- Frequency changer
A frequency changer or frequency converter is an electronic device that converts
alternating current(AC) of one frequencyto alternating currentof another frequency. The device may also change the voltage, but if it does, that is incidental to its principal purpose.
Traditionally, these devices were built out of electromechanical components such as
motor-generatorsets or rotary converters. But with the advent of solid state electronics, it has become possible to build completely electronic frequency changers. These devices usually consist of a rectifierstage (producing direct current) which is then inverted to produce AC of the desired frequency. The inverter may use thyristors, IGCTs or IGBTs. If voltage conversion is desired, a transformerwill usually be included in either the ac input or output circuitry and this transformer may also provide galvanic isolation between the input and output ac circuits. A battery may also be added to the dc circuitry to improve the converter's ride-through of brief outages in the input power.
Frequency changers vary in power-handling capability from a few
watts to megawatts.
Aside from the obvious application of converting bulk amounts of power from one distribution standard to another, frequency changers are also used to control the speed and the torque of AC motors. In this application, the most typical frequency converter topology is the three-phase two-level voltage source inverter. The phase voltages are controlled using the power semiconductor switches and
pulse width modulation(PWM). Semiconductorswitching devices and anti-parallel connected freewheeling diodes form a bridge, which can connect each motor phase to the positive or negative dc-link potential. The PWM changes the connections of the phases between the positive and the negative dc-link potentials so that the fundamental wave voltage has the desired frequency and amplitude. The motor reacts primarily to the fundamental voltage and filters out the effects of the harmonic voltages.
Another application is in the
aerospaceand airline industries. Often airplanes use 400 Hz power so 50 Hz or 60 Hz to 400 Hz frequency converter is needed for use in the ground power unit used to power the airplane while it is on the ground.
Frequency changers are typically used to control the speed of pumps and fans. In many applications significant energy savings are achieved. The most demanding application areas are found on the industrial processing lines, where the control accuracy requirements can be very high.
Frequency converter may also refer to a much-lower-powered circuit that converts
radio frequencysignals at one frequencyto another frequency. The circuit usually consists of a local oscillator and frequency mixer. The same result was achieved historically by the pentagrid converter.
Static inverter plant
* Blalock, Thomas J., " [http://www.ieee.org/organizations/pes/public/2003/sep/peshistory.html The Frequency Changer Era: Interconnecting Systems of Varying Cycles] ". The history of various frequencies and interconversion schemes in the US at the beginning of the 20th century.
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