On the common mode voltage in multilevel multiphase single- and double-ended diode clamped voltage source inverter systems

Sosthenes Karugaba, Annette Mütze, Joseph O. Ojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Common-mode voltage (CMV) in voltage-source inverters (VSIs) has been well defined and is frequently referred to in the literature. While often referred to, there is no real consistency with respect to how the CMV properties of an individual modulation scheme are evaluated, lacking tools to assess the relative merits or disadvantages of a certain topology or modification of a control scheme. The way that it is analyzed is still mostly a matter of the different authors' foci. In this paper, we propose a metric for the analysis of the CMV, aiming to fill the aforementioned gap. Thereby, the CMV in VSIs is quantified by the number of possible levels and the step sizes between different levels, as well as the respective frequencies of occurrence. The first two are given by the number of levels and the number of phases of the inverter. Depending on the modulation (control) schemes, all possibly available levels or a few of these levels are present in the CMV. We illustrate the use of the tool by applying it to thoroughly study the CMV properties intrinsic to the topologies of multilevel multiphase single- as well as double-ended diode-clamped VSI drive systems. As part of this analysis, we uncover new relationships concerning the existence of zero CMV level. Furthermore, we exemplarily apply the developed tool to the assessment of the CMV properties of selected pulse width modulation (PWM) control schemes and translate the findings into an interpretation of the endangerment of a given drive to suffer damage from inverter-induced bearing currents. The theoretical findings are supported by measurements. This paper also reviews the literature on CMV in multilevel multiphase VSI systems. With the proposed metric in mind, the CMV being mostly discussed as an element of different foci becomes even clearer, confirming again the need for the development of such a tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2079-2091
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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