Review of dc-dc converters for multi-terminal HVDC transmission networks

Grain Philip Ased, Islam Azmy Gowaid, Stephen Jon Finney, Derrick Holliday, Barry W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)
1052 Downloads (Pure)


This study presents a comprehensive review of high-power dc-dc converters for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems, with emphasis on the most promising topologies from established and emerging dc-dc converters. In addition, it highlights the key challenges of dc-dc converter scalability to HVDC applications, and narrows down the desired features for high-voltage dc-dc converters, considering both device and system perspectives. Attributes and limitations of each dc-dc converter considered in this study are explained in detail and supported by time-domain simulations. It is found that the front-to-front quasi-two-level operated modular multilevel converter, transition arm modular converter and controlled transition bridge converter offer the best solutions for high-voltage dc-dc converters that do not compromise galvanic isolation and prevention of dc fault propagation within the dc network. Apart from dc fault response, the MMC dc auto transformer and the transformerless hybrid cascaded two-level converter offer the most efficient solutions for tapping and dc voltage matching of multi-terminal HVDC networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalIET Power Electronics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2016


  • dc–dc converters
  • high-voltage direct current
  • fault behaviour


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