Renewable energy, power electronics, soft switching, three phase micro inverter


In the field of renewable energy, solar photovoltaic is growing exponentially. Grid-tied PV micro-inverters have become the trend for future PV system development because of their remarkable advantages such as enhanced energy production due to MPPT implementation for each PV panel, high reliability due to redundant and distributed system architecture, and simple design, installation, and management due to its plug-and-play feature. Conventional approaches for the PV micro-inverters are mainly in the form of single-phase grid connected and they aim at the residential and commercial rooftop applications. It would be advantageous to extend the micro-inverter concept to large size PV installations such as MW-class solar farms where threephase AC connections are used. The relatively high cost of the three-phase micro-inverter is the biggest barrier to its large scale deployment. Increasing the switching frequency may be the best way to reduce cost by shrinking the size of reactive components and heat-sink. However, this approach could cause conversion efficiency to drop dramatically without employing soft switching techniques or using costly new devices. This dissertation presents a new zero voltage switching control method that is suitable for low power applications such as three-phase micro-inverters. The proposed hybrid boundary conduction mode (BCM) current control method increases the efficiency and power density of the micro-inverters and features both reduced number of components and easy digital implementation. Zero voltage switching is achieved by controlling the inductor current bidirectional in every switching cycle and results in lower switching losses, higher operating frequency, and reduced size and cost of passive components, especially magnetic cores. Some iv practical aspects of hybrid control implementation such as dead-time insertion can degrade the performance of the micro-inverter. A dead-time compensation method that improves the performance of hybrid BCM current control by decreasing the output current THD and reducing the zero crossing distortion is presented. Different BCM ZVS current control modulation schemes are compared based on power losses breakdown, switching frequency range, and current quality. Compared to continuous conduction mode (CCM) current control, BCM ZVS control decreases MOSFET switching losses and filter inductor conduction losses but increases MOSFET conduction losses and inductor core losses. Based on the loss analysis, a dual-mode current modulation method combining ZVS and zero current switching (ZCS) schemes is proposed to improve the efficiency of the micro-inverter. Finally, a method of maintaining high power conversion efficiency across the entire load range of the three-phase micro-inverter is proposed. The proposed control method substantially increases the conversion efficiency at light loads by minimizing switching losses of semiconductor devices as well as core losses of magnetic components. This is accomplished by entering a phase skipping operating mode wherein two phases of an inverter are disabled and three inverters are combined to form a new three-phase system with minimal grid imbalance. A 400W prototype of a three-phase micro-inverter and its hybrid control system have been designed and tested under different conditions to verify the effectiveness of the proposed controller, current modulation scheme, and light load efficiency enhancement method.


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Graduation Date





Batarseh, Issa


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering








Release Date

May 2014

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic