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2014 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology (ICIT), Feb. 26 - Mar.

1, 2014, Busan, Korea

Step-by-step Design and Control of LCL filter

based Three Phase Grid-connected Inverter
Soumik Sen Kalyan Yenduri Parthasarathi Sensarma
Department of Electrical Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Kanpur, India 208016 Kanpur, India 208016 Kanpur, India 208016
Email: soumiksen87@gmail.com Email: ykalyan@iitk.ac.in Email: sensarma@iitk.ac.in
Telephone: (+91) 512-2597076

Abstract—This paper proposes a detailed step-by-step design

procedure and control of an LCL filter for grid connected three iga Rdc
phase sine PWM voltage source inverter. The goal of the design
is to ensure high quality of grid current as well as to minimize ega Lga Cfa La i a S1 S3 S5 Vdc
igb ib
the size of filter magnetics. In order to ensure unity power C
factor injection into grid a current controller is designed with a egb Lgb Cfb Lb ic
constraint that only the inverter side inductor current is sensed. igc S4 S6 S2
Good agreement between simulation and experimental results
verify the effectiveness of the designed controller and the LCL egc Lgc Cfc Lc

I. I NTRODUCTION Fig. 1. Power Circuit

Distributed power generating systems(DPG) based on re-

newable energy sources like solar and wind contribute sig- i is fed back to the control system while the reference input
nificantly to the total electrical energy produced worldwide. is the reference grid current. For successful current control,
These DPGs are generally connected to grid by energy efficient a controller is designed such that the fundamental component
power electronic converters[1]. This grid connected inverter is of i tracks the reference. So inherent assumption while de-
interfaced with grid by a filter which ensures high quality of signing the controller is that only fundamental component of
grid current. Compared with the traditional L filter, LCL filter i flows into the grid. The filter is designed such way that this
provides more attenuation to high frequency harmonics[2] and assumption is a valid one. For successful control only five
exhibits better dynamic performance[3]. [2] discusses a step- sensors are used in the entire setup. Two current sensors are
by-step design procedure of LCL filter for three phase active used for sensing the converter side inductor currents of two
rectifier, but minimization of the total size of the inductors phases. Three voltage sensors are used among which two are
is not one of the design criterion there. [2] presents a broad used for sensing grid voltages of two phases and remaining
range for selection of resonant frequency of the filter and does one is used to sense dc link voltage Vdc .
not give an exact guideline about how to select that frequency. Section II describes the step-by-step procedure of filter
[4] starts the design procedure from the maximum converter design. Section III includes the system model used to design
side current ripple calculation and then goes on to find the the current controller and the control scheme. Simulation and
minimum grid inductance. But it does not state how the grid experimental results validating the effectiveness of designed
current is controlled. In [5] the maximum value of inductance filter and controller are shown in Section IV.
is found out from power condition and minimum value from
the ripple current consideration. But the present work focuses II. F ILTER D ESIGN
on the minimization of the total inductor size for achieving
required attenuation at high frequencies. The design criteria for designing the LCL filter are as
This paper presents a step-by-step procedure to design a follows.
compact LCL filter for a grid connected three phase PWM • Fundamental component of current through filter capac-
voltage source inverter that adequately attenuates the switching itance should be less than 1% of the fundamental com-
frequency harmonics in the injected grid current. A current ponent of grid current for proper control performance.
control topology is also presented that ensures unity power • Sufficient attenuation must be provided to the switching
factor current injection into grid. The power circuit of the frequency component of grid current so as to ensure high
grid connected converter is shown in Fig.1. For over-current quality grid current.
protection of a three phase inverter, ac output current of the in- • Filter inductance values should be chosen such that the
verter (i) needs to be sensed. In the proposed control topology, combined size of the inductors is minimum.

978-1-4799-3939-8/14/$31.00 ©2014 IEEE 503

A. Capacitance Selection
rlg ig i rl
For satisfying the first criterion, let the rms capacitor
fundamental current (Icf ) be equal to 1% of the rated rms Lg L
grid fundamental current (Igrated ). Fig.2 shows the single Eg Cf Vac
phase equivalent of the circuit containing the filter capacitance,
the grid side inductance and the grid. Neglecting drop across
Fig. 4. Single phase equivalent circuit of LCL filter

rlg Ig Lg
Eg Vcf where,
a = LCf rlg + Lg Cf rl (6)

Fig. 2. Single Phase equivalent of Grid side Circuit b = (Cf rl rlg + L + Lg ) (7)
The denominator is factorised into two factors as [6],
rlg the phasor diagram is shown in Fig.3. From the phasor
Ig (s) k
= , (8)
IgXg Vac (s) (1 + sT )(1 + b1 s + a1 s2 )
Vcf where,
k= , (9)
Eg rl + rlg
Cf rl rlg + L + Lg
T = , (10)
Fig. 3. Phasor diagram rl + rlg
LCf rlg + Lg Cf rl
diagram, b1 = , (11)
Cf rl rlg + L + Lg
|Eg | ≤ |Vcf | LLg Cf
≤ |Icf Xcf | a1 = . (12)
Cf rl rlg + L + Lg
≤ |0.01Igrated Xcf | (1) From the second order term the resonant frequency of the
where,Icf (1) is the rms value of grid frequency (fgrid ) com- circuit is obtained as,

ponent of current through the capacitor, Xcf is the capacitive Cf rl rlg + L + Lg
impedance at fgrid and Eg is the per phase rms grid voltage.If ω0 = (13)
LLg Cf
the rated power of the converter is P, then the rated grid current
Igrated is, Neglecting internal resistances of inductances the resonant
P frequency is expressed as,
Igrated = . (2)
L + Lg
Replacing Igrated in (1), ω0 = (14)
LLg Cf
Eg ≤ 0.01 Xcf . (3) The Bode plot of the transfer function is as shown in Fig.5
for rl =0.1Ω, rlg =0.1Ω, L=3mH, Lg =3mH and Cf =680nF.
From this an upper limit of capacitance value is obtained,
After resonant frequency the gain plot falls at −60
P dB/decade. So depending on the attenuation required for the
Cf ≤ 0.01 . (4)
3Eg2 ω switching frequency component in the grid current, a suitable
resonant frequency is calculated[7]. If the switching frequency
To ensure small size of filter inductors, capacitor value must
is ωs rad/s and the required attenuation A dB, then the resonant
be chosen as close to the maximum value as possible.
frequency (ωres ) is approximately calculated as,
B. Inductance Selection ωs
ωres = A/60 (15)
Once the filter capacitance value is decided next step is to 10
design the inductors. Fig.4 shows the single phase equivalent With fixed ωres and Cf , using (15) Lg is expressed in terms
circuit of the LCL filter. of L, Cf and ωres in the following way.
Vac is the single phase equivalent of the ac output voltage
of the three phase inverter. The filter transfer function is as L
Lg = 2 C /1000)L − 1
follows. (ωres f

Ig (s) 1 In (16) both L andLg are in mH, Cf is in Farads and ωres is

= 3 2
Vac (s) (LLg Cf )s + as + bs + (rl + rlg ) in rad/s.

Fig.4 shows the single phase equivalent circuit of the LCL
filter connected to grid. Control objective is to ensure unity
power factor current injection into grid. It is assumed that
the system is a three phase balanced system. Two current
sensors are used for sensing converter side inductor currents
and the third phase current is computed by the controller by
negating the sum of the first two currents. These currents
need to be sensed to provide overcurrent protection to the
converter. Controlling is carried out in α-β domain. To im-
prove the dynamic performance, feed-forward compensation
is provided by adding sensed grid voltage to the output of
the controller. The control system is shown in Fig.7. It has
Fig. 5. Bode diagram of Ig (s)/Vac (s)
Igref Vacref I Ig
H(s) G1(s) G2(s)

I Controller Plant1 Plant2

Size of an inductor is directly proportional to its inductance eg
value. The total size (S) of two inductors is,
S ∝ (L + Lg ) (17)
Fig. 7. Control System Diagram
So in order to reduce the filter size, the objective is to minimise
the sum of L and Lg . Recalling (16) the optimisation problem been shown already that LCL filter has a resonant frequency.
is mathematically expressed as, Neglecting internal resistances of filter elements the expression
of resonant frequency is given as,
Minimisef = L + Lg (18) 
L + Lg
subject to, ωres = (20)
L LLg Cf
Lg = 2 C /1000)L − 1
. (19)
(ωres f To damp out resonance, passive damping is implemented by
A 3D plot of L vs Lg vs (L + Lg ) is shown in Fig. II-B. As placing a resistance in series with filter capacitance. With
the damping resistance included, the equivalent single phase
circuit is shown in Fig.8. Modified system transfer functions

Minimum L+Lg=5.96 mH rlg ig i rl

L=3 mH
8 L =2.96 mH
Lg L
Eg Vac
L+Lg (mH)

Fig. 8. Single phase equivalent of LCL filter with damping resistance

in presence of damping resistor is given as,
5.5 I(s) (Lg Cf )s2 + (rlg Cf + Rd Cf )s + 1
6 G1 (s) = =
Vac (s) (LLg Cf )s3 + a2 s2 + b2 s + (rlg + rl )
5 3.5 (21)
4 3 where,
3 2.5
a2 = Lg Cf rl + Lrlg Cf + LRd Cf + Lg Rd Cf (22)
2 2
b2 = rl rlg Cf + L + rl Rd Cf + Lg + Rd Cf rlg (23)
Fig. 6. 3D plot of L vs Lg vs (L + Lg ).
Ig (s) 1 + sCf Rd
G2 (s) = = (24)
shown in the figure the minimum of (L + Lg ) is found out I(s) Lg Cf s2 + (Cf rlg + Rd Cf )s + 1
from the plot. Corresponding L and Lg values conclude the Since the filter design ensures that the fundamental component
process of filter design. of I i.e. the grid frequency (fgrid ) component of I is the grid

current Ig , so the controller H(s) is designed such that the
fundamental component of I tracks the reference grid current
Igref . Igref is generated by dividing the sensed grid phase
voltage by a constant.Bode plot of the transfer function G1 (s)
in presence of passive damping is given in Fig. 9. From Fig.

Fig. 11. Bode diagram of Ig (s)/Igref (s) for L = 3 mH, Lg = 2.96 mH,
Cf = 680 nF and Kp = 12.5


Fig. 9. I(s)/Vac (s) of damped plant Parameter Value

Grid phase voltage (Eg ) 100 V (peak)
9 it is seen that at the frequency of interest i.e. at fgrid which DC link voltage (Vdc ) 350 V
is 50 Hz in this case, gain is -5 dB. It is also observed that Grid current reference (Igref ) 4 A (peak)
due to introduction of passive damping the gain at resonant Current controller (kp ) 12.5
frequency has reduced considerably in comparison to that of Damping resistance (Rd ) 10 Ω
the undamped plant. In order to achieve satisfactory control Converter side filter inductance (L) 3 mH
performance, the open loop transfer function of G1 H must Internal resistance of L (rl ) 0.1 Ω
have high gain at 50 Hz. So a proportional controller with gain Filter capacitance (Cf ) 680 nF
Kp is used. The Bode plot of open loop transfer function is
Grid side filter inductance (Lg ) 2.96 mH
shown in Fig 10. From Fig.10 it can be seen that the open loop
Internal resistance of Lg (rlg ) 0.1 Ω
Switching frequency (fs ) 15 kHz

a balanced three phase system. Fig.??a and Fig. 13b show

the steady state simulation result and experimental result
respectively of the grid current along with the reference value.
The actual grid current satisfactorily tracks the reference
grid current of 4 A peak. In the experimental result 5th
harmonic component in grid current is 4.5% which is the chief
contributor in the total harmonic distortion (THD) of 5%. The
Fig. 10. Bode plot of G1 (s)H(s) for Kp =12.5 presence of 5th harmonic in the grid current is due to the
presence of 5th harmonic in the grid phase voltage from which
transfer function has the desired high gain at grid frequency. the grid current reference is derived.
The closed loop transfer function is given by,
Fig. 14 a and b show that grid current and grid phase
Kp G1 G2 voltage are in same phase for both the experimental and sim-
T (s) = (25)
1 + Kp G1 ulation results. It is clearly noticed that ensuring unity power
The Bode plot of the closed loop transfer function is shown factor operation has been ensured. To observe the transient
in Fig.11. From Fig. 11 it is observed that at fgrid the gain of performance step changes are given to current reference and
the system is 0 dB and the phase is very small. The diagram the response of the actual grid current is observed. Figure
of the complete system is shown in Fig.12. 15 corresponds to a positive step of 2 A to 4 A and Fig.
16 depicts the performance during negative step of 4 A to
IV. R ESULTS 2 A in the current reference. In both cases, the simulation
A three phase sine PWM grid-connected inverter along with and experimental results are shown. It is observed that the
the proposed controller and the filter have been simulated current settles to the commanded value within 5 ms with
in Matlab Simulink and experimentally verified using DSP the positive and negative reference steps. Close agreement
TMS320F2812 as the digital controller. The system parameters between simulation and experimental results again validate the
are as mentioned in Table 1. The system is assumed to be controller design.

÷ Kp ÷
k iggestα
estα eα Vddcc//2
Kp ÷ αβ

k SOGI at fgrid iggestβ eβ

estβ Vddcc//2
SOGI at fgrid
eα eβ CONTROL iα iβ
αβ SYSTEM αβ
abc abc SINE

0 0

Vo ltage Voltage
Vo ltage Current
Cu rrent Current
Cu rrent Voltage
Vo ltage
S nsor 2
Sensor S nsor 1
Sensor Se
S nsor 2
Sensor S nsor 1
Sensor SENSORS S nsor 3

ea iggaa Lga Cffaa La Rdc

d ia S1 S3 S5
iggbb ib C Vddcc
eb Lgb Cffbb Lb
S4 S6 S2
POWER iggcc
ec Lgc Cffcc Lc

Fig. 12. Diagram of Entire System

(a) Simulation Result, THD = 0.34%. (a) Simulation Result.

(b) Experimental Result, THD = 5%.

(b) Experimental Result.
Fig. 13. Steady State Performance of Current Controller igaref (yellow)=2
A/div, iga (green)=2 A/div, X-axis= 10 ms/div Fig. 14. Unity Power Factor Operation ega (green) = 50 V/div, iga (yellow)
= 5 A/div, X-axis=10ms/div

A novel, step-by-step design procedure of LCL filter for
inverter has been discussed. The design procedure discussed
grid connected application of a three phase voltage source

isfactory dynamic and steady state performances are achieved
as validated by both numerical simulation and experimental
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Fig. 15. Step up response igaref (yellow)=2 A/div, iga (pink)=2 A/div,
X-axis= 20 ms/div

(a) Simulation Result.

(b) Experimental Result.

Fig. 16. Step down response igaref (yellow)=2 A/div, iga (pink)=2 A/div,
X-axis= 20 ms/div

in paper ensures reduced filter volume. The corresponding

current controller has also been designed with a constraint
that minimum number of sensors are used in the inverter. Sat-