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DC Fault Current Analysis and Control for Modular Multilevel Converters
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Recent research into industrial applications of electric power conversion shows an increase in the use of renewable energy sources and an increase in the need for electric power by the loads. The Medium-Voltage DC (MVDC) concept can be an optimal solution. On the other hand, the Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) is an attractive converter topology choice, as it has advantages such as excellent harmonic performance, distributed energy storage, and near ideal current and voltage scalability. The fault response, on the other hand, is a big challenge for the MVDC distribution systems and the traditional MMCs with the Half-Bridge submodule configuration, especially when a DC short circuit fault happens. In this study, the fault current behavior is analyzed. An alternative submodule topology and a fault operation control are explored to achieve the fault current limiting capability of the converter. A three-phase SiC-based MMC prototype with the Full-Bridge configuration is designed and built. The SiC devices can be readily adopted to take advantage of the wide-bandgap devices in MVDC applications. The Full-Bridge configuration provides additional control and energy storage capabilities. The full in-depth design, controls, and testing of the MMC prototype are presented, including among others: component selection, control algorithms, control hardware implementation, pre-charge and discharge circuits, and protection scheme. Systematical tests are conducted to verify the function of the converter. The fault current behavior and the performance of the proposed control are verified by both simulation and experiment. Fast fault current clearing and fault ride-through capability are achieved.
- Masters Theses