Efficient Modeling of Modular Multilevel Converters for HVDC Transmission Systems

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: The drive towards getting more and more electrical energy from renewable sources, requires more efficient electric transmission systems. A stronger grid, with more controllability and higher capacity, that can handle power fluctuations due to a mismatch between generation and load is also needed. High-voltage dc (HVDC) provides efficient and economical power transmission over very long distances, and will be a key player in shaping-up the future electric grid. Due to its outstanding features, the modular multilevel converter (MMC) has already been widely accepted as a key converter topology in voltage-source converter (VSC)-based HVDC transmission systems.In order to study the feasibility of future MMC-based HVDC grids, adequate simulation models are necessary. The main objective of the thesis is to propose MMC reduced-order simulation models capable of accurately replicating the response of an MMC during all relevant operating conditions. Such models are the basic building blocks in developing efficient simulation models for HVDC grids. This thesis presents two MMC equivalent simulation models, the continuous model (CM) and the detailed equivalent model (DEM). Compared to the CM, the DEM is also capable of demonstrating the individual sumodule behavior of an MMC. These models are validated by comparing with the detailed MMC model as well as with experimental results obtained from an MMC prototype in the laboratory. The most significant feature of the models is the representation of the blocking capability of the MMC, presented for the first time in the literature for an MMC equivalent simulation model. This feature is very important in replicating the accurate transient behavior of an MMC during energization and fault conditions. This thesis also investigates the performance of the MMC with redundant submodules in the arms. Two different control strategies are used and compared for integrating redundant submodules.The proposed MMC models are used in developing point-to-point and multiterminal HVDC (MTDC) systems. A reduced-order model of a hybrid HVDC breaker is also developed and employed in the MTDC system, making the test system capable of accurately replicating the behavior of the MMCbased MTDC system employing hybrid HVDC breakers. The conclusion of the analysis of dc-side faults in a MTDC system is that fast-acting HVDC breakers are necessary to isolate only the faulted part in the MTDC system to ensure the power flow in rest of the system is not interrupted.A generic four-terminal HVDC grid test system using the CM model is also developed. The simulated system can serve as a standard HVDC grid test system. It is well-suited to electromagnetic transient (EMT) studies in a limited version of commercially available EMT-type software. The dynamic performance of the HVDC grid is studied under different fault conditions.