Three-phase Power Factor Correction rectifiers

A Power Factor Correction (PFC) rectifier is a front end switch mode converter which regulates the input current of an electronic load (DC-DC converter) to achieve unity power factor, thereby improving grid power quality.

However, PFC rectifiers add significant cost and losses. Our research is therefore focused on reducing losses in PFC rectifiers. Bidirectional PFCs will become a key component in realizing future SMART grid systems. 

 

High efficiency three-phase power factor correction using wide band-gap devices

By Alireza Kouchaki

The rapid growth of ac adjustable speed drives in industry increases the problem of harmonic pollution of the power system caused by diode rectifiers. An effective alternative to provide the high power quality in addition to controllable DC link voltage as well as bi-directional power flow is using PWM voltage source converters as power factor correction rectifier (PFC).  

To achieve high efficiency PFCs, the power losses in power switches and reactive component especially inductors must be reduced. For the losses in switches, wide band-gap (WBG) semiconductors are highly attractive because of their low conduction and switching losses, high temperature capability, and high thermal conductivity. For the losses in inductors, in addition to choosing core materials, an analytic method which leads to an optimum and high efficiency inductor is required. Therefore, the objectives of this project are:

1)      Design/Develop two level PFC using SiC devices 10 kW- 20 kW;

2)      Design/Develop multilevel PFC using GaN devices 10 kW- 20 kW;

3)      Maximize the conversion efficiency;

4)      Provide bidirectional power flow;

5)      EMI mitigation.

 

This research project is funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation under Intelligent Efficient Power Electronics (IEPE).