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Chapter - 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 PREAMBLE
Multilevel voltage-source inverters are suitable configuration to reach high power ratings
and high quality output waveforms besides reasonable dynamic responses. Among the different
topologies for multilevel converters, the Cascaded Multilevel Inverter (CMLI) has received
special attention due to its modularity and simplicity of control. The principle of operation of this
inverter is usually based on synthesizing the desired output voltage waveform from several steps
of voltage, which is typically obtained from DC voltage sources. There are different power
circuit topologies for multilevel converters. The most familiar power circuit topology for
multilevel converters is based on the cascade connection of an s number of single-phase full-
bridge inverters to generate (2s + 1) number of levels. However, from the practical point of view,
it is somehow difficult to keep equal the magnitude of Separated DC Sources (SDCSs) of
different levels. This is because of the different charging and discharging time intervals of DC-
side voltage sources.
To control the output voltage and to eliminate the undesired harmonics in multilevel
converters with equal DC voltages, various modulation methods such as sinusoidal Pulse Width
Modulation (PWM) and space-vector PWM techniques are suggested. However, PWM
techniques are not able to eliminate lower order harmonics completely. Another approach is to
choose the switching angles so that specific higher order harmonics such as the 5th, 7th, 11th,
and 13th are suppressed in the output voltage of the inverter. This method is known as Selective
Harmonic Elimination (SHE) or programmed PWM techniques in technical literature. A
fundamental issue associated with such method is to obtain the arithmetic solution of nonlinear
transcendental equations which contain trigonometric terms and naturally present multiple
solutions. This set of nonlinear equations can be solved by iterative techniques such as the
NewtonRaphson method. However, such techniques need a good initial guess which should be
very close to the exact solution patterns. Furthermore, this method finds only one set of solutions
depending on the initial guess. Therefore, the NewtonRaphson method is not feasible to solve
the SHE problem for a large number of switching angles if good initial guesses are not available.
A systematic approach to solve the SHE problem based on the mathematical theory of
resultant, where transcendental equations that describe the SHE problem is converted into an
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equivalent set of polynomial equations and then the mathematical theory of resultant is utilized
to find all possible sets of solutions for this equivalent problem.
This method is also applied to Multilevel Inverters with unequal DC sources. However,
applying the inequality of DC sources results to the asymmetry of the transcendental equation set
to be solved and requires the solution of a set of high-degree equations, which is beyond the
capability of contemporary computer algebra software tools. In fact, the resultant theory is
limited to find up to six switching angles for equal DC voltages and up to three switching angles
for non-equal DC voltage cases.
More recently, the real-time calculation of switching angles with analytical proof is
presented to minimize the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of the output voltage of multilevel
converters. However, the presented analytical proofs only validate to minimize all harmonics
including triples and cannot be extended to minimize only non-triple harmonics that are suitable
for three-phase applications.
The harmonic elimination for multilevel converters by Genetic Algorithm (GA) approach
is only applied to equal DC sources and needs considerable computational time. Moreover, this
method has not succeeded to find switching angles for some modulation indices which have
solutions. This thesis presents a modern stochastic search technique based on Firefly Algorithm
(FFA) to deal with the problem for equal DC sources.
In this thesis, the FFA approach is developed to deal with the SHE problem with unequal
DC sources while the number of switching angles is increased and the determination of these
angles using conventional iterative methods as well as the resultant theory is not possible. In
addition, for a low number of switching angles, the proposed FFA approach reduces the
computational burden to find the optimal solution compared with iterative methods and the
resultant theory approach. The proposed method is used to solve the asymmetric transcendental
equation set of the harmonic minimization problem of the Cascaded Multilevel Inverter.

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1.2 LITERATURE REVIEW
MLIs have been drawing growing attention in the recent years especially in the distributed
energy resources area because several batteries, fuel cells, solar cells or rectified wind turbines or
micro turbines can be connected through a MLI to feed a load or interconnect to the AC grid
without voltage balancing problems. In addition, MLIs have a lower switching frequency than
standard PWM inverters and thus have reduced switching losses [1]. The development of MLI
began in the early 1980s when Nabae et al proposed the NPC pulse width modulated inverter [2].
Since then several multilevel topologies, namely the diode clamped MLI, the flying capacitors
MLI and cascaded MLI have evolved and are applied in adjustable speed drives, electric utilities
and renewable energy systems [3-8]. Among the three MLI topologies, cascaded MLIs have more
advantages than the other two. Cascaded MLIs require less component count in producing the
same output voltage levels. They do not require a large number of clamping diodes and flying
capacitors. They are easier to be modularized and soft switched and they do not have the problem
of neutral point voltage unbalancing [9].
Cascaded MLIs have been the subject of research in the last several years [10], where the
DC sources were considered to be identical in that all of them were batteries, solar cells, fuel cells
etc. In [11], a MLI was presented in which the two SDCS were the secondaries of two transformers
coupled to the utility AC power. Corzine et al [28] have proposed a MLI using a single DC power
source and capacitors for the other DC sources.
A method was developed to transfer power from the DC power source to the capacitor in
order to regulate the capacitor voltage. A similar approach was later proposed in [12] by
Du et al. These approaches required a DC power source for each phase. The scope of this thesis has
been restricted to the cascaded MLIs with SDCS for each H-bridge cell which are typically
produced by using transformer/rectifier combination. The hot point in MLI research is its control
strategies based on PWM.
During the past two decades, variety of multilevel PWM methods have been proposed and
researched which have significantly promoted the development of the field. Three multilevel PWM
methods most discussed in the literature are Multilevel SVPWM, carrier based PWM and SHE
[13-15].
Carrara et al have successfully extended the basic two level sinusoidal PWM techniques to
MLI and have shown three different ways to position the carrier waves. Calais et al analyzed the
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multicarrier PWM methods for a single phase five level inverter. Most of the modulation methods
developed for MLIs are based on multiple carrier arrangements with PWM. The carrier can be
arranged with vertical shifts (phase disposition, phase opposition disposition and alternative phase
disposition PWM) [16].
SHE is also extended for MLIs [17]. A different approach to the problem of harmonic
elimination for PWM waveform generation was used in [18]. This approach is based on the use of
Walsh series expansion of PWM waveforms rather than Fourier series. Walsh series were also
applied for optimum PWM pattern in induction motor [19]. It is shown that the Walsh coefficients
[19] of a PWM waveform are not only a function of PWM waveform angle but also of Walsh
subinterval within which the angle lies. It is pointed out that the algorithm has the restriction that
within a given interval, only one angle is allowed to vary and if there exists a solution that requires
two or more angles to vary in the same selected interval, then such a solution cannot be detected by
the method shown.
Chiasson et al [20-22] used the mathematical theory of resultants to compute the optimum
switching angles. The expressions involved were high order polynomials that could not be solved
when the number of levels in the MLI became large. The switching times (angles) are chosen
appropriately such that a desired fundamental output is generated and specifically chosen
harmonics of the fundamental are suppressed [23-26]. In particular, the harmonic elimination
approach in [24] produces a system of non-linear transcendental equations that requires the
Newton-Raphson matrix method for its solutions.
SHE methods such as Newton-Raphson method [24] and elimination by the theory of
resultant [20] are complicated and time consuming. There are a few examples of applications of
GA for power electronics in the literature [27-29] but only recently has GA been applied to
Multilevel Inverters. FFA a global search technique for optimizing problem in [30, 31] is applied
for optimizing the switching angles of MLIs in this work.

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1.3 SCOPE AND OBJECTIVE
In this thesis, Firefly Algorithm is proposed for the solution of selective harmonic
elimination problem. In this thesis work, Firefly Algorithm is used to find the switching angles of
the Multilevel Inverter to minimize particular order harmonics. The proposed method is tested on
an 11-level cascaded Inverter. The results of the proposed Firefly Algorithm technique show the
elimination of selected harmonics in the output voltage of the Multilevel Inverter.

1.4 CHAPTER ORGANISATION
Chapter 1 Describes the Literature Survey, Scope and Objective.
Chapter 2 Deals the different types of Multilevel Inverter and development of harmonic
optimization strategy.
Chapter 3 Describes Firefly algorithm.
Chapter 4 Presents the simulation results.
Chapter 5 Conclusion.

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Chapter - 2
DEVELOPMENT OF HARMONIC OPTIMIZATION STRATEGY FOR
SINGLE PHASE CASCADED ELEVEN LEVEL INVERTER
2.1 INTRODUCTION
The problem of eliminating harmonics in inverter has been focus of research for many years.
If the switching losses in an inverter are not a concern (i.e. switching on the order of a few kHz is
acceptable) then the sine-triangle PWM method and its variants are very effective in controlling the
inverter. This is because the generated harmonics are beyond the bandwidth of the system being
actuated and therefore these harmonics do not dissipate power. Multilevel inversion is a control
strategy in which the output voltage is obtained in steps thus bringing the output closer to a sine
wave and reducing the THD [34]. The multilevel VSI is popularly used in high power industrial
applications such as AC power supplies, static VAR compensators, drive systems etc. [33]. The
outputs of MLIs are in stepped form, resulting in reduced harmonics compared to a square-wave
inverter. To reduce the harmonics further, different multilevel SPWM and SVPWM schemes are
suggested in the literature [35-36]; however these PWM techniques increase the control complexity
and switching frequency.
On the other hand, for systems where high switching efficiency is of utmost importance, it is
desirable to keep the switching frequency much lower. In this case, another approach is to choose
the switching times (angles) such that a desired fundamental output is generated and specifically
chosen harmonics of the fundamental are suppressed [22-25]. This is referred to as selective
harmonic elimination or programmed harmonic elimination as the switching angles are chosen or
programmed to eliminate specific harmonics.
SHEPWM has been intensively studied in order to achieve low THD [20]. The common
characteristic of the SHEPWM method is that the waveform analysis is performed using Fourier
theory. The selective harmonic elimination problem is formulated as a set of transcendental
equations that must be solved to determine the time (angles) in an electrical cycle for turning the
switching devices on and off in a full H-bridge inverter so as to produce a desired fundamental
amplitude while eliminating particular order harmonics. These transcendental equations are mostly
solved using iterative numerical techniques like Newton-Raphson method to compute the
switching angles [24, 25].
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This method is derivative dependent and may end in local optima, however a judicious
choice of the initial values alone guarantees convergence [35, 36]. As an alternative solution to the
harmonic optimization problem, Firefly Algorithm (FFA) technique is presented in this work. FFA
solves the same problem with a simpler formulation and with any number of levels without
extensive derivation of analytical expressions.

2.2 MULTILEVEL INVERTERS
MLIs easily produce high-power, high-voltage output with the multilevel structure because
of the way the device voltage stresses are controlled in the structure. Increasing the number of
voltage levels in the inverter without requiring higher ratings on individual devices can increase the
power rating. The unique structure of multilevel VSI allows them to reach high voltages with low
harmonics without the use of transformers or series connected synchronized switching devices. As
the number of voltage levels increases, the harmonic content of the output voltage decreases
significantly[37].
The MLIs synthesize a near sinusoidal voltage from several DC voltage sources. As the
number of levels increases, the synthesized output has more steps, resembling a staircase wave that
approaches a desired sinusoidal waveform. As the number of levels increases, the output voltage
that can be spanned by summing multiple voltage levels also increases.
MLIs have many attractive features like high voltage capability, reduced common mode
voltages, near sinusoidal outputs, low dv/dt and smaller or even no output filter, making the
inverters suitable for high power applications.

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Fig. 2.1 MLI topologies (a) Diode clamped MLI (b) Flying capacitor MLI
The MLIs can be classified into three types as shown in Fig. 2.1:
i) Diode Clamped Multilevel Inverter
ii) Flying Capacitors Multilevel Inverter
iii) Cascaded Multilevel Inverter
Table 2.1 Comparison of power component requirements among three types of MLIs
Inverter
Configuration
Diode clamped
MLI
Flying capacitors
MLI
MLI
Main switching
Devices
2(m-1) 2(m-1) 2(m-1)
Main diodes 2(m-1) 2(m-1) 2(m-1)
Clamping diodes (m-1)(m-2) 0 0
DC bus capacitors (m-1) (m-1) (m-1)/2
Balancing
capacitors
0 (m-1)(m-2)/2 0

Table 2.1 compares the power component requirements among three types of MLIs having
m levels in the output. This table shows that the same number of main switches and main diodes
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are needed by the inverters to achieve the same number of m voltage levels in the output.
Clamping diodes are not needed in flying capacitor and cascaded inverter configurations while
balancing capacitors are not needed in diode clamped and cascaded inverter configurations.
Implicitly, the cascaded MLI requires the least number of components to achieve given number of
voltage levels and hence a sample cascaded seven level inverter is taken for study in this work.

2.3 CASCADED MULTILEVEL INVERTER
The power circuit (Fig.2.2 (a)) consists of a cascade of N independent single-phase
inverters. These are of full-bridge configuration with SDCS, which may be batteries, fuel cells or
solar cells and are connected in series. Each FBI unit can generate a three level output: +V
DC
, 0 or
V
DC
by connecting the DC source to the AC load by different combinations of the four switches
of each FBI. Using the top FBI as the example, turning on S
11
and S
41
yields +V
DC
output. Turning
on S
21
and S
31
yields -V
DC
output. Turning off all switches yields 0 volts output. The AC output
voltage at other FBIs can be obtained in the same manner. The number of voltage levels at the load
generally defines the number of FBIs in cascade. The number of FBI units or DC sources N is
(m-1)/2 where m is the sum of zero level and the number of positive and negative levels in MLI
output. Each switching component turns ON and OFF only once per cycle i.e. at the line frequency.
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Fig.2.2 (a) Cascaded Multilevel Inverter

The main features of cascaded Multilevel Inverters are:
- For real power conversions from DC to AC, the cascaded inverters need separate DC sources.
The structure of SDCS is well suited for various renewable energy sources such as fuel cell,
photovoltaic cell and biomass.
- It can generate almost sinusoidal output voltage while switching only one time per
fundamental cycle.
- It can eliminate transformers of multi-pulse inverters used in conventional utility interfaces
and static VAR compensators.
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- Least number of components is required to achieve the same number of voltage levels.
- Optimized circuit layout and packaging are possible
- Soft-switching techniques can be used to reduce switching losses and device stresses.

Fig. 2.2 (b) Cyclic switching sequence of a sample seven level inverter
Fig. 2.2 (b) shows the cyclic switching sequence for a sample MLI. The switching
strategies to generate +3V
DC
,-3 V
DC
,+2 V
DC
, -2 V
DC
,+ V
DC
,- V
DC
,0 at load are displayed in Fig.
2.2 (c) Fig. 2.2 (i). The Multilevel Inverters load voltage V
a0
(Fig. 2.22(a)) is equal to the sum of
the output voltages (V
a1
,V
a2
,.V
aN
) of the individual FBI units.

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V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31
S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
S
13
S
23
S
33
S
43
V
dc
V
dc
V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31 S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
S
13
S
23
S
33
S
43

Fig.2.2 (c) Switching strategies to Fig.2.2 (d) Switching strategies to
generate +3V
DC
at load generate -3V
DC
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V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31
S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
S
13
S
23
S
33
S
43
V
dc
V
dc
V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31 S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
S
13
S
23
S
33
S
43
V
ao

Fig.2.2 (e) Switching strategies to Fig.2.2 (f) Switching strategies to
generate +2V
DC
at load generate -2V
DC

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V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31 S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
S
13 S
23
S
33
S
43
V
dc
Vao

V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31 S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
S
13
S
23
S
33
S
43
V
dc

Fig.2.2 (g) Switching strategies to Fig.2.2 (h) Switching strategies to
generate +V
DC
at load generate -V
DC

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V
dc
V
dc
S
11
S
21
S
31 S
41
S
12
S
22
S
32
S
42
L
O
A
D
V
o
S
13
S
23
S
33
S
43
V
dc

Fig. 2.2 (i) Switching strategies to generate 0 volts at load
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Fig. 2.3 Output of a 11 level Cascaded Multilevel Inverter

The use of transformers presents advantages particularly in terms of voltage matching,
protection and insulation. The transformer increases the cost and reduces the overall efficiency of
the compensator. These transformers
1) are the most expensive equipment in the system
2) will produce about 50% of the total losses of the system
3) will occupy a large area of real estate, about 40% of the total system
4) will cause difficulties in control due to DC magnetizing and surge over voltage
problems resulting from saturation of transformers and
5) are unreliable.
MLIs are an attractive option for a transformer-less series voltage sag/swell compensator.
The number of possible voltage levels at the output generally defines the Multilevel Inverter
topologies. The relatively low harmonic content of the unfiltered output voltage, compared to
conventional inverters, is also an attractive feature. The voltage levels needed for compensation are
provided in this work by a sample single phase seven level inverter structure consisting of three H-
bridge inverters connected in series. The individual bridges are switched at line frequency when
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voltage step control is employed. Hence switching losses are reduced resulting in high efficiency
and therefore operating costs of the compensator are low.

Fig. 2.4 sample Cascaded seven level topology
The cascaded Multilevel Inverter has a separate DC source (V
DC
) for each individual FBI.
Each FBI unit can generate a three-level output +V
DC
or -V
DC
. The Multilevel Inverter output
voltage V
a0
in Fig. 3.2 is equal to the sum of the output voltages of the individual FBI units (V
a1
,
V
a2
,V
a3
) and can be controlled to produce a staircase waveform similar to that in Fig. 2.3.
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The cascaded inverter structure is simple since no real power needs to be supplied other
than the losses. The DC sources are floating and no transformer is required for coupling to the
transmission system. For each FBI unit, the current rating is the nominal current of the
transmission system. The AC output rating and therefore the DC source rating depend upon the
total compensation voltage required, the number of converters and the sharing of the load voltage
among individual units. One of the main advantages of this topology, compared to other multilevel
topologies, is the fact that the maximum number of levels is only limited by isolation constraints.
Its robustness and ease of control are also advantages.

Fig. 2.5 Four possible switching states for each FBI of MLI

2.4 HARMONICS IN POWER SYSTEMS
One of the biggest problems in power quality aspects is the harmonic contents in the
electrical system. Harmonic in power circuits is created by non-sinusoidal loads which are integer
multiples of the supply frequency. The rapid growth of power electronics has greatly increased the
number and size of these loads, with the utility and their control. Harmonics are unnecessary high
frequency voltages or currents flowing in a power system.
Generally, harmonics may be divided into two types:
1) Voltage harmonics
2) Current harmonics
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Current harmonics are usually generated by harmonics contained in supply voltage and
depend on the type of load such as resistive load, capacitive load and inductive load. Both
harmonics can be generated by either the source or the load. Harmonics generated by load are
caused by non-linear operation of devices including power converters, arc-furnaces, gas discharge
lighting devices etc. Load harmonics can cause the overheating of the magnetic cores of
transformer and motors. On the other hand, source harmonics are mainly generated by power
supply with non-sinusoidal voltage. Voltage and current harmonics imply power losses, EMI and
pulsating torque in AC motor drives. There are several methods to indicate the quantity of
harmonic contents of a periodic wave. One among them is THD which is mathematically given by
1
2 n
2
n
H
H
THD

=
=
and defined in terms of the amplitudes of the harmonics H
n
at frequency n
0
where
0
is frequency
of the fundamental component whose amplitude is H
1
and n is an integer. Since any periodic
waveform can be shown to be the superposition of a fundamental and a set of harmonic
components, by applying Fourier transformation, these components can be extracted. The
frequency of each harmonic component is an integral multiple of its fundamental.
2.4.1 EFFECTS OF HARMONICS
(i) Sudden increase in demand reduced capacity utilization and increased energy losses.
(ii) Increase in neutral current, overheating of motor windings, overloading of diesel generator
sets, fire hazards due to burning of over-heated cables.
(iii) Saturation of transformers, frequent damage to switchgears and controls.
(iv) Amplification of harmonic currents in capacitor banks and frequent failure of capacitors.
(v) Inaccurate and excess recording by power/energy meters.
(vi) Interference with communication equipment.
(vii) Nuisance, tripping of circuits and interruption in production flow.
2.4.2 SOURCES OF HARMONICS
Non-linear loads like thyristors/IGBT based drives/Variable Frequency drives
Induction heating furnaces
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Arc furnaces
Battery Charging Rectifiers
UPSs
SMPSs
PCs
Electronic chokes in lights.
2.4.3 SYMPTOMS OF HARMONICS
- Blinking of incandescent bulbs
- Capacitor failure
- Circuit breaker tripping
- Computer malfunction or lock-up
- Conductor failure
- Failure of electronic equipment
- Flickering of fluorescent tubes
- Fuses blowing for no apparent reason
- Motor failures due to overheating
- Excessive neutral current.
- Neutral conductor and terminal failures
- Failure of electromagnetic loads
- Overheating of metal enclosures
- Power interference on voice communication

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2.5 PROBLEM FORMULATION AND ANALYSIS FOR HARMONIC
OPTIMIZATION
The output voltage for a sample cascaded seven level Inverter is shown in Fig.2.4 for m=7
where m=number of steps in the positive and negative side after including the zero levels also.
Switching angles to eliminate 5
th
,7
th
,11
th
and higher order are designed usually assuming that the
peak fundamental output voltage is a desired fraction of its maximum value. For any Cascaded
Multilevel Inverter, the output voltage is
v
a0=
v
a1+
v
a2+
.+v
aN .
(1)
Where
()

Due to the quarter wave symmetry along the x-axis in load voltage of Fig.2.3, both Fourier
coefficients A
0
and A
n
are zero. B
n
is defined as
B
n

4Vdc
= [
}
2
1
t
u
k
1
sin(nt)d(t) +
}
2
2
t
u
k
2
sin(nt)d(t) +. +
}
2
t
uN
k
N
sin(nt)d(t)]
( )
(

=
=
N
1 j
j
dc
n cos
n
4V
.(2)
which gives the instantaneous output voltage v
a0
as
( ) t v
a0
e ( )
(

=
=
=

N
n
1 j
j j
dc
n cos k
n
4V
1
( ) t n sin e .(3)
Where

Equation (3) provides the generalized Fourier series expansion of the output voltage. If the
peak output voltage v
a0(peak)
must equal to the carrier peak voltage v
cr(peak)
, v
cr(peak)
= (m-1) V
DC
.
Thus the modulation index M is
( )
dc
cr
ac
cr
V 1 m
V
V
V
M
(peak)
(peak)
(peak)

= =
. (4)
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V
1
+V
2
+V
3
V
1
+V
2
V
1
V
1
+V
2
+V
3
V
1
+V
2
V
1
Inverter III Output
Inverter II Output
Inverter I Output
V
1
V
2
V
3
1 2 3

2

Fig. 2.6 Inverter outputs and load voltage in a sample seven level inverter
Two predominating techniques in choosing the switching angles
1
,
2
,..
N
are to:
1) eliminate the lower frequency dominant harmonics or
2) minimize the THD.
The more popular and straight forward of the two techniques is the first, that is to eliminate
the lower dominant harmonics and filter the output to remove the higher residual frequencies. Here
the choice is also to eliminate the lower frequency harmonics. The goal here is to choose the
switching angles 0
1
<
2
<,..<
N
/2 to make the first harmonic equal to the desired
fundamental voltage V
1
(RMS) and specific higher harmonics of v
a0
(t) equal to zero. If the
application of interest is a three-phase motor drive or FACTS device, the triplen harmonics in each
phase need not be canceled as they automatically cancel in the line-to-line voltage.
The switching angles
1
,
2
,
3
,
4
,
5
can be chosen such that the THD of the output voltage
is minimized. These angles are normally chosen so as to cancel some predominant lower frequency
harmonics. To eliminate 5
th
, 7
th
,
11
th
and 13
th
harmonics assuming that the peak fundamental output
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voltage is the same as its maximum value, the following equations are solved for different
modulation indices, m=7,N=3 and V
DC
=100.
Cos (5
1
) + Cos (5
2
) + Cos (5
3
) = 0
Cos (7
1
) + Cos (7
2
) + Cos (7
3
) = 0
Cos (11
1
) + Cos (11
2
) + Cos (11
3
) = 0
Cos (13
1
) + Cos (13
2
) + Cos (13
3
) = 0
Cos (
1
) + Cos (
2
) + Cos (
3
) = (/2)M
This is a system of 5 transcendental equations with unknown
1
,
2
,
3
,
4
and
5
. To solve
this set of non-linear transcendental equations, Firefly Algorithm (FFA) technique is used.
The objective function which has to be minimized using FFA is given as,
(

) *|
|

| (
|

||

||

|

)+ .... (5)
Newton-Raphson method is derivative dependent and may end in local optima; however, a
judicious choice of initial values alone guarantees convergence. So optimization techniques like
Firefly Algorithm (FFA) is employed for minimization of harmonics in order to reduce the
computational burden associated with the solution of the non-linear transcendental equation of the
conventional SHE method. An accurate solution will be guaranteed with FFA even for a higher
number of switching angles than other techniques would be able to calculate for a given
computational effort. Hence FFA seems to be promising methods for applications when a large
number of DC sources are sought in order to eliminate more low-order harmonics to further reduce
the THD.

CONCLUSION
MATLAB based simulation studies have been carried on an 11 level cascaded Multilevel
Inverter with FFA. It is seen from the simulation results for the harmonic spectrum of output
voltage, the 11 level inverter with the proposed optimization techniques, harmonics upto 13
th
order
are eliminated. The proposed FFA technique is found to perform better for the 11 level inverter.

24

Chapter-3
FIREFLY ALGORITHM
3.1 FIREFLY IN NATURE
Fireflies or glowworms are the creatures that can generate light inside of it. Light
production in fireflies is due to a type of chemical reaction. This process occurs in specialized
light-emitting organs, usually on a firefly's lower abdomen. It is thought that light in adult
fireflies was originally used for similar warning purposes, but evolved for use in mate or sexual
selection via a variety of ways to communicate with mates in courtships. Although they have
many mechanisms, the interesting issues are what they do for any communication to find food
and to protect themselves from enemy hunters including their successful reproduction. The
pattern of flashes is often unique for a particular species of fireflies. The flashing light is
generated by a chemical process of bio luminescence. However, two fundamental functions of
such flashes are to attract mating partners or communication, and to attract potential victim.
Additionally, flashing may also serve as a protective warning mechanism. Both sexes of fireflies
are brought together via the rhythmic flash, the rate of flashing and the amount of time form part
of the signal system. Females respond to a males unique pattern of flashing in the same species,
while in some species, female fireflies can mimic the mating flashing pattern of other species so
as to lure and eat the male fireflies who may mistake the flashes as a potential suitable mate. The
light intensity at a particular distance from the light source follows the inverse square law. That
is as the distance increases the light intensity decreases. Furthermore, the air absorbs light which
becomes weaker and weaker as there is an increase in the distance. There are two combined
factors that make most fireflies visible only to a limited distance that is usually good enough for
fireflies to communicate each other. The flashing light can be formulated in such a way that it is
associated with the objective function to be optimized. This makes it possible to formulate new
meta-heuristic algorithms.
FIREFLY ALGORITHM
The firefly algorithm (FFA) is a meta-heuristic algorithm, inspired by the flashing
behaviour of fireflies. The primary purpose for a firefly's flash is to act as a signal system to
attract other fireflies. Now this can idealize some of the flashing characteristics of fireflies so as
25

to consequently develop firefly inspired algorithms. For simplicity in describing our new Firefly
Algorithm (FFA) [30], there are the following three idealized rules. On the first rule, each firefly
attracts all the other fireflies with weaker flashes. All fireflies are unisex so that one firefly will
be attracted to other fireflies regardless of their sex. Secondly, attractiveness is proportional to
their brightness which is inversely proportional to their distances. For any two flashing fireflies,
the less bright one will move towards the brighter one. The attractiveness is proportional to the
brightness and they both decrease as their distance increases. If there is no brighter one than a
particular firefly, it will move randomly. Finally, no firefly can attract the brightest firefly and it
moves randomly. The brightness of a firefly is affected or determined by the landscape of the
objective function. For a maximization problem, the brightness can simply be proportional to the
value of the objective function. Other forms of brightness can be defined in a similar way to the
fitness function in genetic algorithms. Based on these three rules, the basic steps of the firefly
algorithm (FFA) can be summarized as the pseudo code shown below.

26

3.2 PSEUDO CODE OF THE FFA:
Begin FFA Procedure;
Initialize algorithm parameters:
MaxGen: the maximal number of generations
: the light absorption coefficient
r: the particular distance from the light source
d: the domain space
Define the objective function of f(x), where x =(x
1
, ........, x
d
)
T

Generate the initial population of fireflies or x
i
(i=1, 2... n)
Determine the light intensity of I
i
at x
i
via f (x
i
)
While (t<MaxGen)
For i = 1 to n (all n fireflies);
For j=1 to n (n fireflies)
If (I
j
> I
i
), move firefly i towards j; End if
Attractiveness varies with distance r via exp [- r2];
Evaluate new solutions and update light intensity;
End for j;
End for i;
Rank the fireflies and find the current best;
End while;
Print the results;
End procedure;

27

In the firefly algorithm there are two important issues of the variation of light intensity
and the formulation of the attractiveness. For simplicity, it is assumed that the attractiveness of a
firefly is determined by its brightness which in turn is associated with the encoded objective
function of the optimization problems. On the attractiveness of the FFA the main form of
attractiveness function or (r) can be any monotonically decreasing functions such as the
following generalized form of
()

where r or r
ij
is the distance between the i
th
and j
th
of two fireflies.

0
is the attractiveness at r = 0 and is a fixed light absorption coefficient. The distance
between any two fireflies i and j at x
i
and x
j
is the Cartesian distance as follows:

where x
ik
is the k
th
component of the i
th
firefly ( x
i
). The movement of a firefly i is
attracted to another more attractive (brighter) firefly j, is determined by

) ( )
where the second term is due to the attraction while the third term is the randomization with
being the randomization parameter. Rand is a random number generator uniformly distributed
in the range of [0, 1]. For most cases in the implementation,

[]
Furthermore, the randomization term can easily be extended to a normal distribution N (0,
1) or other distributions. The parameter characterizes the variation of the attractiveness, and its
value is crucially important in determining the speed of the convergence and how the FFA
behaves. In most applications, it typically varies from 0.001 to 100.
CONCLUSION
In this thesis, FFA technique was explained. The flowchart for solving the harmonic
minimization problem using FFA was explained below.
28

YES
START
(V
dc
, m, ns) & FFA
data (nf,alpha,
beta0,delta,itermax)
For all fireflies initialize
randomly

ij
= rand (0 to /2)
For all i=1 to nf
j=1 to ns
Iter = 1
Evaluate objective function for all fireflies
F
i
= f(
i1
,
i2
,
ins
) using eqn(5)
For all i=1 to nf
Rank the fireflies based on their objective
function such that the firefly with
minimum value of objective function is
ranked #1
n
ij
=
ij

A
i = 1
B
YES
NO
NO
is Iter >
itermax
Iter=Iter+1
B
Print the first firefly as
the best solution.
STOP
beta = beta0 * exp( - gamma * r
2
)
For all j=1 to ns

ij
= [
ij
(1-beta)]+[n
kj
beta]+[alpha(rand -0.5)]
is k > i
k=k+1
i=i+1
A
k = 1
Find distance between fireflies i and k
r =
[ (

is i > nf
YES
3.3 FLOW CHART FOR SOLVING SHE PROBLEM USING FIREFLY ALGORITHM
29

Chapter-4
SIMULATION RESULTS
4.1 INTRODUCTION
The nonlinear transcendental equation considering the non-equality of the DC sources are
solved by using Firefly Algorithm (FFA) technique. The proposed algorithm is coded in
MATLAB platform. The proposed algorithm gives the global optimum switching angles for the
11 level Cascaded Inverter. The 11 level Cascaded Multi Level Inverter used in this work was
simulated in a MATLAB/SIMULINK platform. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the output
phase voltage and line voltage are plotted and given.
MATLAB/SIMULINK is one of the most successful software packages currently
available. It is a powerful, comprehensive and user friendly software package for simulation
studies. A very nice feature of SIMULINK is that it visually represents the simulation process by
using simulation block diagram. Especially, functions are then interconnected to form a
SIMULINK block diagram that defines the system structure. Once the system structure is
defined, Parameters are entered in the individual subsystem blocks that correspond to the given
system data. Some additional simulation parameter must also be set to govern how the
computation is carried out and the output data will be displayed. The block diagram of a sample
five level Cascaded Multilevel Inverter is shown in the figure.
4.3 MATLAB PLATFORM
The MATLAB platforms consist of five main parts. They are,
a) Development Environment
It incorporates a set of tools and facilities, which allows the use of MATLAB function and
files. Most of these tools are of graphical user interface in nature. It includes the MATLAB
desktop, a command window a command history, editor, debugger and browsers for viewing
help, the workspace, files and the search path.

30

b) The MATLAB Mathematical function library
This is a vast collection of computational algorithms ranging from elementary functions,
like sum, sine, cosine, and complex arithmetic to more sophisticated functions such as matrix
inverse, eigen values, basset functions, and Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT).
c) The MATLAB language
This is a high level matrix/ array language with control flow statement that serves to
process functions, data structure, input/output, besides it includes object oriented programming.
d) Graphics
MATLAB has extensive facilities for displaying vectors and matrix as graphs, besides
annotating and printing the graphs. It includes high level function for two-dimensional and
three dimensional data visualization, image processing, animation and presenting graphics.
SIMULINK is an interactive tool for modeling, simulating and analyzing dynamic, multi
domain systems. It lets the user to accurately describe, simulate, evaluate and refine a systems
behavior through standard and custom block libraries. SIMULINK models serve to access
MATLAB, providing flexible operation and an extensive range of analysis.
7.4.1 Simpower system and physical modeling
Simpower system models serves to simulate electrical power systems and drives in a
SIMULINK environment. It facilitates to build circuits, develop algorithms, and incorporate
controllers in the feedback path and enables to predict the performance of the modeled systems.
7.5 SIMULATION RESULTS
To obtain an insight on the proposed optimization technique, a MATLAB simulation is
carried out. The eleven level Cascaded Multi-level Inverter is simulated using
MATLAB/SIMULINK block sets. The harmonic elimination problem of the Multi-Level
Inverter was solved considering the non-equality of the DC sources. The magnitudes of the DC
voltage levels in the experiment are considered as follows,

31

Table-4.1, DC voltage levels used in this thesis work.
V
DC1
V
DC2
V
DC3
V
DC4
V
DC5

120 94 85 82 76

Table: 4.2, output switching angles obtained using FFA and PSO.
Modulation
index (M)

SWITCHING ANGLES THD
% 1 2 3 4 5
0.6
FFA 36.8110 48.9608 59.6180 70.8698 83.9840 6.82
PSO 36.9310 49.4483 60.2326 72.0874 85.3484 8.10
1
FFA 7.6400 15.3414 26.0582 36.9209 57.1745 4.79
PSO 12.1793 23.0990 37.0486 58.6290 59.3960 6.60
1.062
FFA 4.8004 11.9208 21.9323 29.0544 43.1942 4.14
PSO 6.8672 18.2654 25.9392 40.4031 59.1940 5.09

The above results are given with the following parameters of FFA and PSO.

The calculated switching angles by the FFA method and the corresponding resulted
objective function values are plotted with respect to the modulation index (M) in Fig. 4.1 and
4.2. The number of generations that evolve depends on whether an acceptable solution is reached
or a set number of iteration is exceeded. In this paper, the maximum-number-of-iteration
criterion is used to stop the algorithm. Moreover, the threshold of the cost to accept a solution is
chosen to be 10
-5
. However, most of the time, the resulted cost values reached by the algorithm is
below 210
-6
, which is many times better than the reported results for the GA method applied to
the equal-dc-source case in [15]. By changing the dc-side voltage, the switching pattern has to be
recalculated but, if not, there will be considerable harmonics in the output voltage waveform.
Fig 4.3 shows the plot between modulation index (M) and the amplitude of the fundamental
component.
FFA
No. of fireflies: 100
Itermax: 300
Attractiveness coefficient () = 0.005
PSO
No. of particles: 100
Itermax: 300
Cogitative parameter (C1) = 2
Social parameter (C2) = 3
32

Fig-4.1 (a)modulation index (M) Vs objective function

Fig-4.2 modulation index (M) Vs switching angles

33

Fig-4.3 modulation index (M) Vs fundamental voltage

The output voltage waveform for different modulation indices and the corresponding Fast
Fourier transform (FFT) analysis are shown in fig(4.4 to 4.9). The output phase voltage of the
eleven level Cascaded Multi Level Inverter for the optimum switching angle is given below.

34

Fig-4.4 (a)output phase voltage (M=0.6) (b)FFT analysis for phase voltage (M=0.6)

From the FFT plot of the phase voltage, it is observed that the 5
th
, 7
th
, 11
th
, 13
th
order
harmonics are effectively minimized. THD is 43.92% with 3
rd
order harmonic dominating more
than 40% of fundamental.

35

Fig-4.5 (a)output line voltage (M=0.6) (b)FFT analysis for line voltage (M=0.6)

From the FFT plot of the line voltage, the triplen harmonics are eliminated. Thus the total
harmonic distortion further reduces. THD is 6.82%.

36

Fig-4.6 (a)output phase voltage (M=1) (b)FFT analysis for phase voltage (M=1)

From the FFT plot of the phase voltage, it is observed that the 5
th
, 7
th
, 11
th
, 13
th
order
harmonics are effectively minimized. THD is 10.24%.

37

Fig-4.7 (a)output line voltage (M=1) (b)FFT analysis for line voltage (M=1)

From the FFT plot of the line voltage, the triplen harmonics are eliminated. Thus the total
harmonic distortion further reduces. THD is 4.79%.

38

Fig-4.8 (a)output phase voltage (M=1.062) (b)FFT analysis for phase voltage (M=1.062)

From the FFT plot of the phase voltage, it is observed that the 5
th
, 7
th
, 11
th
, 13
th
order
harmonics are effectively minimized. THD is 10.24%.

39

Fig-4.9 (a)output line voltage (M=1.062) (b)FFT analysis for phase voltage (M=1.062)

From the FFT plot of the line voltage, the triplen harmonics are eliminated. Thus the total
harmonic distortion further reduces. THD is 4.14%.

40

Chapter-5
CONCLUSION
Inverters are used to convert DC input voltage to AC output voltage of desired magnitude
and frequency. MLI structures have been developed to overcome short comings in solid-state
switching device ratings, so that they can be applied to high voltage electrical systems. Cascaded
type MLIs are taken for study in this work since they have been the subject of research in the last
several years, where the DC sources are batteries, solar cells etc., SHE is implemented in chosen
cascaded MLI by pre-calculating the switching angles of devices such that particular orders of
harmonics are minimized. By employing Firefly Algorithm technique and by using MATLAB, the
formulated non-linear asymmetric transcendental equations are solved to find the switching angles
for minimizing the harmonics. The simulation results for output voltage and THD for the proposed
technique is evaluated. The principle of operation of a sample seven level inverter non-carrier
PWM technique for one phase is explained. Thus the harmonics in the output voltage of the
Cascade Multilevel Inverter by considering the non-equality of separated DC sources is
eliminated by using firefly algorithm. The simulation results are provided for an under
modulation (M=0.6), critical modulation (M=1) and over modulation (M=1.062) an 11-level
cascaded H-bridge inverter to validate the accuracy of the computational results.

41

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