A modular multilevel converter with DHB energy balancing channels for medium-voltage adjustable-speed drives

Diab, Mohamed S. and Holliday, Derrick and Massoud, A. M. and Ahmed, Shehab and Williams, B. W. (2018) A modular multilevel converter with DHB energy balancing channels for medium-voltage adjustable-speed drives. In: The 9th International Conference on Power Electronics, Machines and Drives, 2018-04-17 - 2018-04-19.

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    Abstract

    This paper presents a modular multilevel converter (MMC) configuration that utilises energy exchange between submodules (SMs) of upper and lower arms, for energy rebalancing. The configuration is applicable to mediumvoltage high-power variable-speed drives with any number of motor phases, where the traditional MMC topology experiences challenging shortcomings. With the out-of-phase alternation of the fundamental ripple power in upper and lower arms, the proposed MMC configuration decouples this ripple power by employing dual half-bridge modules linking opposite SMs in upper and lower arms of the same MMC-leg. This counter-balances arm ripple-power through bidirectional power transfer between opposite SMs, resulting in a reduction in the SM capacitance and the MMC system stored energy. The proposed MMC configuration solves the problem of wide SM capacitor voltage fluctuation, especially at low operating frequencies, where the SM capacitor voltage ripple profile is almost constant, independent of the operating frequency. Therefore, the configuration is able to drive multi-megawatt machines from stand-still to the rated speed, at rated torque. The operation of the proposed converter topology is elucidated in detail, and its effectiveness is verified through simulation and experimentation.