Energy Equalization Module for Modular Multilevel Converters in Variable Speed Motor Drives

Authors: Mohammad Sleiman, Mohamad Koteich, Handy Fortin Blanchette, Hadi Kanaan, Kamal Al-Haddad

Conference: REDEC – International Conference on Renewable Energies for Developing countries, July 2016, Lebanon.

DOI: 10.1109/REDEC.2016.7577559

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Abstract: Modular Multilevel Converters (MMC) processing phase quantities at low frequency are vulnerable to high cell voltage ripples. MMC upper and lower arms processes pulsating power at fundamental and second harmonic phase components. As a consequence, arms are expected to buffer the energy difference exchanged between DC-link and each AC-phase. This buffered energy is translated into increased cell voltage ripple when operating at low phase frequency. Several remedies have been presented in literature, which can be classified under software and hardware methods. To address this short-come we introduced a plug-in hardware alternative that permit energy exchange between cells from upper and lower arms thus remarkably reducing capacitor voltage ripples caused by out of phase energy variations. The proposed method can improve MMC performance over the full operation region and is mainly attractive to low frequency operation such as in variable-speed motor drives where higher-than-nominal torques might be required for a wide speed range. Performed simulations over a synchronous machine using maximum torque per current control technique, conforms well with the analytical findings and shows the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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