• Stephen Woolaghan

Student thesis: Phd


Brushless permanent magnet (PM) drive systems offer a high efficiency over a wide power/torque-speed operating envelope, however, there are a number of problems that may limit, or complicate, their operation particularly in automotive and aerospace vehicular applications, i.e. the loss of control of the power silicon gate drive circuitry during fluxweakening operation, control of high-speed low-inductance machines and the presence of large electrolytic capacitors on the inverter DC link. Current Source Inverters (CSIs) could potentially address some or all of the above issues. However, they have found little application to date due to the wide use of the Voltage Source Inverter (VSI) circuit topology.This thesis investigates feasibility of utilising Current Source Inverters (CSIs) to control permanent magnet synchronous machines in automotive and aerospace actuation systems. CSIs, switching at the fundamental frequency, were used in some of the first semiconductor based, electronic variable speed drive systems that utilised the simple, low maintenance AC induction motor. However, the rapid progress of semiconductors and discovery of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) techniques soon resulted in the Voltage Source Inverter (VSI) replacing the CSI in all but the highest power applications. Modern power electronics and (micro-processor based) control systems mean that the advantages of VSI systems may no longer be significant and combined with the unique environmental conditions that automotive and aerospace applications present, could allow the CSI to offer advantages over VSIs in these applications.The thesis presents the switching and control logic for CSIs and mapping to the more conventional VSI logic. Analysis is made of the various loss mechanisms in VSI and CSI power circuitary. Simulation models of the VSI and CSI structures are presented and representative drive systems designed, built and tested to validate the model developed. Comparisons are made of the two inverter topologies based on power conversions and loss audits of the test validation hardware.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorNigel Schofield (Supervisor)


  • PM Machine
  • Control
  • Current Source Inverter

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