Analysis and design of a modular multilevel converter with trapezoidal modulation for medium and high voltage dc-dc transformers

I. A. Gowaid, Grain P. Adam, Shehab Ahmed, Derrick Holliday, Barry W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional dual active bridge topologies provide galvanic isolation and soft-switching over a reasonable operating range without dedicated resonant circuits. However, scaling the two-level dual active bridge to higher dc voltage levels is impeded by several challenges among which the high dv/dt stress on the coupling transformer insulation. Gating and thermal characteristics of series switch arrays add to the limitations. To avoid the use of standard bulky modular multilevel bridges, this paper analyzes an alternative modulation technique where staircase approximated trapezoidal voltage waveforms are produced; thus alleviating developed dv/dt stresses. Modular design is realized by the utilization of half-bridge chopper cells. Therefore, the analyzed converter is a modular multi-level converter operated in a new mode with no common-mode dc arm currents as well as reduced capacitor size, hence reduced cell footprint. Suitable switching patterns are developed and various design and operation aspects are studied. Soft switching characteristics will be shown to be comparable to those of the two-level dual active bridge. Experimental results from a scaled test rig validate the presented concept.
LanguageEnglish
Pages5439-5457
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Volume30
Issue number10
Early online date5 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

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Modulation
Electric potential
Resonant circuits
Insulation
Capacitors
Switches
Topology

Keywords

  • modular multilevel converter
  • dc fault
  • dc transformer
  • bridge circuits
  • DC power flow
  • power electronic converters

Cite this

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title = "Analysis and design of a modular multilevel converter with trapezoidal modulation for medium and high voltage dc-dc transformers",
abstract = "Conventional dual active bridge topologies provide galvanic isolation and soft-switching over a reasonable operating range without dedicated resonant circuits. However, scaling the two-level dual active bridge to higher dc voltage levels is impeded by several challenges among which the high dv/dt stress on the coupling transformer insulation. Gating and thermal characteristics of series switch arrays add to the limitations. To avoid the use of standard bulky modular multilevel bridges, this paper analyzes an alternative modulation technique where staircase approximated trapezoidal voltage waveforms are produced; thus alleviating developed dv/dt stresses. Modular design is realized by the utilization of half-bridge chopper cells. Therefore, the analyzed converter is a modular multi-level converter operated in a new mode with no common-mode dc arm currents as well as reduced capacitor size, hence reduced cell footprint. Suitable switching patterns are developed and various design and operation aspects are studied. Soft switching characteristics will be shown to be comparable to those of the two-level dual active bridge. Experimental results from a scaled test rig validate the presented concept.",
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AU - Adam, Grain P.

AU - Ahmed, Shehab

AU - Holliday, Derrick

AU - Williams, Barry W.

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N2 - Conventional dual active bridge topologies provide galvanic isolation and soft-switching over a reasonable operating range without dedicated resonant circuits. However, scaling the two-level dual active bridge to higher dc voltage levels is impeded by several challenges among which the high dv/dt stress on the coupling transformer insulation. Gating and thermal characteristics of series switch arrays add to the limitations. To avoid the use of standard bulky modular multilevel bridges, this paper analyzes an alternative modulation technique where staircase approximated trapezoidal voltage waveforms are produced; thus alleviating developed dv/dt stresses. Modular design is realized by the utilization of half-bridge chopper cells. Therefore, the analyzed converter is a modular multi-level converter operated in a new mode with no common-mode dc arm currents as well as reduced capacitor size, hence reduced cell footprint. Suitable switching patterns are developed and various design and operation aspects are studied. Soft switching characteristics will be shown to be comparable to those of the two-level dual active bridge. Experimental results from a scaled test rig validate the presented concept.

AB - Conventional dual active bridge topologies provide galvanic isolation and soft-switching over a reasonable operating range without dedicated resonant circuits. However, scaling the two-level dual active bridge to higher dc voltage levels is impeded by several challenges among which the high dv/dt stress on the coupling transformer insulation. Gating and thermal characteristics of series switch arrays add to the limitations. To avoid the use of standard bulky modular multilevel bridges, this paper analyzes an alternative modulation technique where staircase approximated trapezoidal voltage waveforms are produced; thus alleviating developed dv/dt stresses. Modular design is realized by the utilization of half-bridge chopper cells. Therefore, the analyzed converter is a modular multi-level converter operated in a new mode with no common-mode dc arm currents as well as reduced capacitor size, hence reduced cell footprint. Suitable switching patterns are developed and various design and operation aspects are studied. Soft switching characteristics will be shown to be comparable to those of the two-level dual active bridge. Experimental results from a scaled test rig validate the presented concept.

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