A Megawatt-Scale Medium-Voltage High-Efficiency High Power Density 'SiC+Si' Hybrid Three-Level ANPC Inverter for Aircraft Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Systems

Di Zhang, Jiangbiao He, Di Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


A hybrid-electric propulsion system is an enabling technology to make the aircraft more fuel saving, quieter, and lower carbide emission. In this article, a megawatt (MW) scale power inverter based on a three-level active neutral-point-clamped (3L-ANPC) topology will be developed. To achieve high efficiency, the switching devices operating at carrier frequency in the power converter are configured by the emerging silicon carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors, while the conventional silicon (Si) insulated-gate bipolar transistors are selected for switches operating at the fundamental output frequency. To obtain high power density, dc bus voltage is increased from the conventional 270 V to medium voltage of 2.4 kV to reduce cable weight. Also, unlike the traditional 400 Hz dominated aircraft ac systems, the rated fundamental output frequency here is boosted to 1.4 kHz to drive the high-speed motor, which helps further to reduce the motor weight. Main hardware development and control modulation strategies are presented. Experimental results are presented to verify the performance of this MW-scale medium-voltage 'SiC+Si' hybrid 3L-ANPC inverter. It is shown that the 1-MW 3L-ANPC inverter can achieve a high efficiency of 99% and a high power density of 12 kVA/kg.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8789485
Pages (from-to)5971-5980
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 27, 2018; revised April 27, 2019 and July 19, 2019; accepted July 21, 2019. Date of publication August 5, 2019; date of current version October 18, 2019. Paper 2018-IDC-1385.R2, presented at the 2018 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, Portland, OR, USA, Sep. 23–27, and approved for publication in the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS by the Industrial Drives Committee of the IEEE Industry Application Society. This work was supported in part by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration AATT Grant NNC15CA29C and in part by the Department of Energy under Contract DE-EE0007252. (Corresponding author: Jiangbiao He.) D. Zhang and D. Pan are with GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY 12309 USA (e-mail: zhangd@ge.com; an@ge.com).

Publisher Copyright:
© 1972-2012 IEEE.


  • Active neutral point clamped (ANPC) inverter
  • high efficiency
  • high power density
  • hybrid-electric propulsion systems
  • silicon carbide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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