Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Inverter Configurations with Shoot-Through Immunity
WARF: P03213US

Inventors: Shihong Park, Thomas Jahns

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a novel phase leg configuration that is inherently immune to shoot-through conditions.
The two-switch phase leg – a basic building block topology for electrical power inverters – consists of a high- and a low-side semiconductor switch spanning a DC voltage source. Dead time delay intervals are typically added to the software controlling these two switches in order to avoid shoot-through conditions. Shoot-through conditions occur when both switches are on at the same time and cause a short in the VDC voltage source. Although these dead times are brief, they produce harmonic distortion and non-linearity when two-switch phase legs are used in inverters to generate sinusoidal voltages for motors and other types of AC loads.
The Invention
UW-Madison researchers have developed a novel phase leg configuration that is inherently immune to shoot-through conditions. In the basic embodiment of this invention, the low-side switch acts like a master switch to control switching of the high-side switch. That is, whenever the low-side switch is on, the high-side switch is automatically forced off, and the high-side switch only begins to turn on when the low-side switch turns off. Thus, a short-circuit through both of the main switches is topologically inhibited and a single control signal for the low-side switch is enough to control the entire phase leg.
  • Electrical power inverters
Key Benefits
  • Inherently immune to phase leg shoot-through, eliminating a major failure mechanism
  • Provides highly reliable immunity to shoot-through at relatively low-cost and complexity
  • Eliminates need for complicated dead time (i.e., blanking time) detection and compensation strategies
  • Compatible with simple boot-strap voltage supply for the high-side circuit
  • Offers overall simplicity and compatibility with integrated circuit implementation of the gate drive control circuitry
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
For current licensing status, please contact Michael Carey at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9867