Power quality and efficiency improvements for transformerless grid connected PV inverters

PhD Thesis


Bowtell, Leslie. 2010. Power quality and efficiency improvements for transformerless grid connected PV inverters. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Power quality and efficiency improvements for transformerless grid connected PV inverters

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorBowtell, Leslie
SupervisorAhfock, Tony
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages154
Year2010
Abstract

There is currently significant growth in the number of residential scale grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. Generally, if environmental costs are not accounted for, the cost of generation from PV sources remains high compared to conventionally generated electricity. There is, therefore, a strong incentive to reduce the cost of PV systems and improve their efficiency while satisfying injected power quality standards. The focus has been on the power electronic single phase converter bridge which is typically used as interface between the DC output of the
PV panels and the terminals of the AC network. One of the two main objectives was to investigate the possibility of operating an inverter connected to the AC grid
without an interfacing power transformer, while keeping DC injection into the grid below levels specified by Australian and International Standards. A low cost
method of controlling the DC offset content of the current injected into the AC mains has been proposed. A mathematical model of the DC offset controller has
been developed and experimentally validated. A design procedure for the controller has also been developed. The second objective was to investigate the dependence of efficiency on inverter switching strategies such as bipolar and unipolar switching. It was confirmed by specially designed tests that unipolar switching meant significantly lower switching losses when compared with bipolar
switching. However, the quality of current injected into the AC mains in the case of unipolar switching was not considered acceptable because of significant current
distortion near the AC mains voltage zero crossing. A new method of inverter switching has been proposed which exploits the efficiency advantage of unipolar
switching while avoiding the problem of current distortion. The main outcomes of this project are a DC offset controller which allow transformerless operation and
an inverter switching strategy that results in significantly reduced switching losses
while maintaining the quality of injected current. Implementation of the proposed DC offset controller and inverter switching strategy will result in both capital cost
savings and higher conversion efficiency.

Keywordsgrid connected; photovoltaic systems; transformerless
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020400803. Electrical energy generation (incl. renewables, excl. photovoltaics)
Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
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