Design and Development of IGBT-Based Pulse Voltage Generator for Insulation Testing
With the desire for energy conservation and lower costs, the application of pulse-width modulated (PWM) voltage source converter (VSC) drives has grown at an exponential rate. However, due to their high switching frequency and high dv/dt, increased dielectric stresses and thermal stresses are applied to the insulation system of the motors, which may lead to the failure of the insulation. In order to test the performance of the motor insulation under the above complex stress conditions, an IGBT-based pulse voltage generator which can produce high voltage square wave and PWM waveforms has been successfully developed in this research. The generator consists of IGBT switches and other wave shaping components. The special cascade connection circuit design enables the generator to produce the stable high voltage square wave and PWM waveforms. A microcontroller-based trigger signal generator is used to trigger the power electronic switches in the generator. In order to avoid false triggering from electromagnetic interference (EMI), optical fibre cables are used to connect the trigger signal generator to the switches which are located in a high electric potential area. The generator can produce square wave and PWM waveforms with a peak voltage up to 15 kV and with a switching frequency of 600 Hz to 6 kHz. The fundamental frequency of the PWM waveform is 20 Hz to 1200 Hz, the rise time is less than 200 ns, and the pulse width can be varied up to several milliseconds. A 4 kVrms form wound model stator coil was tested under different voltage waveforms: power frequency, exponential decay pulse, square wave, and sinusoidal pulse-width modulated (SPWM) waveform. Infrared images and the maximum temperature rise of the coil under different electrical stresses were recorded. The results show that both the square and SPWM voltage waveforms cause a significantly higher temperature rise than the power frequency and exponential decay pulse voltage waveforms. Since the actual VSCs generate transients similar to those of the square and PWM voltage waveforms, it is recommended that the stator coil insulation be analyzed using PWM voltage waveforms in order to simulate actual conditions.