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Abstract — Inverters are used in a large number of power applications. The function of an inverter is to convert DC power to AC, these are referred to as Voltage Source Inverters (VSI). VSI are divided up into three categories: Pulse-width Modulated Inverters, Square-wave Inverters, and Single- phase Inverters with Voltage Cancellation. This paper will talk about the different types of Inverters and how they work. It will continue on with examples of some types of inverters and what types of factors affect their efficiencies. I.I NTRODUCTION Within the last decade, there have been major advancements in power electronics. Power electronics have moved along with these developments with such things as digital signal processors being used to control power systems. An Inverter is basically a converter that converts DC-AC power. Inverter circuits can be very complex so the objective of this paper is to present some of the inner workings of inverters without getting lost in some of the fine details. A voltage source inverter (VSI) is one that takes in a fixed voltage from a device, such as a dc power supply, and converts it to a variable-frequency AC supply. Voltage-source inverters are divided into three general categories: Pulse-width Modulated (PWM) Inverters, Square-wave Inverters, Single-phase Inverters with Voltage Cancellation. Pulse-width modulation inverters take in a constant dc voltage. Diode-rectifiers are used to rectify the line voltage, and the inverter must control the magnitude and the frequency of the ac output voltages. To do this the inverter uses pulse-width modulation using it’s switches. There are different methods for doing the pulse-width modulation in an inverter in order to shape the output ac voltages to be very close to a sine wave. These different methods will be discussed further with a focus on sinusoidal-PWM. Squire-wave inverters have their input connected to a controlled dc voltage in order to control the magnitude of the output ac voltage. The inverter only controls the frequency of the output where the input voltage is controlled the magnitude. The output ac voltage has a waveform similar to a square wave which is where the inverter got it’s name. Lastly, Single-phase inverters with voltage cancellation, take in a constant dc source and output a square-wave like ac voltage. They can control both the frequency and the magnitude of the output but do not use PWM and therefore have a square-wave like output. These inverters have combined characteristics of the previous two inverters. The voltage cancellation only works with single phase inverters, not three phase, this will be explained more further later on in the paper. Switch-mode dc-to-ac inverters are used in ac-motor drives and uninterruptible ac power supplies where the main objective is to provide a sinusoidal ac output where magnitude and frequency can both be controlled.
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