A Survey and Extension of High Efficiency Grid Connected Transformerless Solar Inverters with Focus on Leakage Current Characteristics

Ozkan Z., HAVA A. M.

IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), North-Carolina, United States Of America, 15 - 20 September 2012, pp.3453-3460 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: North-Carolina
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.3453-3460
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In the utility grid interconnection of photovoltaic (PV) energy sources, inverters determine the overall system performance, which result in the demand to route the grid connected transformerless PV inverters (GCTIs) for residential and commercial applications, especially due to their high efficiency, light weight, and low cost benefits. In spite of these benefits of GCTIs, leakage currents due to distributed PV module parasitic capacitances are a major issue in the interconnection, as they are undesired because of safety, reliability, protective coordination, electromagnetic compatibility, and PV module lifetime issues. This paper classifies the kW and above range power rating GCTI topologies based on their leakage current attributes and investigates and/illustrates their leakage current characteristics by making use of detailed microscopic waveforms of a representative topology of each class. The cause and quantity of leakage current for each class are identified, not only providing a good understanding, but also aiding the performance comparison and inverter design. With the leakage current characteristic investigation, the study places most topologies under small number of classes with similar leakage current attributes facilitating understanding, evaluating, and the design of GCTIs. Establishing a clear relation between the topology type and leakage current characteristic, the topology families are extended with new members, providing the design engineers a variety of GCTI topology configurations with different characteristics.