Hybrid, multi-megawatt HVDC transformer topology comparison for future offshore wind farms

Smailes, Michael and Ng, Chong and Mckeever, Paul and Shek, Jonathan and Theotokatos, Gerasimos and Abusara, Mohammad (2017) Hybrid, multi-megawatt HVDC transformer topology comparison for future offshore wind farms. Energies, 10 (7). 851. ISSN 1996-1073 (https://doi.org/10.3390/en10070851)

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With the wind industry moving further offshore, High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission is becoming increasingly popular. HVDC transformer substations are not optimized for the offshore industry though, increasing costs and reducing redundancy. A suggested medium frequency, modular hybrid HVDC transformer located within each wind turbine nacelle could mitigate these problems, but the overall design must be considered carefully to minimize losses. This paper’s contribution is a detailed analysis of the hybrid transformer, using practical design considerations including component library minimization. The configurations investigated include combinations of single phase H-Bridge and Modular Multilevel Converter topologies operating under minimum switching frequency control strategies. These were modelled in the MATLAB/Simulink environment. The impact of the minimum switching control strategy and converter topology on power transfer stability and overall efficiency is then investigated. It was found that the H-Bridge converter generated the lowest overall losses, but there was a trade off with power flow sensitivity due in part to the additional harmonics generated.