Cascades of alternating pitchfork and flip bifurcations in H-bridge inverters

Viktor Avrutin, Zhanybai T. Zhusubaliyev, Erik Mosekilde

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Power electronic DC/AC converters (inverters) play an important role in modern power engineering. These systems are also of considerable theoretical interest because their dynamics is influenced by the presence of two vastly different forcing frequencies. As a consequence, inverter systems may be modeled in terms of piecewise smooth maps with an extremely high number of switching manifolds. We have recently shown that models of this type can demonstrate a complicated bifurcation structure associated with the occurrence of border collisions. Considering the example of a PWM H-bridge single-phase inverter, the present paper discusses a number of unusual phenomena that can occur in piecewise smooth maps with a very large number of switching manifolds. We show in particular how smooth (pitchfork and flip) bifurcations may form a macroscopic pattern that stretches across the overall bifurcation structure. We explain the observed bifurcation phenomena, show under which conditions they occur, and describe them quantitatively by means of an analytic approximation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Power electronic inverter
  • Piecewise-smooth map
  • Local bifurcations
  • Border-collision bifurcations


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