(19)
(11)EP 2 865 083 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/31

(21)Application number: 13733513.9

(22)Date of filing:  21.06.2013
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H02M 7/217(2006.01)
H02M 5/293(2006.01)
H02M 1/42(2007.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2013/047040
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/004289 (03.01.2014 Gazette  2014/01)

(54)

A CYCLO-CONVERTER AND METHODS OF OPERATION

DIREKTUMRICHTER UND VERFAHREN ZUM BETRIEB

CYCLO-CONVERTISSEUR ET SES PROCÉDÉS D'EXPLOITATION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 25.06.2012 US 201213532205

(43)Date of publication of application:
29.04.2015 Bulletin 2015/18

(73)Proprietor: Eaton Intelligent Power Limited
Dublin 4 (IE)

(72)Inventors:
  • HARRISON, Michael John
    Petaluma, California 94952 (US)
  • OLIVO, Tony Joseph
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27615 (US)

(74)Representative: Schwan Schorer & Partner mbB 
Patentanwälte Bauerstrasse 22
80796 München
80796 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 1 708 350
CN-B- 1 738 172
US-A1- 2003 095 424
WO-A2-2008/018802
JP-A- H04 147 608
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] This invention relates to a cyclo-converter and to methods of operating a cyclo-converter. More particularly, although not exclusively, the invention relates to a three phase full resonant cyclo-converter suitable for converting a three phase AC supply to a DC output. Whilst the converter of the present invention may find particular application in telecommunications power supplies it will be appreciated that it may find application in a wide range of applications.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] In applications such as telecommunications power supplies converters must meet requirements as to Total Harmonic Distortion, harmonic current limits, isolation etc. whilst also achieving high conversion efficiencies. The performance requirements for isolated AC to DC switched mode power supplies for use in telecommunications and large computer applications have to a large extent been met through the adoption of two-stage power supply designs. The first power conversion stage serves the purpose of achieving Power Factor Correction (PFC) by employing some form of PFC controlled boost converter. Small power supplies tend to use single-phase mains input whereas larger power supplies tend to adopt three-phase mains input and hence need some form of three-phase PFC boost converter (e.g. the Vienna converter). The second power conversion stage serves the purpose of voltage transformation/isolation and output voltage/current control. This second stage converter usually employs resonant switching techniques in order to maximise conversion efficiency and minimise the size and cooling requirements (hence cost) of the power supply design solution. The problem with two stage cascaded power supplies is that the total conversion losses is the sum total of the losses of each conversion stage. With each stage achieving typically 96% conversion efficiency a 92% total efficiency typically results.

    [0003] The promise of high theoretical single stage efficiencies has allured many power supply designers to try to develop effective single stage AC to DC switched mode power supplies. The energy storage requirements related with single-phase converters has resulted in complex single stage designs with poor overall conversion efficiencies that lack any practical advantage over the conventional two-stage design approach.

    [0004] Figure 1 shows a prior art full bridge cyclo-converter consisting of six bidirectional switches 1 to 6 supplied via three-phase lines 7 to 9 which drives the primary 10 offer output transformer 11. Switch 1 consists of a forward MOSFET 13 in parallel with a body diode 15 in series with a reverse MOSFET 14 in parallel with body diode 16. Switches 2 and 3 are of the same configuration. A half bridge rectifier 12 is provided at the output off the transformer. The cyclo-converter is hard switched to effect PWM control. To achieve the desired voltage at the output the top and bottom switching sequences are offset the required amount. The degree of offset determines the period of time the output transformer is shorted and does the period of time that currents circulate within the cyclo-converter. This circulated current (as opposed to current transferred to the current doubler 12) incurs losses as it passes through switches 1 to 6. This approach provides an easily controlled converter as the output voltage may easily be brought down by adjusting the offset of the upper and low switching. However, this converter requires 12 switching components and the hard switching employed requires highly rated components to handle with the spikes and losses. Further, such converters typically only have a conversion efficiency of about 93% and the losses and large number of power components makes the converter physically large and expensive to produce. A similar converter having an array of six bidirectional switches is shown in EP 1 708 350 A2.

    [0005] WO 2008/018802 discloses a three phase full resonant half bridge cyclo-converter suitable for converting a three phase AC supply to a DC output.

    [0006] The publication "A Zero-Voltage Switched, Three-Phase PWM Switching Rectifier with Power Factor Correction" from Proceedings of the High-Frequency Power Conversion Conference: Toronto, Canada; June 9-14, 1991;pp. 252-264 discloses a full bridge cyclo-converter in which a switching sequence is employed utilising resonant switching in. However, the switching is simple on/off switching and the switching sequence is only partially optimised and does not provide full resonant switching.

    [0007] Series resonant converters have been provided which employ full resonant switching (i.e. the switched currents are near zero at turn off and turn on to effect "soft switching" at all switching points). However, such converters include complex control circuits and can only switch DC supplies. It can also be difficult to control the output of such converters solely by controlling the switching frequency for low power output levels.

    [0008] It would be desirable to provide an isolated converter operable over a wide range of input voltages having high conversion efficiency, a low power component count, low rated power components, no large inductors or storage components and low harmonic distortion

    [0009] It is an object of the invention to provide a converter satisfying the above requirements or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0010] There is provided a switched-mode cyclo-converter including a resonant circuit in which switching is determined by resonance of the resonant circuit, and first and second three phase half bridge converters, as it is defined in claim 1. Preferred embodiments are defined in the dependent claims. Embodiments are to be read as non-limiting exemplary embodiments only.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] The accompanying drawings which are incorporated in and constitute part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

    Figure 1 shows a prior art cyclo-converter;

    Figure 2 shows a half bridge cyclo-converter;

    Figure 3 shows the voltage waveforms of a three phase AC supply;

    Figure 4 illustrates the switching sequence of the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 5 illustrates the switching sequence for upper and lower switches of the cyclo-converter;

    Figure 6 illustrates the switching sequence in a three phase waveform;

    Figure 7 illustrates the switching sequence of all switches during normal switching;

    Figure 8 illustrates the switching sequence of all switches near zero crossings;

    Figure 9 illustrates the switching sequence of all switches near a magnitude crossing of phases;

    Figure 10 shows a transfer function for the series resonant LLC circuit of the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 11 shows a schematic diagram of a controller for controlling the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 12 shows an alternative current feedback control circuit;

    Figure 13 shows a first switching element for use in the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 14 shows a further switching element for use in the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 15 shows a further switching element for use in the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 16 shows a further switching element for use in the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2;

    Figure 17 shows a bidirectional half bridge cyclo-converter.

    Figure 18 shows a three phase switched-mode cyclo-converter employing resonant switching including first and second half bridge cyclo-converters.

    Figure 19 shows a switching sequence of one half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18.

    Figure 20 shows a switching sequence of the other half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18.

    Figure 21 shows a resultant output switching sequence when combining the waveforms shown in figures 19 and 20.

    Figure 22 shows a switching sequence of one half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18 in another mode of operation.

    Figure 23 shows a switching sequence of the other half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18 for the mode of operation shown in figure 22.

    Figure 24 shows a resultant output switching sequence when combining the waveforms shown in figures 22 and 23.

    Figure 25 shows a switching sequence of one half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18 in another mode of operation.

    Figure 26 shows a switching sequence of the other half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18 for the mode of operation shown in figure 25.

    Figure 27 shows a resultant output switching sequence when combining the waveforms shown in figures 25 and 26.

    Figure 28 shows a switching sequence of one half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18 in another mode of operation.

    Figure 29 shows a switching sequence of the other half bridge of the cyclo-converter as shown in figure 18 for the mode of operation shown in figure 28.

    Figure 30 shows a resultant output switching sequence when combining the waveforms shown in figures 28 and 29.

    Figure 31 shows a modified version of the three phase switched-mode cyclo-converter shown in figure 18 including a phase shifting transformer.


    DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0012] Figure 2 shows a half bridge cyclo-converter. The cyclo-converter includes bidirectional switches 17 to 19 and capacitors 20 to 22 forming the half bridge. Switch 17 consists of MOSFET 35 in parallel with body diode 36 in series with MOSFET 37 in parallel with body diode 38. Switch 17 has four states:
    1. 1. on (MOSFETs 35 and MOSFET 37 on);
    2. 2. off (MOSFET's 35 and 37 off)
    3. 3. forward diode (MOSFET 37 on switching in body diode 36)
    4. 4. reverse diode (MOSFET 35 on switching in body diode 38)


    [0013] Switches 18 and 19 are similarly configured. By utilizing the four switching states full resonant switching can be achieved as will be described.

    [0014] Three phase supply lines 23 to 25 provide a three phase AC supply to the half bridge. The output of the cyclo-converter drives an LLC resonant circuit consisting of inductor 26, capacitor 27 and primary coil 28 of transformer 29. Output coils 30 and 31 are connected via diodes 32 and 33 and capacitor 34 to form half bridge rectifier 35.

    [0015] It will be noted that the circuit is realised with six transistors (compared to 12 for the cyclo-converter shown in Figure 1). Capacitors 20 to 22 form the half-bridge centre point. Inductor 26 and capacitor 27 form the series-resonant circuit. To achieve low load output voltage regulation the resonant circuit can be easily transformed from a simple LC resonant circuit into an LLC resonant circuit by gapping the core of the main transformer 29. The primary method of output voltage control is achieved by variable frequency control. The use of variable frequency control to a series-resonant converter removes the need for any output inductor (as needed by the PWM controlled cyclo-converter shown in Figure 1).

    [0016] Each of the six transistors is individually controlled. The sequencing order and control of the individual transistors achieves two primary functions:
    • A three-voltage level, high frequency waveform is fed into the resonant load to effect a power transfer.
    • Transistors that are reverse biased (anti-parallel/body diode conducting) are turned on to create a voltage clamp to limit the voltage stresses incurred during switching transition periods. This clamp action limits the maximum voltage stress to any transistor equal to the peak mains phase to phase voltage.


    [0017] Figures 3 to 5 illustrate the switching sequence employed to achieve resonant switching. Figure 3 shows the voltage waveforms of the three phases supplied via supply lines 23 to 25 (23 being the blue phase, 24 being the red phase and 25 being the yellow phase). The voltage waveforms are divided into twelve 30° segments between zero crossings and phase magnitude crossings. To enable resonant switching the transistors may be sequenced in the order shown in figure 4 in which the largest absolute voltage magnitude (L) mains phase transistor is switched on first, followed by the mains phase that has the medium absolute voltage magnitude (M), then finally the mains phase with the smallest absolute mains voltage magnitude (S). This sequencing is repeated over each 30° segment (L,M,S,L,M,S,...) with a sub-microsecond dead-time to allow for the resonant load voltage commutation. Since the mains instantaneous input voltages are continually changing the sequencing logic responsible for driving the individual transistors reverses the transistor sequencing order every 30 degrees of mains input. The bottom three rows of the table shown in figure 4 show the required switching sequence that is required to maintain the requirements to achieve resonant (soft) switching. Reading the three phase letters downwards in each column indicates the switching sequence (e.g. Yellow, Blue, Red, Yellow, Blue, Red... for the first sequence etc.). Each 30-degree segment the effective switching order reverses. This reversing order ensures that an "L", "M", "S", "L", "M", "S"... switching order is maintained.

    [0018] In the table of Figure 4 some of the phase letters (R, Y, B) have a "dash" in front or after the letter. These dashes line up with the same letter, adjacent in the next mains 30-degree segment. These dashes signify how the transition from one segment to the next is achieved. For example consider the transition from segment number 1 to segment number 2 - this transition is synchronised so that it can only occur when the yellow phase switch is turned on (signified by the Y-Y notation). The switching sequence is shown graphically with respect to the three phases in Figure 6.

    [0019] This resonant switching sequence results in sine-wave current flow through the transistors and output rectifier diodes, such that the current has almost returned to zero when each switching transition occurs. This reduces the switching losses in both the transistors and output diodes and allows for either MOSFET or IGBT switching transistors to be used. If IGBT transistors are used anti-parallel diodes may be employed to allow a reverse current path (emitter to collector).

    [0020] Figure 5 shows a logic table that signifies the function of each of the six transistors of the circuit shown in Figure 2 during each of the 12 mains 30-degree segments where:

    "L" - The transistor that is controlling the flow of current from the mains phase with the largest absolute voltage magnitude through to the resonant load, transformer, and ultimately the output of the rectifier.

    "M" - The transistor that is controlling the flow of current from the mains phase with the medium absolute voltage magnitude through to the resonant load, transformer, and ultimately the output of the rectifier.

    "S" - The transistor that is controlling the flow of current from the mains phase with the smallest absolute voltage magnitude through to the resonant load, transformer, and ultimately the output of the rectifier.

    "on" - The transistor that is clamping the voltage created by the resonant load back to the mains phase with the largest absolute voltage magnitude. Note this transistor is turned on for the entire 30-degree mains segment.

    "m" - The transistor that is clamping the voltage created by the resonant load back to the mains phase with the medium absolute voltage magnitude.

    "s" - The transistor that is clamping the voltage created by the resonant load back to the mains phase with the smallest absolute voltage magnitude.



    [0021] Upper case L, M and S indicate the switches that are switched so as to transfer power from supply lines 23 to 25 to the load whereas lower case on, m and s indicate the transistors that are switched to clamp the voltage spikes resulting from switching an inductive load. Over the 3rd segment for example (60° to 90°) with reference to Figures 2,5 and 6 the sequence is:
    1. 1. the upper red phase transistor 39 is switched on for the whole segment,
    2. 2. the lower red phase transistor 40 (L) is switched on, supplying current from red phase supply line 24 to transfer power to the load;
    3. 3. the lower yellow phase transistor 42 (m) is then switched on allowing diode 45 to clamp the voltage created by the resonant load back to the yellow phase voltage;
    4. 4. just after the lower red phase transistor (L) 40 is switched off the upper yellow phase transistor 41 (M) is switched on to connect yellow phase supply line 25 to transfer power to the load (this is soft resonant switching due to the voltage clamping in step 3 above);
    5. 5. shortly after upper yellow phase transistor 41(M) is switched on lower blue phase transistor 37 (s) is switched on to clamp the voltage created by the resonant load back to the blue phase voltage
    6. 6. shortly after upper and lower yellow phase transistors 41 and 42 are switched off lower blue phase transistor 35 (S) is switched on to connect the blue phase supply line 23 to the load.


    [0022] This pattern repeats over each segment with the switching sequence changing for each sequence as shown in figure 5.

    [0023] In order to achieve the correct mains input current PFC function the S switch on-time approaches a zero value each mains zero crossing as to obtain a correct PFC function the converter needs to be drawing zero current from the S mains phase at the mains voltage zero crossing.

    [0024] Since it becomes impractical to try and turn a transistor on then off again in an extremely small time period, there comes a point (near each mains voltage zero crossing) were there is no point trying to turn the S transistor on. Hence for a period that starts a few degrees before each mains zero crossing and extends to a few degrees after the mains zero crossing the cyclo-converter may operate in a two-phase mode. This mode is referred to as a "zero-cross mode" and during this mode of operation the high frequency switching sequence is simply L, M, L, M, L, M,... - were only the L and M transistors are switched on and the S transistor remains off. During this "zero-cross mode" the transistor on-times for both the L and the M transistor are equal. From a PFC function point of view the mains L phase voltage and the mains M phase voltage are equal (but opposite polarity) at each mains zero voltage crossing, so equal (but opposite) currents need to be drawn from the L and M mains phases. Equal transistor on-times with equal phase voltages will lead to equal mains currents. The switching sequence for such "zero-cross mode" switching is shown in Figure 8.

    [0025] A different issue arises in maintaining the normal L, M, S, L, M, S,.... high frequency switching sequence at the mains voltage magnitude crossing point. At every mains magnitude cross point the M and S phase voltages swap over and hence the definitions of M and S must also swap. If the rate of change of the mains phase voltages is considered with respect to the high frequency switching frequency of the cyclo-converter it becomes obvious that the concept of the M and S phase voltages crossing over at a particular instance in time is far from the reality. The rate of change of the mains phase voltages is so slow that for many high frequency switching cycles the M and the S phase voltages are effectively equal. What's more, when real world effects like noise are considered it can also be appreciated that the converter may actually operate for several high frequency switching cycles with incorrect M and S definitions. For example, the voltage on the phase we are calling S is actually greater (by a very small amount) than the voltage on the phase we are calling M. This error in the definition of the M and S phases causes the wrong transistor switching sequence which in turn leads to considerable current flowing from M to S mains phase (or S to M mains phase depending on relative voltage polarities. By changing the high frequency switching sequence used when the cyclo-converter is operating near to a mains voltage magnitude cross point this problem may be avoided.

    [0026] For a period that starts a few degrees before each mains magnitude crossing and extends to a few degrees after the mains magnitude crossing the cyclo-converter may operate in an interleaved mode. This mode is referred to as a "magnitude-cross mode" and during this mode the high frequency switching sequence is simply L, M, L, S, L, M, L, S,... - were the M and S transistors are alternately switched on between each time the L transistor is switched on. During this "magnitude-cross mode" the transistor on-times for the L, M, and S transistors are all equal. From a PFC function point of view the mains L phase voltage is one polarity and the mains M and S phase voltages are equal to each other (but opposite polarity to the L phase) at each mains magnitude voltage crossing. The current drawn from the mains L phase needs to be returned in equal amounts to the mains M and S phases (e.g. 50:50) this interleaved switching sequence inherently achieves this result. The switching sequence for such "magnitude-cross mode" switching is shown in Figure 9.

    [0027] Thus the cyclo-converter uses three different high frequency switching sequences:

    "zero-cross mode" - used near to mains phase zero crossings

    "Three-phase mode" - the normal mode used the majority of the time

    "magnitude-cross mode" - used near to mains phase magnitude crossings



    [0028] During the zero-cross mode and the magnitude-cross mode the PFC function is inherent, but during the normal three-phase mode the correct "S/M Ratio" (i.e. the ratio of the time the small phase transistor is on to the ratio of time the medium phase transistor is on) is required to achieve a correct PFC function. The fact that the cyclo-converter achieves inherent PFC control at every mains voltage zero or magnitude cross point, then the mains phase input currents must be exactly correct for 12 points in every mains cycle. Consequently the mains input current PFC function is naturally good despite the "S/M Ratio" control values during the normal three-phase operational mode - hence the "S/M Ratio" can be thought of as a "fine trim" control that can improve the PFC function.

    [0029] Figure 10 shows the transfer function for the series-resonant LLC converter shown in Figure 2. It can be seen that by varying the operational frequency that the converter is driven at that output voltage may be controlled. It can also be seen that as the converter is loaded up, the output voltage drops (for operation to the right of the peak of each curve). Thus, to maintain a constant output voltage, the operational frequency may be decreased as the output load is increased. Finally it can be seen that the output voltage does not significantly drop as the operational frequency is increased if the converter is lightly loaded. To regulate down the converter output down to achieve low output voltages when the converter is only lightly loaded a "pre-load" across the converter output that can be turned on when the converter is at light load or a discrete inductor may be provided across the transformer primary coil. [****] Another way of improving the no-load regulation ability of a LLC converter is to lower the shunt or magnetising inductance of the main transformer by increasing the transformer gap. This eliminates the need to add an extra discrete component,

    [0030] Output voltage control may thus be achieved by controlling the fundamental frequency that the resonant load is switched through the three instantaneous mains input phases voltage states. A voltage feedback loop may control this fundamental switching frequency, such that above resonance frequency is always maintained. Hence lowering the switching frequency increases the output voltage and increasing the switching frequency reduces the output voltage. Output current limiting may be achieved through an output voltage control loop by reducing the output set-point voltage to reduce or limit the output current.

    [0031] This is a fundamentally different approach to the control of cyclo-converters which have traditionally been controlled by phase shifting the switching sequences of upper and lower switches to achieve PWM control. Whereas traditional cyclo-converters can utilise the "shorted" state to power down the converter pre-loading may be employed in the converter shown in Figure 2.

    [0032] Figure 11 shows a schematic diagram of the control logic for the three-phase series-resonant half-bridge cyclo-converter shown in Figure 2. This logic may be implemented in a combination of a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and Programmable Logic Array (PLA) device or a number of other technologies. The main output voltage control loop is shown across the top of the diagram. The actual output voltage 47 is compared to a desired "set voltage" 48 by an error amplifier 49. The difference in the output voltage from the set voltage is expressed as an error signal 50 which is then used to drive the switching frequency of the cyclo-converter to achieve the fundamental variable frequency control as normally employed to control a conventional series-resonant LLC converter.

    [0033] The error signal 50 is supplied to feedback transfer function block 51. The feedback transfer function block 51 allows the feedback response to be tuned to the characteristics of the converter in order to achieve minimum output voltage error, stable operation, and quick step response or settling time. Transfer function block 51 would typically contain individual proportional and integral feedback elements similar to any other power supply control loop.

    [0034] The output 52 of the feedback transfer function block 51 feeds a control signal into a variable frequency oscillator 53 such that the "clock frequency" control signal that feeds the gate drive control logic 54 can effect the switching frequency of the cyclo-converter according to the output voltage feedback error signal 47 to drive the six power switches via drive signals 55 to 60.

    [0035] Current amplifier 61 monitors the cyclo-converter's output current 62 and compares it to the output current limit 63. If the output current 62 is less than the output current limit 63 then the current amplifier 61 has no effect on the control of cyclo-converter. Should the output current 62 exceed the output current limit 61 then the current amplifier 61 will take over control of the primary (output voltage) control loop by pulling down error signal 50, thus reducing the output voltage in order to limit the output current to the current limit value.

    [0036] Mains input Power Factor Correction (PFC) control may be achieved by varying the on time of each of the three mains input voltages. The output voltage feedback control loop sets the fundamental switching frequency-e.g. the total cycle time period. By increasing or decreasing the time that a particular transistor is switched on the current that is drawn from that particular phase can be controlled. Adjusting the proportions of time between the three phases will also adjust the voltage fed to the resonant load and hence the output voltage, but this effect is continually compensated by the output voltage control loop. Determining the specific required transistor on-times for each of the three input voltage states (to achieve PFC control) can be achieved either through characterising the requirements for all possible operating conditions or through an active control circuit that monitors the instantaneous individual mains currents then adjusts the respective transistor on-times to achieve the correct mains current draw. The instantaneous individual mains currents can be simply obtained by de-multiplexing the resonant load current into three components according to the current state of the switching transistors.

    [0037] Preferably the phase having the largest absolute voltage (L) is switched on for a constant period, preferably about half the total switching period. The remaining portion is preferably divided between the phases having the middle absolute voltage (M) and the lowest absolute voltage (S). To effect PFC the DC output voltage and current 65 and three phase input voltages 66 may be input to a lookup table 64 to develop a control signal 67 "S/M Ratio" which is fed into the gate drive control logic block 54. The "S/M Ratio" control signal allows the ratio of the respective "Small" to "Medium" transistor on-times, Varying the "S/M Ratio" is the primary method of determining the respective current path for the return current drawn from the "Large" mains phase. If the "S/M Ratio" is set to zero (e.g. S=0) then all the current that is drawn from the "Large" mains phase is returned to the "Medium" mains phase. If the "S/M Ratio" is set to infinity (e.g. M=0) then all the current that is drawn from the "Large" mains phase is returned to the "Small" mains phase.

    [0038] The values entered into the look-up table may be determined by operating the cyclo-converter at a specific operating condition and then tuning the table values to obtain the lowest mains current Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) or based on modelling. The "S/M Ratio" is varied throughout the 360 degree mains cycle, hence the mains current profile can be accurately manipulated (effectively each mains degree - or finer resolution if deemed necessary). By repeatable tuning the "S/M Ratio" values at different operational conditions the look-up table can allow for the entire operational spectrum for the cyclo-converter to be mapped out. The use of this look-up table avoids the need to actually monitor the input mains currents in production built cycle-converters, hence simplifying the implementation of control hardware.

    [0039] The "gate drive control logic" 54 has three fundamental inputs:
    • Clock Frequency 68 - primary parameter for output voltage control
    • S/M Ratio 67 - primary parameter for mains input current THD control
    • Mains Input Voltage 66 (x3) - used to determine "Mains Angle"


    [0040] Combinational and sequential logic implemented within a Programmable Logic Array (PLA) may use the "Mains Angle" information to determine the individual phase voltage magnitudes and polarities and accordingly determines which transistors should be driven with which of the six control signals: "L", "M", "S", "on", "m", & "s". The "Clock Frequency" 68 & "S/M Ratio" 67 control signals are combined with the "Mains Angle" 66 information to determine the specific high frequency drive signal for each of the six main transistors.

    [0041] Determining the specific required transistor on-times for each of the three input voltage states (to achieve PFC control) can also be achieved by an active control circuit that monitors the instantaneous individual mains currents and then adjusts the respective transistor on-times to achieve the correct mains current draw. The instantaneous individual mains currents can be obtained by de-multiplexing the resonant load current into three components according to the current state of the switching transistors.

    [0042] The current de-multiplexer circuit of Figure 12 shows how the three individual mains currents can be extracted from the cyclo-converter main transformer primary current. The current sensor 69 and amplifier 70 monitors the cycle-converter main transformer primary current. The three de-multiplexer switches 71, 72 and 73 are closed (one at a time) according to which of the three mains AC switches (back-to-back transistors) is conducting current in the cyclo-converter. The de-multiplexed signal is then low pass filtered by filters 74, 75 and 76 to remove the high frequency switching noise, resulting in three unique signals that represent the cyclo-converter mains input currents. This circuit could be used to implement mains input current THD control from a feedback driven control loop instead of using the look-up table concept described above. Alternatively three individual mains current sensors could be used instead of this de-multiplexer circuit to achieve the same result.

    [0043] Figures 13 to 16 show possible bidirectional switches that may be used in the cyclo-converter shown in Figure 2

    [0044] Figure 13 shows a switch consisting of two back-to-back MOSFET transistors 77 and 78. One MOSFET blocks the forward current and the other blocks the reverse current path. The body diodes 79 and 80 of each MOSFET provides a current path for the other MOSFET.

    [0045] Figure 14 shows a switch consisting of two back-to-back IGBT transistors 81 and 82. Since IGBT devices do not exhibit an inherent body diode a separate discrete diode 83, 84 referred to as an "anti-parallel" diode is connected across the emitter and collector terminals of the transistor. This anti-parallel diode serves the same function in the AC switch as the body diode in the MOSFET AC switch.

    [0046] Figure 15 shows a switch consisting of two MOSFET transistors 85 and 86 but uses two extra discrete diodes 87 and 88 in order to deactivate the body diode of the MOSFET. This circuit can be used to allow the use of MOSFET transistors that exhibit extremely slow performance from the body diode. The discrete diodes would typically be an ultra-fast device and this AC switch will exhibit a diode recovery time that is determined by the discrete diodes performance (as opposed to the MOSFET body diode recovery performance).

    [0047] Figure 16 shows a switch employing a back-to-back combination of both MOSFETs 89 and 90 and IGBT devices 91 and 92. This combination can deliver the best characteristics of both devices. This combination can provide the low conduction losses that IGBT transistors provide and the low switching losses that MOSFET transistors provide.

    [0048] Any of the switches shown in Figures 13 to 16 could be used in the three-phase series-resonant half-bridge cyclo-converter shown in Figure 2. The options offer differences in cost and performance.

    [0049] Figure 17 shows a variant of the cyclo-converter shown in Figure 2 in which MOSFETs 93 and 94 replace diodes 32 and 33 to provide synchronous rectification. MOSFETs 93 and 94 include inherent body diodes shown in parallel with each MOSFET. The application of synchronous rectification may increase the overall conversion efficiency from 96% to 97% (400V AC input 48 V DC output) - i.e. a reduction of total conversion losses of 25% or in other words a reduction in output rectification losses of 50%. This level of efficiency gain can justify the extra cost and control complexity of changing from diode to synchronous rectification for the output devices.

    [0050] A by-product of changing the output diodes to controlled MOSFET devices to achieve synchronous rectification is that the converter becomes bi-directional (for energy flow). With appropriate control this three-phase AC to DC converter (rectifier) can be used to perform the function of a DC to three-phase AC converter (inverter). This will allow the converter to be used in UPS type applications.

    [0051] There is thus provided a single stage frequency controlled full resonant converter including power factor correction. The control approach is quite different to prior art approaches in which the switching of upper and lower switches is shifted to short the load to power down the converter. The above converter utilises switching frequency control via a feedback loop to control converter output and adjustment of phase on times to provide power factor correction. With full resonant operation lower rated semiconductor components may be used.

    [0052] The converter provides a simple power component design with a greatly reduced power component count. The single stage configuration provides high conversion efficiency and simplifies the design. The design also avoids the need for large energy storage devices or large output inductors due to the comparatively high switching frequency. The DC output is fully isolated from the input source. Output voltage control (via switching frequency) is isolated from PFC by adjusting the on times for each phase. The converter also achieves low total harmonic distortion. The converter may be used over a wide range of input voltages and can supply a wide range of output voltages.

    [0053] Referring now to figure 18 a switched-mode full bridge cyclo-converter is shown. The cyclo-converter 95 includes a first half bridge cyclo-converter 96 and a second half bridge cyclo-converter 97 of similar topology to the cyclo-converter shown in figure 2. Lines 98, 99 and 100 supply a three phase voltage supply to each half bridge cyclo-converter 96 and 97. First half bridge cyclo-converter 96 includes bidirectional switches 101 to 106 as per the half bridge cyclo-converter shown in figure 2. Second half bridge cyclo-converter 97 also includes bidirectional switches 107 to 112 as per the half bridge cyclo-converter shown in figure 2.

    [0054] First half bridge cyclo-converter 96 also includes capacitors 113 to 115 connected in a star configuration to the bidirectional switches 104 to 106 with the three phase supply voltages supplied between the bidirectional switches 104 to 106 and capacitors 113 to 115. Second half bridge cyclo-converter 97 includes capacitors 116 to 118 connected in a star configuration to the bidirectional switches 110 to 112 with the three phase supply voltages supplied between the bidirectional switches 110 to 112 and capacitors 116 to 118. In this case the capacitors 116 to 118 and 113 to 115 are interconnected at virtual neutral points rather than to the output transformer as described above. The star networks of capacitors clamp voltage spikes resulting from switching the current of the bidirectional switches.

    [0055] The output lines 119 and 120 from each half bridge cyclo-converter 96 and 97 are supplied to either terminal of primary coil 121 of output transformer 122. Additional capacitive and/or inductive elements may be provided to form a resonant circuit. Inductive elements 123 and 124 and capacitive elements 125 and 126 are provided on either side of primary coil 121 as this symmetrical arrangement has been found provide greater stability and reduce ringing at high frequencies.

    [0056] A passive rectifier 127 formed by diodes 128 and 129 is connected to the secondary coils 130 and 131 of output transformer 122. Capacitor 132 smooths the DC output. It will be appreciated that the passive rectifier may be replaced with a synchronous rectifier as in previous arrangements.

    [0057] It will be appreciated that this arrangement effectively doubles the apparent voltage applied across the primary coil 121 of the output transformer 122 and thus proportionally reduces the high frequency current through the switches and passive components. This can halve the component ratings or double the converter power capacity. Other advantages of this topology will become apparent from the following description of the various modes of operation.

    [0058] Referring to figures 19 to 21 one mode of operation of the converter shown in figure 18 will be described. The detailed operation of each converter will be understood by reference to the detailed description of a half bridge converter given in relation to the half bridge arrangement described above. Figure 19 shows a switching sequence for the largest (L), medium (M) and smallest (S) absolute voltages of the three phase input lines for the first half bridge converter 96 and figure 20 shows a switching sequence for the largest (L), medium (M) and smallest (S) absolute voltages of the three phase input lines for the second half bridge converter 97. In this mode the largest absolute voltage L for each half bridge converter may be switched on for 50% of the time and the M and S for the remainder of the time. Thus one half bridge is driven 180 degrees out of phase with respect to the other half bridge.

    [0059] It will be noted that the L sections for one half bridge correspond with the M and S sections for the other half bridge. Thus the sequence for one half bridge is delayed by half a switching cycle after the other. This results in the symmetric total switching sequence shown in figure 21 that combines figures 19 and 20. This inherent symmetry and balance simplifies the control of the converter as a 50% duty cycle may be used instead of having to dynamically adjust the ratio of L to M and S to prevent applying a DC (or low frequency) voltage to the tank. In this way all of the requirements for phase sequence in and out of magnitude crossing and zero crossing modes and the gate level switching sequence for each half bridge are the same and satisfied using the original control described in relation to the half bridge cyclo-converter of figure 2.

    [0060] Referring now to figures 22 to 24 a switching strategy for driving the half bridges during light load conditions will be described. Figure 22 shows a switching sequence for the largest (L), medium (M) and smallest (S) absolute voltages of the three phase input lines for the first half bridge converter 96 and figure 23 shows a switching sequence for the largest (L), medium (M) and smallest (S) absolute voltages of the three phase input lines for the second half bridge converter 97. In this case the switching sequence for half bridge converter 97 is delayed by other that 50% of the duty cycle (in this case less than 50%). In this mode the resultant switching sequence shown in figure 24 is seen to be closer to a sine wave and reduces the power supplied to the output of the converter 95. Thus phase shifting the switching sequences of the first and second half bridge converters 96 and 97 may be used as a way to control the power output of the converter 95 with the benefit of a more sinusoidal output waveform.

    [0061] LLC converters have a natural problem with light load operation, since the input voltage tends to be fixed and the transfer function is such that the controlling parameter (Fs) has to move very far from its nominal point to control its output at very light loads. With the full bridge cyclo-converter shown in figure 18 other options may be used as described below.

    [0062] Figures 25 to 27 illustrate a strategy where each half bridge converter 96 and 97 switches only between L and S (with M ignored). Thus half bridge converter 96 may switch between L and S as shown in figure 25 and half bridge converter 97 may switch between L and S as shown in figure 26 resulting in a cumulative square wave output as shown in figure 27. Due to the replacement of M with S the applied voltage to output transformer 122 will be lower and thus the output of the converter reduced.

    [0063] Figures 28 to 30 show a more extreme strategy in which L is omitted and switching alternates between S and M only resulting in the square wave switching sequence shown in figure 30 in which the applied voltage to output transformer 122 will be even lower than with the previous strategy and thus the output of the converter will be reduced even further.

    [0064] By supplying both half bridge converters 96 and 97 with in phase input voltages there will be a ripple in the output voltage of the converter 95 at a frequency Fr. To reduce the magnitude of the output voltage ripple and increase its frequency figure 31 shows a modification to the circuit of figure 18 in which a phase shifting transformer 133 phase shifts the three phase voltages 137 to 139 supplied to half bridge converter 97 by 60 degrees with respect to the three phase voltages 134 to 136 supplied to half bridge converter 96. This reduces the magnitude of the output voltage ripple and doubles its frequency to 2Fr.


    Claims

    1. A switched-mode cyclo-converter (95) including a resonant circuit and first and second three phase half bridge converters (96, 97), wherein switching of the cydo-converter is determined by resonance of the resonant circuit; wherein the first three phase half bridge cyclo-converter includes(96):

    a first set of phase voltage inputs;

    a first set of bidirectional switches (101-106), respective ones of which are coupled between respective ones of the phase voltage inputs of the first set of phase voltage inputs and a first output line (119); and

    a first set of capacitors (113, 114, 115), respective ones of which are coupled between respective ones of the phase voltage inputs of the first set of phase voltage inputs and a common node;

    wherein the second three phase half bridge cyclo-converter (97) includes:

    a second set of phase voltage inputs;

    a second set of bidirectional switches (107-112), respective ones of which are coupled between respective ones of the phase voltage inputs of the first set of phase voltage inputs and a second output line (120); and

    a second set of capacitors (116, 117, 118), respective ones of which are coupled between respective ones of the phase voltage inputs of the second set of phase voltage inputs and the common node; and

    wherein first and second terminals of the resonant circuit are coupled to the first output line (119) and the second output line (120), respectively; and
    further comprising a controller (54) that controls switching of the first and second sets of bidirectional switches (101-106, 107-112) based on phase voltages at the first and second sets of phase voltage inputs; and
    a power supply transformer (133) which is arranged to supply three phase input voltages to the three phase voltage inputs of the half bridge cyclo-converters (96, 97), wherein the power supply transformer (133) is a phase shifting transformer arranged to supply phase shifted three phase voltage inputs to one of the half bridge cyclo-converters (96, 97) which are phase shifted by about 60 degrees with respect to those of the other half bridge cyclo-converter.
     
    2. A switched-mode cyclo-converter as claimed in claim 1 including an output rectifier (127).
     
    3. A switched-mode cyclo-converter as claimed in claim 2 wherein the output rectifier (127) includes bidirectional switching elements enabling the converter to function as an inverter.
     
    4. A switched-mode cyclo-converter as claimed in claim in claim 1 wherein the bidirectional switches (101-106, 107-112) are back to back forward and reverse current switches each having a blocking diode in parallel with each switch and wherein the controller is configured to control the switching of the bidirectional switches such that for a given cycle the reverse switch is switched in prior to the forward switch to allow natural voltage levels to facilitate switching.
     
    5. A switched-mode cyclo-converter as claimed in claim 1 wherein the controller (54) controls the switching frequency of the bidirectional switches (101-106, 107-112) in dependence upon the output voltage of the cyclo-converter (95).
     
    6. A switched-mode cyclo-converter as claimed in claim 1 wherein the switching frequency is controlled in dependence on a resonant transfer function for the resonant components.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Schaltdirektumrichter (95), der einen Resonanzkreis und einen ersten und einen zweiten Dreiphasen-Halbbrückenumrichter (96, 97) beinhaltet, wobei ein Schalten des Direktumrichters durch eine Resonanz des Resonanzkreises bestimmt wird;
    wobei der erste Dreiphasen-Halbbrückendirektumrichter (96) Folgendes beinhaltet:

    einen ersten Satz von Phasenspannungseingängen;

    einen ersten Satz von bidirektionalen Schaltern (101-106), von denen jeweilige zwischen jeweiligen der Phasenspannungseingänge des ersten Satzes von Phasenspannungseingängen und einer ersten Ausgangsleitung (119) gekoppelt sind; und

    einen ersten Satz von Kondensatoren (113, 114, 115), von denen jeweilige zwischen jeweiligen der Phasenspannungseingänge des ersten Satzes von Phasenspannungseingängen und einem gemeinsamen Knoten gekoppelt sind;

    wobei der zweite Dreiphasen-Halbbrückendirektumrichter (97) Folgendes beinhaltet:

    einen zweiten Satz von Phasenspannungseingängen; einen zweiten Satz von bidirektionalen Schaltern (107-112), von denen jeweilige zwischen jeweiligen der Phasenspannungseingänge des ersten Satzes von Phasenspannungseingängen und einer zweiten Ausgangsleitung (120) gekoppelt sind; und

    einen zweiten Satz von Kondensatoren (116, 117, 118), von denen jeweilige zwischen jeweiligen der Phasenspannungseingänge des zweiten Satzes von Phasenspannungseingängen und dem gemeinsamen Knoten gekoppelt sind; und

    wobei ein erster und ein zweiter Anschluss des Resonanzkreises mit der ersten Ausgangsleitung (119) bzw. der zweiten Ausgangsleitung (120) gekoppelt sind; und

    ferner umfassend eine Steuerung (54), die ein Schalten des ersten und des zweiten Satzes von bidirektionalen Schaltern (101-106, 107-112) basierend auf Phasenspannungen an dem ersten und dem zweiten Satz von Phasenspannungseingängen steuert; und

    einen Einspeisetransformator (133), der eingerichtet ist zum Liefern von Dreiphasen-Eingangsspannungen an die Dreiphasen-Spannungseingänge der Halbbrückendirektumrichter (96, 97), wobei es sich bei dem Einspeisetransformator (133) um einen Phasenverschiebungstransformator handelt, der eingerichtet ist zum Liefern phasenverschobener Dreiphasen-Spannungseingaben an einen der Halbbrückendirektumrichter (96, 97), die in Bezug zu denen des anderen Halbbrückendirektumrichters um etwa 60 Grad phasenverschoben sind.


     
    2. Schaltdirektumrichter nach Anspruch 1, der einen Ausgangsgleichrichter (127) beinhaltet.
     
    3. Schaltdirektumrichter nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Ausgangsgleichrichter (127) bidirektionale Schaltelemente beinhaltet, die es dem Umrichter ermöglichen, als ein Wechselrichter zu fungieren.
     
    4. Schaltdirektumrichter nach Anspruch 1, wobei es sich bei den bidirektionalen Schaltern (101-106, 107-112) um Rücken-an-Rücken-Durchlass- und -Sperrstromschalter handelt, die jeweils eine Blockierdiode parallel zu jedem Schalter aufweisen, und wobei die Steuerung dazu ausgelegt ist, das Schalten der bidirektionalen Schalter derart zu steuern, dass für einen gegebenen Zyklus der Sperrschalter vor dem Durchlassschalter geschaltet wird, um natürliche Spannungspegel zum Erleichtern des Schaltens zu ermöglichen
     
    5. Schaltdirektumrichter nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Steuerung (54) die Schaltfrequenz der bidirektionalen Schalter (101-106, 107-112) abhängig von der Ausgangsspannung des Direktumrichters (95) steuert.
     
    6. Schaltdirektumrichter nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Schaltfrequenz abhängig von einer Resonanz-Übertragungsfunktion für die resonanten Komponenten gesteuert wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Cycloconvertisseur à découpage (95) comportant un circuit résonnant et des premier et deuxième convertisseurs triphasés en demi-pont (96, 97), dans lequel la commutation du cycloconvertisseur est déterminée par la résonance du circuit résonnant ;
    dans lequel le premier cycloconvertisseur triphasé en demi-pont (96) comporte :

    un premier ensemble d'entrées de tension de phase ;

    un premier ensemble de commutateurs bidirectionnels (101-106), dont des commutateurs respectifs sont couplés entre des entrées respectives des entrées de tension de phase du premier ensemble d'entrées de tension de phase et une première ligne de sortie (119) ; et

    un premier ensemble de condensateurs (113, 114, 115), dont des condensateurs respectifs sont couplés entre des entrées respectives des entrées de tension de phase du premier ensemble d'entrées de tension de phase et un nœud commun ;

    dans lequel le deuxième cycloconvertisseur triphasé en demi-pont (97) comporte :

    un deuxième ensemble d'entrées de tension de phase ;

    un deuxième ensemble de commutateurs bidirectionnels (107-112), dont des commutateurs respectifs sont couplés entre des entrées respectives des entrées de tension de phase du premier ensemble d'entrées de tension de phase et une deuxième ligne de sortie (120) ; et

    un deuxième ensemble de condensateurs (116, 117, 118), dont des condensateurs respectifs sont couplés entre des entrées respectives des entrées de tension de phase du deuxième ensemble d'entrées de tension de phase et le nœud commun ; et

    dans lequel des première et deuxième bornes du circuit résonnant sont couplées à la première ligne de sortie (119) et à la deuxième ligne de sortie (120), respectivement ; et

    comprenant en outre une unité de commande (54) qui commande la commutation des premier et deuxième ensembles de commutateurs bidirectionnels (101-106, 107-112), sur la base de tensions de phase aux premier et deuxième ensembles d'entrées de tension de phase ; et

    un transformateur d'alimentation électrique (133) qui est agencé pour fournir des tensions d'entrée triphasées aux entrées de tension triphasées des cycloconvertisseurs en demi-pont (96, 97),

    dans lequel le transformateur d'alimentation électrique (133) est un transformateur de déphasage agencé pour fournir des entrées de tension triphasées déphasées à l'un des cycloconvertisseurs en demi-pont (96, 97), qui sont déphasées d'environ 60 degrés par rapport à celles de l'autre cycloconvertisseur en demi-pont.


     
    2. Cycloconvertisseur à découpage selon la revendication 1, comportant un redresseur de sortie (127).
     
    3. Cycloconvertisseur à découpage selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le redresseur de sortie (127) comporte des éléments de commutation bidirectionnels permettant au convertisseur de fonctionner comme un onduleur.
     
    4. Cycloconvertisseur à découpage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les commutateurs bidirectionnels (101-106, 107-112) sont des commutateurs dos à dos, à courant direct et inverse, ayant chacun une diode de blocage en parallèle avec chaque commutateur, et dans lequel l'unité de commande est configurée pour commander la commutation des commutateurs bidirectionnels de sorte que, pour un cycle donné, le commutateur inverse est commuté avant le commutateur direct, pour permettre à des niveaux de tension naturelle de faciliter la commutation.
     
    5. Cycloconvertisseur à découpage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'unité de commande (54) commande la fréquence de commutation des commutateurs bidirectionnels (101-106, 107-112) en fonction de la tension de sortie du cycloconvertisseur (95).
     
    6. Cycloconvertisseur à découpage selon la revendication 1 dans lequel la fréquence de commutation est commandée en fonction d'une fonction de transfert de résonance pour les composants résonnants.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description