Archive for the ‘Phase Locked Loops’ Category

Advanced Digital Control Power Electronics Course

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Digital Control Power Electronics course – January 30 to February 2

The next Advanced Digital Control of Power Electronics training course is running in

Camarillo, California

January 30 to February 2

Registrations open now – click here or on the button below

Register now

Course outline is here.

Four days

The course has been expanded to four days and includes lab sessions each day to reinforce the learning on

  • Precision extension of Digital Modulators
  • Digital Loop closing
  • The effects of delay
  • Loop measurement using the control processor.

What people who have attended say about the course?

“Had very high expectations of this course. Hamish delivered. Excellent for power engineers who are starting digital power. Thanks for putting this on…I only regret it is a 3 day course. I could sit here for 3 more days”

“This course was full of critical material not found in the app notes.  Very enjoyable and well taught.”

“Good course. Hamish knows his material. I’ll be able to apply this coursework to my work.”


“I would highly recommend the ELMG digital control course to all power electronics engineers.  What makes this course particularly valuable is in the practical approach and relevance to the control of power electronics.  The topic of digital control is a very broad subject and hence the specific challenges and applicable tools are very different depending on the application details. Many digital control / DSP courses try to approach the topic from a very generic broad approach, treating all applications in the same way.  The classic approach involves starting from a conventional analog control model and then adding ADC and DAC blocks to change between the analog and digital domains with a digital controller replacing the traditional analog controller. The problem with this classic approach is that it is not a practical or applicable method for designing high bandwidth controllers for use for the control of power converters. The ELMG digital control course specifically focuses on the control of power electronics and hence the course only considers concepts and techniques that are applicable to the control of power electronics.  The course covers a wide range of digital control theory and introduces the power electronics engineer to all of the state of the art digital control concepts.  This course is a must for any power electronics engineer who is involved in the digital control of power converters.”

Michael Harrison – Director of Power Conversion, Enphase.

Register by clicking below

Register now


Congratulations to Dr. Rabia Nazir on completing her PhD in fractional delays in repetitive control

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Over the last two years ELMG Digital Power CTO, Dr. Hamish Laird, has helped supervise (the now Dr.) Rabia Nazir in the pursuit of her Doctoral studies.

Hamish Laird says

“The research that Rabia has completed in the area of fractional delays in recursive filters for current control in grid tied inverters gives great control tools in the implementation of control for GTIs in grids where the AC system frequency is varying. It is always great to help with PhD research as I learn so much so thanks to Rabia for letting me help.”

Congratulations to Dr. Rabia Nazir on her successful oral defense of here work.  Dr Laird again

“It was fantastic to attend Rabia’s defense.  I am so proud of and pleased with the work she did in analysing, simulating and building power converter hardware to show her findings. It was a great learning experience for me.”

Recently (now Dr.) Rabia Nazir presented a paper at a conference in Sicily on the use of Taylor Series expansion based fractional delay filters for recursive control of grid inverter currents.

Contact us for a copy of the paper.



Inverter grid synchronisation – Six AC system frequency facts

Friday, November 21st, 2014

With inverter grid synchronisation the key problem is that the grid frequency can vary.  In fact the frequencies of AC systems around the world are different and they are also constantly changing.  This makes it a challenge to connect renewable generation to the network.

AC System Frequency

  1. Aircraft AC systems run at 400Hz three phase.  They do this to make the motors lighter with less iron due to the volt second integral being lower.
  2. Some railway locomotive AC systems are 16.7Hz single phase.  These frequencies are chosen to minimise the current needed to charge the capacitance of the overhead line and so minimises the number of substations needed.  The 16.7Hz  is chosen to so as to not be a multiple of 50Hz.  The was made by rotary frequency changers (this is truly what they were called as power engineers often lack imagination) but is now also made by static power electronic frequency changers.  With modern static frequency changers with inverter grid synchronisation 16.7Hz is achieved.
  3. In Switzerland the railway has their own separate distribution grid.
  4. There have been railway frequencies as low as 8Hz and some train locomotives even operate from very low frequency AC with a frequency of zero.  DC is the AC you have when you are not having AC.
  5. Early on GE decided that 40Hz would be good for AC distribution but it did not catch on.
  6. There are aluminium smelters in Australia where they have or had 60Hz, 50Hz, 25Hz and 16 2/3 Hz AC systems and reportedly all at the same time.

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Other useful information for Inverter grid synchronisation.

  • NATO ships are 60 Hz,
  • The Swiss, German, and Austrian rail network reportedly changed to 16.7 Hz from 16 2/3 Hz  in 1995.  This to prevent over heating in the rotary converters.
  • Japan has both 50 Hz and 60 Hz with the 50Hz built by the British and the 60Hz by the US after the second world war.  The two systems are linked by HVDC links.
  • 60 Hz is probably a better choice than 50Hz but it is too late now for the 50Hz countries.
  • Reportedly Tesla (not the car company) chose 50Hz first and then 60Hz.
  • There is a power station on the Argentina/Brazil border where half the generators make 60Hz for Brazil and half make 50 Hz for Argentina.
  • Sometimes, in some countries, on some days, 50Hz AC systems will run at 38Hz.  This presents an interesting inverter grid synchronisation problem.

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Grid frequency varies constantly as the mismatch between generator and load power changes.  In most countries the variation is not as large as the change to 38Hz.


The means that grid connected power converters must track or lock to the grid the grid.  The best way to do this is with a phase locked loop.

Inverter Grid Synchronisation

Phase locked loops to track grid frequency are an essential part of grid connected converters. Click here to ask us about using an ELMG phase locked loop for inverter grid synchronisation.

Coming soon

ELMG are going to launch our FPGA IP Core licensing program.  All ELMG know how as captured in our FPGA blocks will be available to speed your development and decrease time to market.

The list of ELMG FPGA Power Control IP Cores is available.  Click here to see the compete list of ELMG Power Control IP Cores