This paper presents the different technologies used in the generation of large controlled currents, in the kiloamperes range. After a brief review of processes requiring large currents, the paper discusses the working principles of thyristor phase-controlled rectifiers commonly used in these applications. Chopper-rectifiers using high-current insulated gate bipolar transistors are introduced as an alternative being considered in recent projects. The pulsewidth-modulated current-source rectifier, currently used in medium-voltage motor drives, is also analyzed as a future alternative for rectification in industrial processes. In addition, this paper presents the most important requirements and specifications to be considered in the applications of these high-power units. A system comparison is developed between thyristor and chopper-rectifiers in terms of quality of control, harmonics, power factor, losses, and efficiency.
- AC-DC power conversion
- Electrochemical processes
- Phase control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering