Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Aaron M. Cramer


In this dissertation, the generalized averaging method models for inverters, reactive power control methods for photovoltaic inverters, and a noise immunity improvement for hybrid position observers for brushless dc motor drives are studied.

Models of inverters and other converters based on averaging have been widely used in numerous simulation applications. Generalized averaging can be applied to model both average and switching behavior of converters while retaining the faster run times associated with average-value models. Herein, generalized average models for single- and three-phase pulse width modulation inverters are proposed. The modulation signal for the proposed model could be either a sinusoidal waveform without high order harmonics or a sinusoidal waveform with third-harmonic injection. And this generalized average models also can apply for modeling three-phase pulse width modulation inverters with varying modulation signal frequency in the reference frame. These models are based on a quasi-Fourier series representation of the switching functions that includes fundamental and switching frequency components as well as sideband components of the switching frequency. The proposed models are demonstrated both in simulation and experimentally and are found to accurately portray both the fundamental and the switching behavior of the inverter. In particular, the use of sideband components allows accurate representation of the variation in switching ripple magnitude that occurs in the steady state. The generalized average models are found to have simulation run times that are significantly faster than those associated with detailed models. Therefore, the proposed generalized average models are suitable for simulation applications in which both accuracy (including the switching behavior) and fast run times are required (e.g., long simulation times, systems with multiple converters, and repeated simulations).

Variations in the output power of intermittent renewable sources can cause significant fluctuations of distribution system voltage magnitudes. Reactive power control methods that employ the reactive power capability of photovoltaic three-phase inverters to mitigate these fluctuations are proposed. These control methods cause the three-phase inverters to substitute reactive output power for real output power when fluctuations in the solar power are experienced, allowing the fluctuations to be controlled. Performance metrics for assessing the ability of these controllers to perform this mitigation are defined. The controllers are examined using the IEEE 123-bus feeder distribution system, and it is found that the controllers can effectively mitigate voltage magnitude fluctuations and that the appropriate choice of controller depends on the performance metrics of interest.

Finally, a noise immunity improvement for hybrid position observers for brushless dc motor drives is proposed. A finite state machine is used to detect Hall-effect sensor transitions to determine if these transitions are true transitions or the result of momentary glitches. This filter causes a delay in the detection of the Hall-effect sensors that is compensated in the proposed observer. The proposed observer is compared in simulations with the original hybrid position observer under both non-noisy and noisy conditions for both constant and variable speed operation, and it has good performance even under high noise and variable speed conditions.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)