Arrester-less DC fault current limiter based on pre-charged external capacitors for half-bridge modular multilevel converters

Arrester-less DC fault current limiter based on pre-charged external capacitors for half-bridge modular multilevel converters

For access to this article, please select a purchase option:

Buy article PDF
(plus tax if applicable)
Buy Knowledge Pack
10 articles for $120.00
(plus taxes if applicable)

IET members benefit from discounts to all IET publications and free access to E&T Magazine. If you are an IET member, log in to your account and the discounts will automatically be applied.

Learn more about IET membership 

Recommend Title Publication to library

You must fill out fields marked with: *

Librarian details
Your details
Why are you recommending this title?
Select reason:
IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution — Recommend this title to your library

Thank you

Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

The half-bridge modular multilevel converter (HB-MMC) is one of the most promising topologies for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems. Unlike full-bridge MMC (FB-MMC) and clamp double sub-module MMC (CDSM-MMC), HB-MMCs are defenceless against DC side faults. Different types of DC circuit breakers (DC CBs) assisted with arrester banks/damping resistors such as solid-state CB and hybrid DC CBs can be used to interrupt the DC fault current. Arrester banks are used to protect against overvoltage after interrupting the fault current and in turn to demagnetise the circuit inductors. The main disadvantage of the arresters is that they forcibly break apart when they are overloaded. In this study, an arrester-less fault current limiter is proposed for HB-MMC configuration, which provides an opposing voltage during the DC side fault. This is achieved by inserting external pre-charged capacitors in the DC current path during the fault. The selection of these external capacitors, their suitable initial voltages, and their charging stations are also presented in this study. A comparison between the proposed scheme and the CDSM-MMC has been held as well. The proposed protection scheme is assessed using a simulation study for a point-to-point nine-level HB-MMC-based HVDC system.


    1. 1)
      • 1. Padiyar, K.R.: ‘HVDC power transmission systems: technology and system interactions’ (New Age International (P) Ltd., 1990).
    2. 2)
      • 2. Marquardt, R.: ‘Modular multilevel converter: an universal concept for HVDC-Networks and extended DC-Bus applications’. Conf. IPEC, 2010, pp. 502507.
    3. 3)
      • 3. Schmitt, D., Wang, Y., Weyh, T., et al: ‘DC-side fault current management in extended multiterminal-HVDC-grids’. Conf. Int. Multi-Conf. Systems Signals Devices, 2012, pp. 15.
    4. 4)
    5. 5)
      • 5. Merlin, M.M.C., Green, T.C., Mitcheson, P.D., et al: ‘A new hybrid multi-level voltage source converter with DC fault blocking capability’. Conf. ACDC, 2010, pp. 15.
    6. 6)
    7. 7)
      • 7. Zeng, R., Xu, L., Yao, L.: ‘An improved modular multilevel converter with DC fault blocking capability:’. Conf. PES General Meeting, 2014, pp. 15.
    8. 8)
    9. 9)
    10. 10)
    11. 11)
    12. 12)
    13. 13)
      • 13. Häfner, J., Jacobson, B.: ‘Proactive hybrid HVDC-breakers – A key innovation for Reliable HVDC grid’. Conf. Cigré, 2011.
    14. 14)
      • 14. Khorassani, M.: ‘Hybrid DC circuit breaking device’, US 2015/0022928A1, 22 January, 2015.
    15. 15)
      • 15. Wang, Y., Marquardt, R.: ‘Future HVDC-grids employing modular multilevel converters and hybrid DC-breakers’. Conf. 15th European Conf. Power Electronics Applications, 2013, pp. 18.
    16. 16)
      • 16. Application Guidelines: ‘Overvoltage protection: metal oxide surge arresters in medium voltage systems’ (ABB Switzerland Ltd., Division Surge Arresters, Wettingen/Switzerland, 2011).
    17. 17)
      • 17. Guanjun, D., Guangfu, T., Zhiyuan, H., et al: ‘New technologies of voltage source converter (VSC) for HVDC transmission system based on VSC’. Conf. Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2008, pp. 18.
    18. 18)
    19. 19)
    20. 20)
      • 20. Mao, S., Popovic, J., Ferreira, J.A.: ‘High voltage pulse speed study for high voltage DC-DC power supply based on voltage multipliers’. 17th European Conf. on Power Electronics and Applications (EPE'15 ECCE-Europe), 2015, pp. 110.
    21. 21)

Related content

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address