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This paper compares the efficiencies of insulated gate bipolar transistor-based voltage and current source inverters. Test circuits that replicate the functionality of a single switching pole of each converter topology are used to measure the switching trajectories and loss characteristics of the semiconductor devices. These results are then used to simulate the losses for complete 3-phase voltage and current source inverters. Switching losses are shown to be dominant in the voltage source inverter whilst conduction loss is dominant in the current source inverter. It is shown that neither power converter operates more efficiently than the other over the complete operating range, with an equivalently rated voltage source inverter being preferable at lower power levels and the current source inverter being more efficient at higher power levels.
Date of Conference: 19-21 April 2010