Hybrid Active Modulation Strategy for Three-Level Neutral-Point-Clamped Converters in High-Speed Aerospace Drives

Feng Guo, Tao Yang, Ahmed M. Diab, Zhen Huang, Seang Shen Yeoh, Serhiy Bozhko, Patrick Wheeler

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    In the aircraft electric starter/generator (ESG) system, the three-level neutral-point-clamped (3L-NPC) converters play a crucial role in driving turbofan engines and delivering onboard electrical power. However, the conventional pulse-width-modulation (PWM) strategies face the challenge of capacitor voltage deviation, large common-mode voltage (CMV) and extra switching losses. Regarding the characteristics of the studied wide-speed range aerospace drives, the modulation scheme needs to be designed according to its operating conditions. To tackle the above demerits, a hybrid active modulation (HYAM) approach is hence proposed in this paper. By the coordinate-based PWM, the nearest-three-vector is used in the startup process as the neutral-point (NP) voltage balance can be realized with fewer switching intervals; when the drives run in generation mode, an enhanced carrier-based virtual-space-vector modulation technique is involved, which aims to eliminate NP voltage fluctuation, suppress common-mode voltage (CMV) and simplify the modulation process. With the help of bias-offset injection in the time and voltage domain, capacitor voltages can be effectively kept at a balanced state even though the imbalance exists. The validity of the presented algorithm is proved by simulation and experimental results obtained from a 45 kW, 32 krpm aircraft starter/generator test rig.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1
    Number of pages1
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


    • Aerospace electronics
    • Aircraft
    • Aircraft propulsion
    • capacitor voltage balance
    • Capacitors
    • Common-mode voltage (CMV)
    • coordinate-based hybrid modulation
    • more-electric-aircraft (MEA)
    • Pulse width modulation
    • Switches
    • three-level topology
    • Voltage control

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Control and Systems Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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