Modular control with carrier auto-interleaving and capacitor-voltage balancing for MMCs

Modular control with carrier auto-interleaving and capacitor-voltage balancing for MMCs

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In this study, a new control method dedicated to modular multilevel converters (MMCs) is proposed. The approach is based on local communication between the individual controls of each submodule (SM). The local values of the capacitor voltages and the carrier-phase angles are shared between immediate neighbours achieving balancing of their capacitor voltages, and an automatic interleaving of the pulse-width modulation (PWM) signals. Using an inter-cell communication strategy, the number of required data exchanges with a centralised controller is greatly reduced. This method works for any number of SMs present in the converter and provides an integrated dynamic reconfiguration capability to enable or disable SMs during operation, without any additional consideration for the control-algorithm's implementation. Such a capability is not offered by classical MMC control methods using either PWM or nearest-level control strategies. Higher stability, robustness and larger bandwidth of the proposed method are first demonstrated through real-time simulation. The auto-interleaving of the PWM carriers and the capacitor-voltage balancing, provide fast responses and adequate accuracy. Experimental results are provided using a 600 V/3 kW/18 cells single-phase MMC demonstrator confirming the simulation results, and the advantages of this SM control strategy.

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