Assuming power invariance, the following relationships
apply:
'b

0
0
0

10
I10
11 =Id
16-14 122-110-112=114" v2

11

3.5 Mesh reference frame


The mesh reference frame is concerned with the meshes
formed when individual thyristors are conducting. Kron's
'equation of constraint' technique [S, 6, 71 is used used,
whereby the currents of nonconducting devices are set to
zero. A new transformation tensor is defined, which
relates the intermediate reference frame to the mesh reference frame currents and introduces the changes in circuit
topology produced by switching. This new matrix C,, is
a reduction of c b , .
The number of mesh currents needed for a particular
topology [7] is
M=B-N+S

(5)

where M is the minimum number of independent meshes,


B is the number of branches, N is the number of nodes
and S is the number of electrically isolated subnetworks
(S = 1 here). As an example, consider the Mode 2 condi132

The transformation tensor C,, is dynamic, since its


elements vary with thyristor switching, and is assembled
automatically by the computer program. The matrix
equation relating the mesh currents and voltages is
E,

+ v,

= z,,z,

(7)

From Kirchhoffs voltage law V , = 0.


Similar relationships to those of eqn. 4 apply between
the mesh and intermediate reference frames

4 = C i m 1,

v, = c:, vi
E, = C:, E,

(8)

z,, = CILZrrC,,
The mesh equation is solved numerically using a 4thorder Runge-Kutta routine.
IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

AC side-current waveforms

This section presents computed results which are compared with experimental results to validate the program,
and to confirm the waveshapes of the operating modes
described in Section 2.
The circuit parameters used in the computer program
are given in Tables 4, 5 and 6 in Appendix 11.2, obtained
from measurements on the laboratory convertor. Reasonable balance of the voltages and inductances of the three
single-phase transformer units was achieved and averages
values used as data. The conventional three-branch per
phase equivalent circuit (Fig. 5) data is included in Table
7. The importance of the values of the secondary and tertiary branch impedances will be referred to later.
Figs. 18, 19 and 20 show for Modes 2, 3 and 4, respectively, predicted and experimental waveforms for the
bridge-supply line (transformer secondary phase) and
transformer tertiary-phase currents. In addition, the
transformer primary side currents are included for Mode
3. The correlation is quite acceptable in view of the
experimental equipment limitations and confirms the
waveforms given in Figs. 10, 12 and 14. It is interesting to
note that the firing-delay angle for Mode 4 operation was
60", which is less than the minimum 75" expected, due to
the bridge AC terminal-voltage distortion described in
Section 2.5.
Table 2 gives the predicted and the extremes of measured values for the first six characteristic harmonics in
the bridge 1 supply line-current waveforms for the four
operating modes. Again correlation is generally acceptable, although there is considerable deviation in a few
cases. This is due to slight differences between the computed and measured conduction periods of the thyristors
caused by inaccuracy in the measured parameters, phase

'able 2: Computed bridge 1 supply line-current harmonics


ixpressed as p.u. of the fundamental w i t h the t w o extreme
neasured values from the three phases shown in brackets
iring-delay
ingle a

Harmonic order
5th

7th

0.735
0.860
(0.863) (0.685)
(0.795) (0.614)
0.380
0.640
(0.630) (0.460)
(0.059) (0.405)
0.030
0.290
(0.260) (0.022)
(0.240) (0.021)
0.085
0.049
(0.102) (0.050)
(0.095) (0.046)

165"
nnode 1

1 50"
nnode 2
120"
nAode 3

6io"
nAode 4

11th

13th

17th

19th

0.430
(0.508)
(0.455)
0.009
(0.080)
(0.081)
0.069
(0.056)
(0.060)
0.036
(0.020)
(0.023)

0.280
(0.355)
(0.318)
0.056
(0.031 )
(0.030)
0.040
(0.034)
(0.036)
0.030
(0.024)
(0.021)

0.046
(0.173)
(0.168)
0.01 9
(0.066)
(0.73)
0.039
(0.047)
(0.037)
0.006
(0.020)
(0.017)

0.031
(0.069)
(0.082)
0.01 4
(0.046)
(0.041 )
0.026
(0.023)
(0.025)
0.008
(0.017)
(0.016)

imbalance and imprecise adjustment of the firing-delay


angles.
The characteristic harmonics present in each six-pulse
bridge-supply current waveform (5th, 7th, 17th, 19th etc.)
are absent in the transformer supply current for the
'perfect' 12-pulse convertor system with commutation
angle neglected. Here the computed characteristic and
uncharacteristic harmonics for the supply line current are
shown in Fig. 21a and b with perfect phase voltage,
impedance and firing balance assumed. The experimental
transformer impedances are slightly unbalanced, resulting
in the presence of additional uncharacteristic harmonic
levels which are, however, too low to be distinguishable.
5

System operating characteristics

Various system operating characteristics are shown in


Figs. 22 to 26. The DC output-voltage regulation charac-

5t

Ea -5-O o;:/

b.kd

1.b?o-l.h

time,s
x10-2

-"I

-15

Ea

O-O.;o

-5-

-bo-

1
0.0-

1
z 5 0 time,s
x10-2

-lo[
-15
b
Fig. 18

Computed and observed waveforms - Mode 2

Frequency = 50 Hz
a = 150"
R=5.1n
L = 0.0174 H
E, = 24 V

a Bridge supply line current


I , , = 0.75 A
I,, = 0.75 A
I , = 1.5 A
V, = 32.4 V

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. E, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

b Tertiary winding current


Oscillogram scale :
Horizontal - 2 ms/div
Vertical - 5 A/div

133

teristic with increasing load current (Fig. 22) is obtained


by reducing the load resistance for three set values of
firing delay, to give operation in Modes 2, 3 and 4. The
knee in the lower characteristic may be attributed to the
load conduction becoming continuous and interbridge

commutation effects commencing. The voltage drops are


mainly due to commutation and amount to 20% or less
for the two higher modes.
The increase in thyristor conduction interval with
reduction of the firing-delay angle for a set load imped-

15

tirne,s
i=j

-5

x10-2

-lot
-1 5

tirne,s

x10-2
-15
-lo[
b

1510-

5 -;Lx-hm+l~o.2
5-

tirne,s

-10 -15-

time,s

-5

-101
-1 5L
Fig. 19

Computed and observed waveforms - Mode 3

= 50 Hz
a = 120"
R = 5.1 R
L = 0.0174 H
E , = 24 V

Frequency

134

a Bridge supply line current


I , , = 4.78 A

I,, = 5.46 A
I , = 10.24 A
V, = 76.8 V

b Tertiary winding current


c Supply line current
d Primary phase current

Oscillogram scale:
Horizontal - 2ms/div
Vertical - 5 A/div

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, N o . 2, M A R C H 1990

The increase of interbridge commutation angle from


zero 30" is shown in Fig. 24, and the bridge interphase

ance is evident in Fig. 23, as is the sharp jump from 60"


to 120" at the Mode 2-Mode 3 change when the two 60"
current pulses/cycle merge.

time,s

L.

-10

x10-2

-201
-30L

time,s

-10

x10-2

- * OI

-30
Fig. 20

Computed and observed waveforms

Mode 4
b Tertiary winding current
Oscillogram scale:
2 ms/div
Horizontal
10 Aidiv
Vertical

a Bridge supply line current


I , , = 12.17 A
I,, = 12.25 A
I , = 24.42 A
V, = 150.1 V

Frequency = 50 Hz
a = W
R = 5.1 R
L = 0.0174 H
E , = 24 V

08-

0.6-

2
ulI

04-

60

80

100

120

140

160

180
firing delay angle, degrees

firing delay angle, degree

Computed AC-supply line-current harmonics


Fig. 21
a Characteristic
a 0 1 lth component
bA
b Uncharacteristic
x
13th component
x

5th component
7th component
0 17th component

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, MARCH 1990

Load data:
R = 5.1 R
L = 0.0174 H
E,=OV

135

commutation angles within the bridges and the overlapping of these between the bridges are given in Figs. 25
and 26, respectively. The critical firing-delay angles at
which mode changes occur are well defined by these
characteristics. A load EMF of 0 V was chosen for these
simulations, to allow the highest safe load current of 30A
to flow.
It is evident that differences exist in the computed
values of thyristor conduction and commutation angles
for the two bridges, which is surprising since balanced
(averaged) voltage and impedance values were used as
data. The differences are due to the fact that, for a perfectly symmetrical transformer, the resistance and selfinductance values of the delta output winding should be
three times those of the star output winding and,
assuming the same coupling coefficient, the mutual
inductances between primary and delta output winding
should be ,/3 times those between the primary and the
star output winding. The adjustment of the experimental
transformer inductance and resistance balance to these
relationships was not perfect, with the deviation of the
resistance values being greatest, as can be seen by comparing the relative values in Table 5 (Appendix 11.2).
Computed results with suitably adjusted resistances
values show identical operation for the two bridges.

at larger firing-delay angles. Industrial installations normally operate in Mode 3 without an IPT, so the condi-

160140-

;
120u
l
v1

-t
.e
-

100-

c
.C

80-

60-

40 mode 1

20-

?-

two pulsesof current

Comparison with parallel bridges having an IPT

With an interphase transformer present between the


bridges on the DC side, they operate without interaction
or specifically with very little circulating current between
them, depending on the value of the IPT inductance and
the firing-delay angle a. The circulating current is highest

90

$0

io

lb

i o

1
o;

lb

+lkO

firing delay angle degrees


I

Fig. 23
A
x

Thyristor conduction interval characteristic

bridge 1
bridge 2 ]computed
bridge 1 -experimental

Load data:
R = 5.1 R
L = 0.0174 H
E,=OV

140
Ln

>

-0

3 100-

C
.C

._
c
0

80 -

8
delay
60-

40

10

20

30

40

load current, A
Fig. 22
A

Load characteristic

computed a = 60"
x experimental a = 60"
0 computed a = 75"
0 experimental a = 75"
A computed a = 120"
I
experimental a = 120"

136

Load data:
L = 0.0174 H
E,=OV
R = variable

Fig. 24

$:
0

firing delay angle, degrees


Interbridge commutation characteristic - Mode 2

Lzgi]

computed
bridge 1 -experimental

Load data:
R = 5.1 R
L = 0.0174 H
E,=OV

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

tions shown in Fig. 19 with U = 120" will be adopted for


consideration with an IPT present, each half winding of

,p

critical firing angle uc3

which will be assumed to have a self-inductance of


200 mH.
Fig. 27 shows the waveform of the bridge supply
current calculated by conventional methods with the rectifier transformer commutating inductances obtained
from the averaged values quoted in Table 7. The commutation angle is 5.9". The relatively small components
of the load-current ripple (0.24 A peak) and circulating
current (0.13 A peak) are not shown.

Fig. 27

Calculated bridge supply current waveform with I P T present

Typical values of the first six harmonic components of


this waveform are given in Table 3.
Table 3: Predicted bridge-supply line-current harmonics as
a fraction of the fundamental with IPT present
Firing delayangle a

Harmonic order
5th

120"

Interphase commutation characteristic - Mode 3

$:

] computed

0 bridge 1 - experimental

Load data:
R = 5.1 R
L = 0.0174 H
E,=OV

75

19th

Overlapping interphase commutation characteristic - Mode 4

;]computed

0 bridge 1 -experimental

Load data:
R=5.1R
L = 0.0174 H
E,=OV

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

10%

80

firing delay angle, degrees

iz

17th

Implications for transformer design

critical firing delay

$:

13th

0.071 0.050 0.045

It is evident that, from the current-harmonic viewpoint,


omission of the IPT is beneficial except for the 5th harmonic. With greater firing-delay angles, this can be
increased by more than the 50% demonstrated here, 75%
being observed with transformers having low-leakage
reactance.
The 5th and 7th harmonic components flowing in the
star and delta output windings of the transformer are in
antiphase, and so therefore are the associated flux components. These are at 90" to the preferred direction of the
main fundamental leakage flux relative to the winding
conductors. The much lower 7th harmonic component
gives no difficulty, but the increased 5th harmonic flux
can cause severe localised eddy-current heating in the
windings.
The transformer design must therefore be adapted, if
the IPT is omitted, so that the circulating current, and
thus the 5th harmonic winding current components, are

;a

Fig. 20

11th
0.086

It is evident from comparing these harmonic levels with


those of Table 2 for U = 120" that omission of the IPT
results in considerably reduced values for all orders
except the 5th, which increases by about 50%. Comparison of the waveforms (Figs. 19a and 27) clearly demonstrates the heavy circulating-current component with no
IPT, resulting in this substantially higher 5th harmonic.

firing delay angle, degrees


Fig. 25

7th

0.198 0.141

a
b
Typical percentage reactance values for the conventional
Fig. 28
three-winding equivalent circuit
WithIPT
b Without IPT

137

restricted. This takes the form of reconfiguring the windings to give relatively high leakage between the two
output windings on each phase. The change in leakage
flux distribution is well illustrated by the different reactance values in the conventional three-winding equivalent
circuit. Fig. 28 illustrates percentage reactances which are
typical for an industrial transformer supplying parallel
bridge rectifiers. For a, each transformer phase may have
a single primary winding and multiple flat coils in alternate layered sandwich form for the two output windings
to give low leakage between the latter. For b, a primary
winding in two parallel-connected halves may be used,
with separate single output windings positioned end to
end for increased flux leakage between them.

The bridge-supply current waveform for typical operating conditions is predicted by conventional methods for
the case with an IPT included to compare the waveform
harmonic contents.
It is demonstrated that the absence of an IPT need not
be a handicap to the successful operation of two parallel
bridge rectifiers. However, it is necessary to modify the
rectifier transformer design to provide high-leakage reactance between the two output windings to limit the interbridge circulating current and hence the troublesome 5th
harmonic fluxes in the transformer. In simple terms, it
can be said that these high-leakage reactances act like an
IPT in this respect.
9

Conclusions

Four operating modes for two 6-pulse bridge rectifiers


connected in parallel, without a DC side interbridge
reactor (IPT), have been described and analysed. A fifth
mode is postulated. The interbridge and interphase commutation effects are defined, and the AC side current
waveforms and rectifier characteristics are predicted, by
the mathematical model, and verified experimentally
using a laboratory converter. Good correlation is evident
between computed and measured results, thereby confirming the analysis and computer program. Small discrepancies are explained by imperfections in the balance
and symmetry of the laboratory equipment. Large-scale
industrial plant is expected to be much better in this
respect.
A rigorous modelling technique using tensors has been
adopted, which has the following features :
(a) all circuit impedance components are included and
have finite values
(b)the DC load has all the typical elements of electrochemical plant; resistance, inductance and back EMF
(c) the analysis has been developed from first principles : no separately derived equivalent circuit is used
(d) the mathematical model includes all mutual inductance terms, including those for a three-phase transformer and an IPT, and is therefore complete, although
three single-phase transformers and no IPT were used
here
(e) perfect balance between the three phases and symmetrical firing of the thyristors are assumed.
The requirement for transformer data which include selfand mutual-inductance values and not p.u. or percentage
winding leakage reactances is unconventional in terms of
industrial practice, where the three-branch equivalent
circuit per phase is more usual. The latter, however, is
not sufficiently comprehensive, since it neglects the interphase coupling of a three-phase transformer unit.

Acknowledgments are made to the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the Computer
Centre of Loughborough University of Technology for
the provision of facilities, and to GEC TDPL, Stafford,
and Mr G. E. Snazell in particular for financial support,
helpful discussions and permission to reproduce Fig. 2.
10

r3

+PL33
0
0

References

1 LANGLOIS-BERTHELOT, R. : Transformers and generators for


power systems (Macdonald, London, 1960)
2 RAMAMOORTY, M.: An introduction to thyristors and their
applications (Macmillan Press Ltd., London, 1978)
3 KETTLEBOROUGH, J.G., SMITH, I.R., and FANTHOME, B.A.:
Simulation of a transformer/rectifier unit for aircraft power supply
systems, IEE Proc. B, 1982, 129, (6), pp. 323-329
4 RAZAK, A.B.M.J.:Parallel operation of bridge rectifiers without an
interbridge reactor. MSc Thesis, Loughborough University of Technology, 1985
5 KRON, G . : Tensors for circuits (Dover, 1959)
6 WILLIAMS, S., and SMITH, I.R.: SCR bridge converter computation using tensor methods, IEEE Trans., 1976, C-25, pp. 1-6
7 HAPP, H.H.: Diakoptics and networks (Academic Press, 1971)

11

Appendix

1 1 . 1 Matrices developed in the analysis


(a) Primitive reference frame: the following are the
primitive reference frame matrices containing the branch
equations for the network components of the transformer
(eqn. 9), thyristor branches (eqn. 10) and IPT (if present)
with load (eqn. 11)
(b) Transformation matrix C,, for primitive to intermediate reference frame: this matrix (eqn. 12) is used in eqn.
4 for transforming the primitive branch matrices into the
complete network (intermediate) frame

(c) Intermediate branch to mesh transformation matrix


C,,,,: This matrix is used in eqn. 8 to transform the

network frame into the final mesh frame for solution and
it incorporates the sequential switching of the thyristors

0
0

Acknowledgments

0
0

PL36

r4+pL44

0
0

PL36

0
0

0
0
PL39

PL47
0
0

r6 +PL66

0
0
PL69

PL17

0
0
PL47

0
0
r7 +PL77

0
0

(9)
138

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, MARCH 1990

__

'10

r10 10

+ PLlO 10
'1 1

'I 2

r 1 2 12

+ PL12 12

...

'1 3

...

..

115

..

'1 6

...

'1 7

...

'1 8

...

'1 9

r20 2 0

+ PLZO 20
r2121

+PL2121--

+PL22

r22 22

r23 23

+ PL23

0
4

c,,

18

22 23 24

--N4

--N7

--N4
NI

!3

!3

0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

4
5
6
7

1
0
0
0
0
0
0
-1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
-1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

24

16

--N7
Nl

23

12

9
10
= 11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22

10

Nl

23

--N4
Nl

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-1
0
1

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
6

121

0
0

PL22 23

22

P L 2 2 23

1 20

NI

0
0

0
1
0
-1

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0

Nl

Nl
0
0
0
0

1
-1
0

0
0
0

0
1
1

0
0

0 - 1 - 1
0 - 1 - 1

0
0
0
-1
0

0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990

0
0
1
1

0
0

0
0

0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0 - 1 - 1
0 - 1 - 1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0 1 0
0 1 0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1

139

Conduction path
thyristors
loop +
Branch
number
4
5
6
7
8
c,, = 10
12
16
18
22
23
24

10
13
a

10
15
b

12
15
c

1 0 0 0
0
1
0 - 1 0
0
0 0
0
0 0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0 0
0
0 0
1
1
1
0
0 0
1
1
1

12
11
d

14
11

14
13

0
0
0
1
- 1
0
0
0 . 0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1

1 0
0
0 0 - 1
0
1
0
0 0
0
0 0
0
0 0
0
1 0
0

0
0
1
0
1

16
19
g

16 18 18
21 21 17

20
17

20
19

0 0
0
0
0 0
0
0
0 0
0
0
1 0 - 1 - 1
0 1
1 0 0 0
0
0
0 0
0
0
1 0
0
0
0 1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1 1
1
1
1
1
1
1

0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1

(13)

Note: Other branches are omitted here as their effect i s included in the electrical connections transformation matrix.

1 1.2 Experimental equipment data


(a) Transformer: Measured values of transformer

Table 6 : Measured thyristor branch and load data used (Fig.


4)

open-circuit voltages, turns ratios, resistances and inductances, together with other circuit data are as below

Thyristor model
ethv

Table 4: Measured transformer open-circuit voltages and


turns ratios
Primary winding (delta) line voltages

50 Hz

Secondary winding (star) line voltages

129.5 V
129.8 V
129.0 V
B-R
Average 129.4 V
129.0 V
R-Y
Y-B
129.8 V
129.5 V
B-R
Average 129.4 V
0.539
0.31 1

Tertiary winding (delta) line voltages

Turns ratios N J N ,
Turns ratios N , / N ,

240.0 V

R-Y
Y-B

L?hv

R,,,

=
=
= 0.1

Load

No IPT

E,

Z,,,, = 0
Z,,,, = 0

= 24.0 V or 0 V
L = 0.01 7 4 H
R = 5.1 0

Zn,,

=0

Table 7 : Measured transformer equivalent circuit parameters referred to the rectifier side (Fig. 5)
Branch
Transformer A
parameters

r,, 0
L,, mH
r,, Q
L,, mH
r,, 0
L,, mH

-0.266
-3.075
1.096
8.321
0.994
8.407

Transformer B Transformer

-0.207
-3.024
0.962
8.270
0.895
8.270

-0.237
-3.1 77
0.895
8.203
0.949
8.270

Table 5 : Average measured transformer data used (Fig. 4)


Resistances, Q

Self-inductances, H

r , =r,=r,=0.708
r 4 = r 5 =r, =0.289
r7=r,=r9 =0.307

L , = L2,=L3,= 1.66
L,,= L,, = L,, =0.506
L,,= L,, = L,, =0.170

Mutual inductances, H

L,,= L,,=L,,=0.901
L,,=L,,=L,,
=0.523
L,, = L,, = L,, =0.279

Erratum
AL ZAHAWI, B.A.T., JONES, B.L., and DRURY, W.:
Analysis and simulation of static Kramer drive under
steady-state conditions, ZEE Proc. B, 1989, 136, (6), pp.
28 1-29 1
In this paper, the following correction should be made to
the text:
On page 285, eqn. 23 should read: T = p{i,[-LL,i,
- J?M(i, - ic)/2] i,[L,i, + M i , - M(i,
ic)/2]}

The results and conclusions of the paper are in no way


affected by this correction.

140

IEE PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 137, Pt. B, No. 2, M A R C H 1990