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The operation, analysis, and optimization of a complementary impulse commutated inverter using current impulse instead of voltage impulse for commutation is presented. The operation of the inverter is described, and its salient features are discussed in relation to other commonly used inverters. The trapped energy in the commutation circuit is studied, and methods of feeding back or dissipating this energy are discussed. The optimum operating parameters are derived analytically. This inverter combines the good features of auxiliary commutation with the simplicity of complementary commutation. The advantages of this inverter in pulsewidth modulated (PWNM) inverter applications are examined. A three-phase PWM inverter with a novel switching strategy to minimize losses is designed, tested, and experimental results are presented.