PWM Strategy for MW-Scale 'SiC+Si' ANPC Converter in Aircraft Propulsion Applications

Jiangbiao He, Di Zhang, Di Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this article, an improved pulsewidth modulation (PWM) strategy is introduced for three-level active neutral point clamped converters based on a hybrid configuration of silicon carbide (SiC) mosfets and silicon (Si) insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBTs). Compared with the conventional PWM strategies in the literature, this proposed PWM strategy enables the SiC switches only to interface with small commutation loops, thus the turn-off voltage overshoots caused by the parasitic loop inductance and high di/dt are much lower. Soft switching is achieved across all the IGBTs, and the switching losses of the converter only dissipate from the SiC mosfets, leading to high efficiency of the converter. Also, with this improved PWM strategy, the conduction loss at zero voltage output of this converter is reduced due to the turn-on of two parallel conduction paths. Furthermore, this proposed PWM strategy can protect the body diodes of the SiC mosfets from conducting large load current. All these advantages with the proposed PWM strategy are experimentally verified in a megawatt-scale three-phase three-level 'SiC+Si' hybrid active neutral point clamped inverter developed for electric aircraft propulsion applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9115283
Pages (from-to)3077-3086
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received March 22, 2020; accepted June 2, 2020. Date of publication June 11, 2020; date of current version May 19, 2021. Paper: 2020-MCRE-0015, approved for publication in the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLI-CATIONS by the Energy Systems Committee of the IEEE Industry Applications Society. This work was supported in part by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) AATT under Grant NNC15CA29C and in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Grant DE-EE0007252. (Corresponding author: Jiangbiao He.) Jiangbiao He is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506 USA (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 1972-2012 IEEE.


  • Active neutral point clamped (ANPC) inverter
  • commutation loops
  • efficiency
  • electric aircraft propulsion
  • pulsewidth modulation (PWM) strategy
  • silicon carbide (SiC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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