Harmonic Mitigation in Traction Drives

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


In railway traffic the low friction between wheel and rail causes long braking distances, normally much longer than the sight distance of the driver, i.e. if the driver starts the braking when a problem on the track is discovered, it might be too late to brake the train. Therefore, safe railway traffic can not only rely on the driver. It is necessary to have a signalling or even an automatic surveyor system, especially in densely populated areas, which supervises the positions of different trains along the track and organises the traffic. Such a system uses train detection systems to control whether a certain section of the track is occupied or not. Train detection systems can unfortunately be disturbed by harmonics, generated by the drive system of a rail vehicle. To reduce the risk of disturbance, the choice of modulation strategy and the use of line filters are critical tasks. In the design stage of the filter, it is necessary to be able to predict the generation of harmonics.

This work presents fast algorithms for calculation of harmonics, generated by a traction drive system. The traction drive system, here described, is based on three phase induction motors, fed from voltage source machine and line converters. Non-ideal commutations are taken into account, which is urgent as these will generate undesirable low frequency harmonics.

It is possible to compensate the effects of the non-ideal commutations, and in this work following compensation methods are investigated:

- Dead time compensation, where the differential between the integral of the inverter output voltage, or rather the output flux, and the voltage time area reference, is fed back to the control system.

- Position asymmetry compensation, in which the DC-component in the machine converter phase currents is fed back to the control system.

- Compensation of a remaining DC-bias in Hall-effect current transducers. In the method, the fundamental component in the DC-link current is fed back to the control system.

The compensation methods are found to effectively reduce the low frequencies. Thus the weight of the filters onboard the trains can be minimised, which considerably saves energy and costs of components.


  • Hans Bängtsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering


  • hydraulics, Mechanical engineering, converter, line interference, track circuit, Railway signalling system, vacuum technology, vibration and acoustic engineering, Maskinteknik, hydraulik, vakuumteknik, vibrationer, akustik
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Mar 18
  • Department of Industrial Electrical Engineering and Automation, Lund Institute of Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1999-03-18 Time: 10:15 Place: Room E:1406 in the Electrical Engineering Building External reviewer(s) Name: John Hill, Roland Title: Professor Affiliation: University of Bath, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY,Great Britain, tel +44 1225 826 062 ---