Modular multilevel converters (MMCs) have become an attractive technology for high power applications. One of the main challenges associated with control and operation of the MMC-based systems is to smoothly precharge submodule (SM) capacitors to the nominal voltage during the startup process. The existing closed-loop methods require additional effort to analyze the small-signal model of MMC and tune control parameters. The existing open-loop methods require auxiliary voltage sources to charge SM capacitors, which add to the system complexity and cost. A generalized precharging strategy is proposed in this thesis.
For large-scale MMC-embedded power systems, it is required to investigate dynamic performance, fault characteristics, and stability. Modeling of the MMC is one of the challenges associated with the study of large-scale MMC-based power systems. The existing models of MMC did not consider the various configurations of SMs and different operating conditions. An improved equivalent circuit model is proposed in this thesis.
The solid state transformer (SST) has been investigated for the distribution systems to reduce the volume and weight of power transformer. Recently, the MMC is employed into the SST due to its salient features. For design and control of the MMC-based SST, its operational principles are comprehensively analyzed. Based on the analysis, its mathematical model is developed for evaluating steady-state performances. For optimal design of the MMC-based SST, the mathematical model is modified by considering circuit parameters.
One of the challenges of the MMC-based SST is the balancing of capacitor voltages. The performances of various voltage balancing algorithms and different modulation methods have not been comprehensively evaluated. In this thesis, the performances of different voltage-balancing algorithms and modulation methods are analyzed and evaluated. Based on the analysis, two improved voltage-balancing algorithms are proposed in this thesis.
For design of the MMC-based SST, existing references only focus on optimal design of medium-frequency transformer (MFT). In this thesis, an optimal design procedure is developed for the MMC under medium-frequency operation based on the mathematical model of the MMC-based SST. The design performance of MMC is comprehensively evaluated based on free system parameters.