Inverters are widely used in photovoltaic (PV) based power generation systems. Most of these systems have been based on medium to high power string inverters. Microinverters are gaining popularity over their string inverter counterparts in PV based power generation systems due to maximized energy harvesting, high system reliability, modularity, and simple installation. They can be deployed on commercial buildings, residential rooftops, electric poles, etc and have a huge potential market. Emerging trend in power electronics is to increase power density and efficiency while reducing cost. A powerful tool to achieve these objectives is the development of an advanced control system for power electronics. In low power applications such as solar microinverters, increasing the switching frequency can reduce the size of passive components resulting in higher power density. However, switching losses and electromagnetic interference (EMI) may increase as a consequence of higher switching frequency. Soft switching techniques have been proposed to overcome these issues. This dissertation presents several innovative control techniques which are used to increase efficiency and power density while reducing cost. Dynamic dead time optimization and dual zone modulation techniques have been proposed in this dissertation to significantly improve the microinverter efficiency. In dynamic dead time optimization technique, pulse width modulation (PWM) dead times are dynamically adjusted as a function of load current to minimize MOSFET body diode conduction time which reduces power dissipation. This control method also improves total harmonic distortion (THD) of the inverter output current. To further improve the microinverter efficiency, a dual-zone modulation has been proposed which introduces one more soft-switching transition and lower inductor peak current compared to the other boundary conduction mode (BCM) modulation methods. In addition, an advanced DC link voltage control has been proposed to increase the microinverter power density. This concept minimizes the storage capacitance by allowing greater voltage ripple on the DC link. Therefore, the microinverter reliability can be significantly increased by replacing electrolytic capacitors with film capacitors. These control techniques can be readily implemented on any inverter, motor controller, or switching power amplifier. Since there is no circuit modification involved in implementation of these control techniques and can be easily added to existing controller firmware, it will be very attractive to any potential licensees.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Tayebi, Seyed Milad, "Advanced Control Techniques for Efficiency and Power Density Improvement of a Three-Phase Microinverter" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5934.