A matrix converter is a direct AC-AC forced commutated converter which uses bidirectional switches to connect two voltage systems of different voltage and frequency. It does not contain any large energy storage elements as it has no DC link between the two systems. The output frequency is theoretically dependant on the switching algorithm and not the input frequency. A combination of bi-directional switches, controlled to obtain any desired output frequencies from a fixed or variable input frequency, will serve as a versatile platform, from which more specific applications could be researched.
Most literature uses simulations with ideal switches, or deal with theoretical studies of specific aspects or problems to be solved. A comprehensive study of matrix converters will include the construction of a real converter. The bi-directional switch is the cornerstone of any direct matrix converter. To be able to research matrix converters successfully, it is important to evaluate the bi-directional switch in operation, i.e. in real circuits. This study models, compares and evaluates a basic 3 to 1 matrix converter with various input and output frequencies. This is done for different input and output conditions such as different system frequencies and loads. Practical results with comments and conclusions are included.