23-Level Inverter for Electric Vehicles Using a Single Battery Pack and Series Active Filters

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Cascaded H-bridge (CHB) multilevel inverters have been conceived as an alternative to reduce total harmonic distortion (THD) in medium-voltage drives. The reduced THD makes them useful for electric vehicle (EV) applications, but the main problem with the CHB is the large amount of isolated power sources required to feed each of the H-bridges. An improved variant known as the asymmetrical CHB (ACHB) inverter uses H-bridges of different sizes and then needs fewer isolated power sources than the CHB. However, in battery-powered EVs, only one power supply (fuel cell or battery pack) is desirable. This work presents a solution to solve the problem, operating some of the small H-bridges (Aux-bridges) as series active filters and using a small high-frequency link (HFL). With this solution, only one dc source is required to feed the inverter, and if the control is adjusted to work at particular switching points, more than 98% of power is transferred through the larger H-bridges (MAIN bridges). The proposed ACHB topology can produce any number of levels, and the M AIN bridges always commutate at fundamental frequency. As the number of levels must remain constant for all output voltages, a variable dc source is required to control the amplitude of the motor voltage. This work shows some simulations and experiments on a 2-kW 27-level ACHB working with only 23 levels. The concept is being implemented in a small EV with an ACHB drive of 18 kW.
Bridge circuits, Inverters, Electric vehicles, Voltage control, Modulation, Feeds, Topology