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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 15, NO. 3, JULY 2000
Mohammed Bashir Rifai, Thomas H. Ortmeyer, Senior Member, IEEE, and William J. McQuillan
Abstract—Distortion levels on power systems have been con tinuously increasing due to the increasing presence of power con verters. The distortion currents injected by some converters can include interharmonics as well as harmonics. The generation of interharmonics in ac–dc–ac power converters is discussed, and a method to predict levels of current interharmonics is developed. The results show that very low interharmonic levels can be ex pected for a well designed PWM inverter operating with linear modulation and balanced load. Interharmonics can be expected in cases when the inverter is in overmodulation or when the in verter load is unbalanced. The paper also discusses the relative ef fects of dc link inductance and source inductance on interharmonic propagation.
Index Terms—Power converter harmonics, power quality, pulse width modulated inverter.
I. INTRODUCTION
A PPLICATIONS of solidstate converters for adjustable speed drives are becoming more popular in industrial sys
tems due to the improvements in power transistor technology. These advances allow improved efficiency and flexibility. The current distortion generated by adjustable speed drives has been a matter of concern for many years. Over this time, methods have been developed for dealing with these harmonics [1], so that well designed drive systems have a limited impact on the source. Recently, however, the presence of interharmonic currents in the input to these drives has come under discussion [2], [3]. Interharmonics are defined as steady state currents or voltages which are not an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. In many adjustable speed drives, the input power conversion is with a diode bridge rectifier to a dc link. The dc link voltage is inverted with a PWM inverter to supply a variable frequency,
variable voltage ac load. Harmonic currents of the inverter create interharmonics in the power system when they propagate through the dc link. In this work, the relationships between the inverter load system, the dc link, and the ac source were investi gated. Conditions that lead to interharmonics in the supply were identified. For balanced cases with linear modulation of the inverter, the dc link harmonics were found to be of high order harmonics which can be blocked by dc link inductance. The source current harmonics were evaluated for different values of the inverter operating frequencies and no interharmonics were
Manuscript received January 5, 1998; revised June 5, 1999 and November 17,
2000.
M. B. Rifai is with the Department of Electrical Machines & Drives, Univer sity of Aleppo, P. O. Box 7680, Aleppo, Syria. T. H. Ortmeyer is with the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 136995720. W. J. McQuillan is with the Department of Electrical & Computer Engi neering, Clarkson University, Postdam, NY 136995720. Publisher Item Identifier S 08858977(00)072241.
TABLE
I
_{R}_{E}_{L}_{A}_{T}_{I}_{O}_{N}_{S}_{H}_{I}_{P} BETWEEN INTERHARMONIC CURRENT LEVEL AND LOAD CURRENT IMBALANCE MEASURED IN A TYPICAL SMALL AC DRIVE
found. With unbalanced loads or overmodulation, however, significant levels of interharmonic currents were found to exist. Table I shows the relationship between interharmonic current in the source and load unbalance measured in a small adjustable speed drive currently on the market. While these levels are not particularly high relative to the harmonic currents drawn by the source, their presence at nonharmonic frequencies is a cause of concern. This paper provides an evaluation of the mechanism involved in the generation of interharmonics by load imbalance and overmodulation. It presents a study of the effect of variation of source inductance and dc link inductance, and shows that these inductances can have similar effects on interharmonic levels. In addition, a simplified model is presented which can be used to predict interharmonic levels for a wide range of dc link and source situations.
_{I}_{I}_{.} _{E}_{V}_{A}_{L}_{U}_{A}_{T}_{I}_{O}_{N} OF CURRENT INTERHARMONICS
The purpose of this work is to evaluate the level of current interharmonics imposed onto the power supply by a typical ad justable speed drive (ASD) system and to examine the effects of varying certain parameters on these interharmonics. The vari able speed drive system is shown in Fig. 1. It consists of a three phase diode rectifier, a DC link, a threephase pulsewidthmod ulated (pwm) inverter feeding a threephase motor. Note that the source neutral is node “n,” the dc link negative bus is node “N,” and the load neutral is node “o.” Source phases are denoted “a,” “b,” and “c,” while load phases are “A,” “B,” and “C.” Matlab algorithms were written to evaluate the inverter current har monics and to determine the interharmonics during unbalanced cases and overmodulation cases. These analytical methods were confirmed through simulation and laboratory measurement. In this study, it is assumed that the motor is running at its full load torque and that the load torque is held constant throughout
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RIFAI et al.: EVALUATION OF CURRENT INTERHARMONICS FROM AC DRIVES
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Fig. 1.
The AC drive system.
the speed range. The power source is assumed to be balanced with sinusoidal voltages behind the short circuit impedance. The simple motor model shown in Fig. 1 is used throughout the study. The volts per hertz ratio of the inverter is held constant and the fundamental frequency equation is:
(1)
Where is the motor internal voltage and is the fun damental motor impedance. The motor current harmonics are found from the voltage harmonics of the pwm inverter output and the motor impedance. In calculating the levels of the inverter output voltage and input current at low frequencies, the ripple on the inverter input voltage is neglected. This assumption has been tested and found to be reasonable for ripple levels up to 10% of the dc level of the inverter input voltage. The threephase inverter is feeding the motor using sinusoidal pulse width modulation [4], which is briefly described in the appendix. Two distinctive regions are present in the process of converting a dc voltage into threephase sinusoidal pwm volt ages. The first one is the linear region , where the fundamentalfrequency component in the output voltage varies linearly with the amplitude modulation ratio . The peak value of the fundamentalfrequency component of the phase A to neg ative bus voltage is [4]:
(2)
With amplitude modulation ratio , however, the in verter enters the overmodulation region. The linear relationship between and fundamental voltage is lost, and low order har monics are introduced as switching pulses are eliminated. As
approaches 3.24, the output waveform approaches square wave operation, with odd nontriplen harmonic components equal to the fundamental magnitude divided by the harmonic number. Based on the switching logic for a particular operating con dition, a switching function can be defined which relates phase to negative voltage to input voltage:
(3)
represents the phase switching function and the subscript notation A, B or C for the three phases of the motor circuit.
is the negative bus of the dc link. The functions will include a dc component as well as ac common mode voltages, which in turn appear between load neutral and the nega tive pole . After defining a new functions . which include the positive and negative sequence components Of , a re lationship between the input and output of the inverter can be
derived. Using the fact that the inverter neither absorbs, pro duces nor stores power, instantaneous input power must equal instantaneous output power:
(4)
Combining Equations (3) and (4), the inverter input current
is approximately:
(5)
The motor phase currents can be found at each harmonic from the phase to neutral voltage and the motor characteristics. With the motor phase currents known, the inverter input current can be found from Equation (5). In evaluating Equation (5), both and for each phase can be defined as double sided infinite sums with fundamental fre quency of the inverter operating frequency. The infinite series can be cut down to a reasonable number of terms for both the switching function and the current function. Equation (6) illus trates the multiplication for one of the terms on the right hand side of Eq. (5). In the equation, is the peak motor th har
monic current, is the peak value of the th inverter PWM harmonic, and is the inverter operating frequency.
(6)
Significant components of inverter input current will exist at
frequencies and , for with a significant
switching frequency component and with a significant motor harmonic current component.
The inverter input current is reflected into the input of the dc link based on the relationship between dc link capacitor and inductance. With no source impedance, the equivalent circuit shown in Fig. 2 is valid for the harmonics of the inverter op erating frequency, excepting the cases where the inverter har monic frequencies match one of the rectifier output harmonic frequencies. The effect of source impedance is considered in Section IV. Under these conditions, the circuit of Fig. 2 can be used to
predict the rectifier output current at the inverter harmonic frequencies: the capacitor will conduct high frequency currents,
the inductor (and rectifier) will conduct low frequency currents,
and current multiplication can be expected near the dc link res
onant frequency.
Once the output current harmonics of the rectifier are found,
the switching function of the rectifier can be called to find
the ac side current harmonics:
(7)
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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 15, NO. 3, JULY 2000
Fig. 2.
DC link equivalent circuit at the inverter harmonics.
where the switching function of the rectifier
is defined as:
(8)
is the source frequency and the terms are derived through fourier analysis for continuous conduction of the diode bridge. While similar functions will exist for b and c phases, they do not need to be calculated when the source is balanced. Note that is the sum of odd nontriplen harmonics of the source frequency, and is the sum of the dc current and harmonics of the inverter frequency. The source phase current will contain frequencies which are the sum and the difference of the source and inverter harmonic frequencies. The resulting components are called interharmonic currents as their frequencies are not integer multiples of the source frequency. Interharmonic levels will depend on inverter harmonics reflected into the dc link and on the ability of the dc link to block the propagation of these inverter currents.
III. HARMONICS RESULTS
In this work the dc side and ac side current distortion was investigated using the converter topology of Fig. 1 and specific values of the adjustablespeed drive system parameters as given in Table II. The frequency modulation ratio was chosen so that the switching frequency is in the range of 1800 Hz–2 kHz. Three sets of cases were considered: balanced loading with linear modulation, unbalanced loading with linear modulation, and balanced loading with overmodulation.
a) In the case of linear modulation and balanced loading, the motor harmonics begin at the switching frequency. As this is well above the dc link resonant frequency of 92 Hz, no significant levels of inverter harmonics are present in the source power system.
b) With unbalanced inverter load in the linear modulation cases, current interharmonics were found in the ac source currents. The unbalanced load causes the presence of low order current harmonics, particularly the second and the twelfth, in the dc link going into the inverter. For frequen cies below the dc link resonance, these currents will be drawn from the rectifier. Near the resonance, current mul tiplication will occur, and high levels are possible.
TABLE
II
THE PARAMETER VALUES OF THE BASE CASE DRIVE SYSTEM
The second and the twelfth inverter current harmonics in the dc link cause interharmonics when reflected to the ac side of the rectifier. The frequency of these current
interharmonics obeys the equation:
(9)
where
is the frequency of the interharmonic,
is the order of the current harmonic in (typically 2 or 12),
is the inverter operating frequency, , and
is the source frequency. The most significant values of the current interhar monics would generally occur with and . Other interharmonics of significant values will appear as the load imbalance increases. Table III gives the values of the inverter operating frequencies investigated, the
amplitude modulation ratio and the corresponding values of the frequency modulation ratio . Fig. 3 shows the interharmonic levels for the with
and case. Interharmonic level as a percent of power system fundamental current is plotted versus the percent ratio of negative to positive sequence inverter output current. Note that the dc link frequency in the 48 Hz case is near the dc link resonant frequency, re sulting in high levels of interharmonics. With and
for inverter frequencies of 25, 37.5, and 48 Hz and with the source frequency at 60 hertz, the interharmonic sidebands pairs are 10 & 110 Hz, 15 & 135 Hz, and 36 & 156 Hz, respectively. On a 60 hertz base these represent harmonic orders of 0.1667 & 1.8333, 0.25 & 2.25, and 0.6 & 2.6 respectively.
c) With overmodulation
, lower order harmonics
appear on the dc link in the balanced load case. The most
dominant current harmonic in the dc side confirmed to be
RIFAI et al.: EVALUATION OF CURRENT INTERHARMONICS FROM AC DRIVES
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TABLE
III
INVERTER OPERATING FREQUENCIES AND MODULATION RATIOS
Fig. 3.
Current interharmonics as function of unbalance ratio.
the sixth order harmonic. Other harmonics present have relatively smaller values.
When the inverter sixth harmonic current in the dc link is reflected to the ac side of the rectifier, interharmonics at
228 Hz and 348 Hz occur with the inverter operating frequency
of 48 Hz. With an inverter operating frequency of 37.5 hertz,
the dominant interharmonic frequencies are at 165 Hz and
285 Hz. These frequencies obey Equation (9) for . The
interharmonics field measurements found in [2] would appear to result from the inverter operating with overmodulation.
IV. INDUCTANCE INVESTIGATION
The results in the previous section assume that the dc link in ductance is substantial and that the source impedance is negli gible. In certain practical cases, one or both of these assumptions may not be valid. For this reason, the effects of both the dc link inductance and the source inductance on the contents of the cur rent harmonics were investigated. These investigations involved pspice simulations of rectifierinverter operation. In these simu lations, the apparent impedance of the source at an inverter har monic was calculated from the ratio of the effective values of capacitor voltage to rectifier current at that frequency.
a) With zero source impedance, the dc link inductance was reduced. Fig. 4 shows the results of a balanced case with hz and , resulting in a 2016 hertz current injected into the dc link. As is reduced, the rec tifier current harmonic levels will rise until, at some point, the rectifier output current becomes discontinuous. The
apparent impedance of the inductor/rectifier combination
at 2016 hertz is shown in Fig. 4. This relationship is es sentially linear to nearly 0.5 mH, slightly beyond the point where the current becomes discontinuous at 0.75 mH. With the inverter load unbalanced with hz and
, a 96 hertz current was injected onto the dc link. Fig. 5 shows the effect of on the apparent impedance at this frequency. Again, linearity is seen over a wide range of values of the dc link inductance. The system impedance seen by these 96 hertz currents is essentially the coil reac tance at that frequency throughout the continuous current range and some way into discontinuous current operation. Therefore, link resonant frequency and current division can be estimated without fully knowing the conduction state of the rectifier. b) In many cases the source inductance is not negligible.
The primary effect of this ac side inductance will be to
change the apparent dc link inductance and therefore the tuning of the dc link components. Pspice simulations were
run with mH and 96 hertz excitation. From these
simulations, the apparent value of dc link inductance can be calculated. The difference between the apparent and actual values of dc link inductance (referred to here as
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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 15, NO. 3, JULY 2000
inverter harmonics are present due to either load imbalance or overmodulation.
APPENDIX
Sinusoidal pulse width modulation of a converter leg is performed through the comparison of a sinusoidal command signal and a triangular modulating signal. The command signal frequency is the desired fundamental frequency of the inverter output. The modulating signal frequency is the desired switching frequency. Switch logic is implemented so that the output leg is connected to the positive bus when the command signal is greater than the modulating signal, and the output phase is connected to the negative bus when the
Fig. 6. 



Inductance Ratio as 
Varies 
mHenry. 
command signal is less than the modulating signal. The ratio is called the frequency modulation ratio of the inverter . The ratio of the amplitude of the command 


signal to the modulating signal is the amplitude modulation ratio 

. In the linear region, is less than 1, the fundamental output voltage is proportional to . When is greater than 1, switching pulses are eliminated for the portion of time when the sine wave is greater than the triangle wave. As a result, the fundamental level is no longer proportional to , and low order harmonics are introduced into the output wave. 

[1] REFERENCES IEEE recommended practices and requirements for harmonic control in 

electric power systems, IEEE Std. 5191992. [2] D. E. Rice, “A detailed analysis of sixpulse converter harmonic cur rents,” EEEE Trans. Industry Applic., vol. IA30, no. 2, pp. 294–304, March/April 1994. [3] “Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)—Part 2: Environment,”, IEC 

Fig. 7. 



Inductance Ratio as 
Varies 
mHenry. 
61 0002. [4] N. Mohan, T. M. Undeland, and W. P. Robbins, Power Electronics: 
) is the equivalent or effective level of the source in ductance. Fig. 6 shows the inductance ratio as a function of . Fig. 6 shows that source inductance be haves similarly to a dc link inductance 1.6 times greater
than when
is greater than 0.5 mH. The low level
nonlinearity is again due to discontinuous operation of the rectifier. Fig. 7 shows similar results with reduced to 0.1 mH. This suggests that from a design standpoint, dc link performance can be estimated by modeling source inductance as an equivalent dc link inductance .
These results extend the analysis of Section III to include cases with low dc link inductance and cases with significant source inductance. Using these combined results, the frequen cies and levels of interharmonics can be predicted for a wide range of installations.
V. CONCLUSIONS
This paper analyzes the generation of current interharmonics by ac variable speed drives. The presence of inverter harmonic currents on the dc link was considered, and models were de veloped for the propagation of these currents through the link and onto the source system. It was shown that little if any in terharmonics will be generated by well designed drives oper ating with linear modulation and balanced loading. Significant levels of interharmonics can be expected when low frequency
Converters, Applications and Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons,
1989.
[5] B. Pilvelait, T. H. Ortmeyer, and M. Grizer, “Harmonic evaluation of
inductor location in a variable speed drive,” in IEEE 1992 International
Conference on Harmonics in Power Systems, Atlanta, GA, pp. 267–271.
Mohammed Bashir Rifai received his B.S.E.E. in 1977 from the University of
Aleppo, Syria, the M.E.E.E. in 1981 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Ph.D. in 1986 from Clarkson University. Since January 1986, he has been at the University of Aleppo, where he is an Associate Professor of Electrical Machines & Drives. During the 1991–1992 year, he was a Visiting Associate
Professor at Yarmouk University, Jordan. He was at Clarkson University for six months in 1997 as an Associate Researcher. His current interests include power system harmonics, power electronics, motor control and electrical machinery stability analysis.
Thomas H. Ortmeyer received his B.S.E.E in 1972, the M.S.E.E. in 1977 and the Ph.D. in 1980, all from Iowa State University. From 1972 through 1976, he worked in the Operational Analysis Department, Commonwealth Edison Com pany, Chicago, Illinois. Since 1979, he has been at Clarkson University, where he is Professor of electrical engineering. During the 1993–1994 year, he was Guest Professor of the Advanced Technology of Electrical Engineering Chair, Kumamoto University. His current interests include power system harmonics, power electronics, machine control, and power system protection. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi.
William J. McQuillan received his B.S.E.E. in 1994 and the M.S.E.E. in 1995 from Clarkson University. He is currently with R. G. Vanderweil, Boston, MA.
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