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For the three-phase parallel voltage source inverter systems with common dc link, several control methods were developed to suppress the common-mode circulating current. The common-mode ripple current is the main disturbance source of the common-mode circulating current control system that forms part of the parallel discontinuous pulsewidth modulation (PWM) inverter system. In this paper, a real-time analysis method for the common-mode ripple voltage of the three-phase discontinuous PWM inverter is proposed, whereby the amplitude of the common-mode ripple current can be estimated correctly, the hysteresis width of the circulating current controller can be adjusted to be as small as possible, and consequently, the rms circulating current is minimized as well. The simulation and experimental results are presented to confirm the theoretical analysis method of the common-mode ripple current and the performance of the proposed common-mode ripple current estimator.