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Rectifier Capacitor Filter Stress Analysis When Subject to Regular Voltage Fluctuations

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3 Author(s)
Kun Zhao ; Sch. of Electr., Comput. & Telecommun. Eng., Univ. of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia ; Ciufo, P. ; Perera, S.

Lamp flicker levels that arise as a result of voltage fluctuations can exceed limits set by appropriate standards. New lamp types such as compact fluorescent lights are less sensitive to voltage fluctuations as their flicker characteristics are considerably different compared to those of the traditional incandescent lamp. These differences could support the moderation of the present voltage fluctuation and flicker standards and hence the associated limits. The potential detrimental effects on electrical equipment which may be caused by relaxation of these limits should be investigated before any changes to the present standards take place. The impact of voltage fluctuations on a full-bridge rectifier with a capacitor filter is considered as a case study in this paper. Such a circuit is found at the front end of many different types of equipment that are connected to the public ac supply network. The capacitor ripple current characteristic is of particular interest. The research reported in this paper indicates that the filter capacitor will accumulate and dissipate increased amount of charge when the rectifier is subjected to ac source voltage fluctuations. The consequence is that the RMS value of the capacitor current will increase, where the magnitude of this increase is related to the modulation frequency and magnitude of the fluctuating voltage. Therefore, an ac supply with a voltage fluctuation component will cause a full-bridge rectifier with capacitor filter to sustain increased stress. This stress may accelerate the capacitor ageing process, eventually resulting in premature equipment failure. The research indicates that there is a need for indices other that the short-term and long-term flicker indices required for equipment compatibility levels.

Published in:

Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 2013

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