Distributed control of a fault tolerant modular multilevel inverter for direct-drive wind turbine grid interfacing

Max Parker, Li Ran, Stephen Finney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)
892 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Modular generator and converter topologies are being pursued for large offshore wind turbines to achieve fault tolerance and high reliability. A centralized controller presents a single critical point of failure which has prevented a truly modular and fault tolerant system from being obtained. This study analyses the inverter circuit control requirements during normal operation and grid fault ride-through, and proposes a distributed controller design to allow inverter modules to operate independently of each other. All the modules independently estimate the grid voltage magnitude and position, and the modules are synchronised together over a CAN bus. The CAN bus is also used to interleave the PWM switching of the modules and synchronise the ADC sampling. The controller structure and algorithms are tested by laboratory experiments with respect to normal operation, initial synchronization to the grid, module fault tolerance and grid fault ride-through.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-522
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • distributed control
  • fault tolerant
  • modular multilevel inverter
  • direct drive
  • wind turbine
  • grid interfacing

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