PULSE WIDTH MODULATED INVERTER
Pulse width modulated (PWM) inverters are among the most used power-electronic circuits in practical applications. These inverters are capable of producing ac voltages of variable magnitude as well as variable frequency. The quality of output voltage can also be greatly enhanced when compared with those of square wave inverters. The PWM inverters are very commonly used in adjustable speed ac motor drive loads where one needs to feed the motor with variable voltage, and variable frequency supply. For wide variations in drive speed, the frequency of the applied ac voltage needs to be varied over a wide range. The applied voltage also needs to vary almost linearly with the frequency. PWM inverters can be of single phase as well as three phases, the principle of operation is the same for both.
There are several different PWM techniques, differing in their methods of implementation. However, in all these techniques the aim is to generate an output voltage, which after some filtering, would result in a good quality sinusoidal voltage waveform of desired fundamental frequency and magnitude. For the inverter topology considered here, it may not be possible to reduce the overall voltage distortion due to harmonics but by proper switching control, the magnitudes of lower-order harmonic voltages can be reduced, often at the cost of increasing the magnitudes of higher-order harmonic voltages.
Such a situation is acceptable in most cases as the harmonic voltages of higher frequencies can be satisfactorily filtered using lower sizes of filter chokes and capacitors. Many of the loads, like motor loads have an inherent quality to suppress high-frequency harmonic currents, and hence an external filter may not be necessary. To judge the quality of voltage produced by a PWM inverter, a detailed harmonic analysis of the voltage waveform needs to be done.
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