skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Advanced Modular Inverter Technology Development

Abstract

Electric and hybrid-electric vehicle systems require an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) output of the energy generation/storage system (engine, fuel cells, or batteries) to the alternating current (AC) that vehicle propulsion motors use. Vehicle support systems, such as lights and air conditioning, also use the inverter AC output. Distributed energy systems require an inverter to provide the high quality AC output that energy system customers demand. Today's inverters are expensive due to the cost of the power electronics components, and system designers must also tailor the inverter for individual applications. Thus, the benefits of mass production are not available, resulting in high initial procurement costs as well as high inverter maintenance and repair costs. Electricore, Inc. (www.electricore.org) a public good 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit advanced technology development consortium assembled a highly qualified team consisting of AeroVironment Inc. (www.aerovironment.com) and Delphi Automotive Systems LLC (Delphi), (www.delphi.com), as equal tiered technical leads, to develop an advanced, modular construction, inverter packaging technology that will offer a 30% cost reduction over conventional designs adding to the development of energy conversion technologies for crosscutting applications in the building, industry, transportation, and utility sectors. The proposed inverter allows for a reduction of weight andmore » size of power electronics in the above-mentioned sectors and is scalable over the range of 15 to 500kW. The main objective of this program was to optimize existing AeroVironment inverter technology to improve power density, reliability and producibility as well as develop new topology to reduce line filter size. The newly developed inverter design will be used in automotive and distribution generation applications. In the first part of this program the high-density power stages were redesigned, optimized and fabricated. One of the main tasks was to design and validate new gate drive circuits to provide the capability of high temp operation. The new power stages and controls were later validated through extensive performance, durability and environmental tests. To further validate the design, two power stages and controls were integrated into a grid-tied load bank test fixture, a real application for field-testing. This fixture was designed to test motor drives with PWM output up to 50kW. In the second part of this program the new control topology based on sub-phases control and interphase transformer technology was successfully developed and validated. The main advantage of this technology is to reduce magnetic mass, loss and current ripple. This report summarizes the results of the advanced modular inverter technology development and details: (1) Power stage development and fabrication (2) Power stage validation testing (3) Grid-tied test fixture fabrication and initial testing (4) Interphase transformer technology development« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Electricore, Inc.
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
898117
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-04NT41972
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; AIR CONDITIONING; ALTERNATING CURRENT; DESIGN; DIRECT CURRENT; ENERGY CONVERSION; ENERGY SYSTEMS; FUEL CELLS; INVERTERS; POWER DENSITY; TESTING

Citation Formats

Adam Szczepanek. Advanced Modular Inverter Technology Development. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/898117.
Adam Szczepanek. Advanced Modular Inverter Technology Development. United States. doi:10.2172/898117.
Adam Szczepanek. Sat . "Advanced Modular Inverter Technology Development". United States. doi:10.2172/898117. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/898117.
@article{osti_898117,
title = {Advanced Modular Inverter Technology Development},
author = {Adam Szczepanek},
abstractNote = {Electric and hybrid-electric vehicle systems require an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) output of the energy generation/storage system (engine, fuel cells, or batteries) to the alternating current (AC) that vehicle propulsion motors use. Vehicle support systems, such as lights and air conditioning, also use the inverter AC output. Distributed energy systems require an inverter to provide the high quality AC output that energy system customers demand. Today's inverters are expensive due to the cost of the power electronics components, and system designers must also tailor the inverter for individual applications. Thus, the benefits of mass production are not available, resulting in high initial procurement costs as well as high inverter maintenance and repair costs. Electricore, Inc. (www.electricore.org) a public good 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit advanced technology development consortium assembled a highly qualified team consisting of AeroVironment Inc. (www.aerovironment.com) and Delphi Automotive Systems LLC (Delphi), (www.delphi.com), as equal tiered technical leads, to develop an advanced, modular construction, inverter packaging technology that will offer a 30% cost reduction over conventional designs adding to the development of energy conversion technologies for crosscutting applications in the building, industry, transportation, and utility sectors. The proposed inverter allows for a reduction of weight and size of power electronics in the above-mentioned sectors and is scalable over the range of 15 to 500kW. The main objective of this program was to optimize existing AeroVironment inverter technology to improve power density, reliability and producibility as well as develop new topology to reduce line filter size. The newly developed inverter design will be used in automotive and distribution generation applications. In the first part of this program the high-density power stages were redesigned, optimized and fabricated. One of the main tasks was to design and validate new gate drive circuits to provide the capability of high temp operation. The new power stages and controls were later validated through extensive performance, durability and environmental tests. To further validate the design, two power stages and controls were integrated into a grid-tied load bank test fixture, a real application for field-testing. This fixture was designed to test motor drives with PWM output up to 50kW. In the second part of this program the new control topology based on sub-phases control and interphase transformer technology was successfully developed and validated. The main advantage of this technology is to reduce magnetic mass, loss and current ripple. This report summarizes the results of the advanced modular inverter technology development and details: (1) Power stage development and fabrication (2) Power stage validation testing (3) Grid-tied test fixture fabrication and initial testing (4) Interphase transformer technology development},
doi = {10.2172/898117},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Feb 04 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sat Feb 04 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • This research and development contract has resulted in several benefits for Trace Engineering and the PV industry that are directly attributable to the PVMaT program: Application of the hardware based protection circuit developed in Phase I was completed on Trace's existing DR and SW series product lines. This additional protection circuit was phased into full production starting in April of 1997. This resulted in a substantial improvement in factory yields and a very significant reduction of field failures - a drop of as much as 80% on some product models. Accelerated development and introduction of the Power Module enclosure/balance ofmore » systems package. This product is a big step towards the standardization of system and equipment design for Trace's customers. Developed the cost reduced 2.5-kW modular inverter based on the current SW series software and topology. This new inverter/charger uses many new construction and manufacturing methods to reduce cost by 40%, simplify production, decrease parts count by over 20%, reduce labor required by 30%, and increase the flexibility in the manufacturing process. It will enter production in the first quarter of 1999 as the Trace Engineering PS series inverter/charger.« less
  • The goal of this research and development contract is to develop and prototype for manufacturing a modular, bi-directional power inverter for photovoltaic applications. This modular inverter will be used as building block for larger inverters by connecting in parallel (for higher power) or in series (for higher AC voltage) or both. The modular inverter will be capable of being interconnected for single, split and three phase configurations for both 60 hertz (domestic) and 50 hertz (international) applications. The design will also construction of units with different DC input voltages and AC output voltages to further satisfy various application and marketmore » requirements. By standardizing on a single {open_quotes}building block{close_quotes} inverter module, the need to build multiple models and sizes for different application can be avoided. The higher volume of a single design will allow improved manufacturing and will result in higher reliability by reducing low volume will allow improved manufacturing will result in higher reliability by reducing low volume modifications. The result will be lower cost and improved performance of photovoltaic systems.« less
  • This research and development contract has resulted in several benefits for Trace Engineering and the PV industry that are directly attributable to the PVMaT program: Application of the hardware based protection circuit developed in Phase I was completed on Trace's existing DR and SW series product lines. This additional protection circuit was phased into full production starting in April of 1997. This resulted in a substantial improvement in factory yields and a very significant reduction of field failures - a drop of as much as 80% on some product models. Accelerated development and introduction of the Power Module enclosure/balance ofmore » systems package. This product is a big step towards the standardization of system and equipment design for Trace's customers. Developed the cost reduced 2.5-kW modular inverter based on the current SW series software and topology. This new inverter/charger uses many new construction and manufacturing methods to reduce cost by 40%, simplify production, decrease parts count by over 20%, reduce labor required by 30%, and increase the flexibility in the manufacturing process. It will enter production in the first quaarter of 1999 as the Trace Engineering PS series inverter/charger.« less
  • Integrating renewable energy and distributed generations into the Smart Grid architecture requires power electronic (PE) for energy conversion. The key to reaching successful Smart Grid implementation is to develop interoperable, intelligent, and advanced PE technology that improves and accelerates the use of distributed energy resource systems. This report describes the simulation, design, and testing of a single-phase DC-to-AC inverter developed to operate in both islanded and utility-connected mode. It provides results on both the simulations and the experiments conducted, demonstrating the ability of the inverter to provide advanced control functions such as power flow and VAR/voltage regulation. This report alsomore » analyzes two different techniques used for digital signal processor (DSP) code generation. Initially, the DSP code was written in C programming language using Texas Instrument's Code Composer Studio. In a later stage of the research, the Simulink DSP toolbox was used to self-generate code for the DSP. The successful tests using Simulink self-generated DSP codes show promise for fast prototyping of PE controls.« less
  • This subcontract report was completed under the auspices of the NREL/SCE High-Penetration Photovoltaic (PV) Integration Project, which is co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment (RD&D) program funded by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) and managed by Itron. This project is focused on modeling, quantifying, and mitigating the impacts of large utility-scale PV systems (generally 1-5 MW in size) that are interconnected to the distribution system. This report discusses the concerns utilities have when interconnecting large PV systems thatmore » interconnect using PV inverters (a specific application of frequency converters). Additionally, a number of capabilities of PV inverters are described that could be implemented to mitigate the distribution system-level impacts of high-penetration PV integration. Finally, the main issues that need to be addressed to ease the interconnection of large PV systems to the distribution system are presented.« less