On the Internal Dynamics and AC-Motor Drive Application of Modular Multilevel Converters
Abstract: This thesis is an effort to investigate the operation and the performanceof modular multilevel converters (M2Cs). Proven to be the most promisingtopology in high-voltage high-power applications, it is necessary to put aneffort in understanding the physical laws that govern the internal dynamicsof such converters, in order to design appropriate control methods. AlthoughM2Cs belong to the well-studied family of voltage-source converters (VSCs),and claim a modular structure, their control is significantly more complicatedcompared to two- or three-level VSCs, due to the fact that a much highernumber of switches and capacitors are needed in such a topology. This thesishighlights the important parameters that should be considered when designingthe control for an M2C, through analyzing its internal dynamics, and alsosuggests ways to control such converters ensuring stable operation withoutcompromising the performance of the converter.Special focus is given on ac motor-drive applications as they are very demandingand challenging for the converter performance. Interactions betweenthe internal dynamics and the dynamics of the driven motor are experimentallyinvestigated. The problem of operating the converter when connectedto a motor standing still is visited, even under the condition that a greatamount of torque and current are requested, in order to provide an idea forthe converter requirements under such conditions. Finally, an optimization ofthe converter operation is suggested in order to avoid overrating the convertercomponents in certain operation areas that this is possible.All analytical investigations presented in this thesis are confirmed by experimentalresults on a laboratory prototype converter, which was developedfor the purposes of this project. Experimental verification proves the validityof the theoretical investigations, as well as the correct performance of thecontrol methods developed during this project on a real, physical converter,hoping that the results of this thesis will be useful for large-scale implementations,in the mega- or even giga-watt power range.
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