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Pulsewidth modulation (PWM) voltage source converters are becoming a popular interface to the power grid for many applications. Hence, issues related to the reduction of PWM harmonics injection in the power grid are becoming more relevant. The use of high-order filters like LCL filters is a standard solution to provide the proper attenuation of PWM carrier and sideband voltage harmonics. However, those grid filters introduce potentially unstable dynamics that should be properly damped either passively or actively. The second solution suffers from control and system complexity (a high number of sensors and a high-order controller), even if it is more attractive due to the absence of losses in the damping resistors and due to its flexibility. An interesting and straightforward active damping solution consists in plugging in, in cascade to the main controller, a filter that should damp the unstable dynamics. No more sensors are needed, but there are open issues such as preserving the bandwidth, robustness, and limited complexity. This paper provides a systematic approach to the design of filter-based active damping methods. The tuning procedures, performance, robustness, and limitations of the different solutions are discussed with theoretical analysis, selected simulation, and experimental results.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2011