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**Cascaded Multilevel Inverter
**

ANIKET ANAND

1

, K.P.SINGH

2

Department of Electrical Engineering

Madan Mohan Malaviya Engineering College Gorakhpur-273010, India

aniketanand.mmmec@yahoo.in

1

, kp1960@rediffmail.com

2

Abstract –For cascaded multilevel inverter switching angles are calculated by solving nonlinear harmonics

equation to eliminate the selective lower order harmonics. This paper presents a generalized method to calculate

the switching angles based on Newton Raphson method for solving the nonlinear equation which is

transcendental in nature. Calculation are performed by taking any random initial guesses and numbers of

iterations are performed for each value to solve the equation in to eliminate a particular harmonics. The angles

obtained are then used to decide the switching pulses for 9-level cascaded multilevel inverter. The simulation

results reveal that method can effectively eliminate the selective lower order harmonics in the output waveform

of the inverter, and also low THD (Total Harmonics Distortion). The computational results have been shown

graphically to prove the effectiveness of the method.

Keywords-Multilevel Inverter, Selective Harmonics Elimination, Total Harmonics Distortion (THD), Pulse

Width Modulation(PWM).

I. Introduction

Multilevel inverter is considered as one the most recent and popular type of advances in power electronics. It

synthesizes desired output voltage waveform from several dc sources used as input for the multilevel inverter.

As the number of dc sources is increased, the output voltage waveforms obtained is closer to the sinusoidal

voltage waveform. These multilevel inverters found there application in induction motor drives, static var

compensation, UPS system, laminators, mills, conveyors and compressors. To obtain the sinusoidal voltage

waveform from multiple dc sources the semiconductors switches such as MOSFET/IGBT are switched on and

off in such a way to keep the THD % to its minimum value. These semiconductor switches are of low power

ratings but of high switching speed. The multilevel inverter configurations include; flying capacitor topology

[10], diode clamped topology [11] and H-bridge topology. The commonly used switching technique is selective

harmonics elimination method at fundamental frequency, the harmonics equation obtained is nonlinear in nature

and thus different methods are available to solve the harmonics equation to eliminate the particular harmonics.

The available methods to solve these transcendental equations include; resultant theory [1]-[3], Nelder Mead

method based on Mathematica optimization toolbox [9] and Newton Raphson method [4]. The main

disadvantage of using flying capacitor based multilevel inverter is that more number of capacitors are required,

moreover diode clamped multilevel inverter topology [10], [11], which restricts the use of it to the high power

range of operation. The topology cascaded H-bridge multilevel inverter is advantageous with respect to other

topology as voltage level can be easily increased in steps by in increasing the number of dc sources. An apparent

disadvantage of this topology is that large numbers of switches are required. The topology proposed for

multilevel inverter has nine levels associated with a power switches.

II. Cascaded Multilevel Inverter

The general structure of cascaded multilevel inverter is shown in Figure 1. Nine level inverter is discussed here

with four input dc sources equal in magnitude V

1

=V

2

=V

3

=V

4.

Circuit consists of four H-bridge each having four

switches to control the output voltage waveform. If number of sources are S in number the output level

associated with it is given as,

N

level =

2S+1 (1)

If S = 4, the output waveform has nine levels (±4V

4

, ±3V

3,

±2V

2,

±V

1

and 0).

The number of switches used in this topology is expressed as

Aniket Anand et al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST)

ISSN : 0975-5462 Vol. 4 No.06 June 2012 2743

N

switch =

4S (2)

The output voltage of the nine level inverter is given as

V

0

= V

1

+ V

2

+V

3

+V

4

(3)

III. Selective Harmonics Elimination

Pulse width modulation technique is extensively used to eliminate harmful low-order harmonics in inverters. In

PWM control the inverter switches are turned ON and OFF during each half cycle and inverter output voltage is

controlled by varying the pulse width. Duty cycle for each pulse is decided to control the width of each pulse. In

this method of selective harmonics elimination the switching angles are calculated and used to control the output

voltage waveform. The harmonics equations are obtained by performing the Fourier analysis [7]. The derived

nonlinear equations are then solved by different available solving tools and methods. Solving tools such as

Mathcad, Mathematica [9], Maple etc are used to solve these nonlinear equations. The harmonics equations in

this paper are solved by using Newton Raphson method. In order to control the fundamental output voltage and

eliminate ‘n’ harmonics, ‘n+1’ equations are needed. The method of elimination will be presented for 9-level

inverter such that the solution of four angles is achieved. The switching angles can be found by solving the

following equations.

cos o

1

+cos o

2

+cos o

3

+cos o

4

=4 m

I

cos So

1

+cos So

2

+cosSo

3

+cos So

4

= 0

cos So

1

+cos So

2

+cos So

3

+cos So

4

= 0

cos 7o

1

+cos7o

2

+cos7o

3

+cos7o

4

= 0 (4)

Where modulation index, m

I

=

v1

4vdc

n

THD%=

_v

3

2

+v

S

2

+v

¨

2

+v

9

2

……….

v

1

2

×100 (5)

The switching angles must lie under given range. u < o

1

< o

2

< o

3

< o

4

<

π

2

.

Generalized Method to Solve the Harmonics Equation

The set of equation in (4) are nonlinear in nature Newton Raphson method is used to solve these equation [7],

initially guesses are taken and then following steps are perform to calculate the switching angles and iterations

are perform till the harmonics content is reduce up to four decimal places, here three harmonics are taken that is

3

rd

, 5

th

and 7

th

and angles are calculated to remove these three lower order harmonics. The system of nonlinear

equation in M variables can be represented as

F(

ì

o

1

, α

2

, α

3

………. α

2M

)

I=1, 2, 3…M (6)

These M equations are obtained for the problem by equating (4) to zero for any M harmonics desired to be

eliminated. Equation (4) is written in vector notation as

F (o) =0 where (7)

F= [f

1

f

2

f

3………

f

M

]

T

an M×1 matrix

o= [o

1

α

2

α

3

……α

2M

]

T

an M×1 matrix

Equation (23) can be solved by using a linearization technique, where the nonlinear equations are linearalized

about an approximate solution .the steps involved in computing a solution are as follows

• Guess a set of values for o call them

o

0

= [o

1

0

o

2

0

o

3

0

………o

2M

0

]

T

• Determine the values of

F (o

0

) =f

0

(8)

Aniket Anand et al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST)

ISSN : 0975-5462 Vol. 4 No.06 June 2012 2744

• Neglecting the higher order terms from Taylors series expansion

¡

0

+ [o¡¡oo]

0

Jo=0 (9)

wbcrc

|o¡¡oo]

0

=

l

l

l

l

ð]

1

ðu

1

·

ð]

1

ðu

M

. .

ð]

M

ðu

1

·

ð]

M

ðu

M

1

1

1

1

(10)

Evaluated at o

0

and do= [Jo

1

uo

2

uo

3

……. uo

M

]

T

solve (9) for do

• Repeat above as improved guesses

o

1

= o

0

+dα

Algorithm to Solve the Harmonics Equation

Fig: 1 Steps performed to calculate the switching angles to eliminate selective harmonics

The algorithm shown in figure: 1 is used to calculate the switching angle in MATLAB 7.10.0(R2010a). Steps

given in algorithm are used to perform each iteration and then numbers of iterations are performed to reduce the

harmonics value up to four decimal places. The calculated value of switching angles:-

α

1

=0.0409 α2=0.5055 α3=0.7830 α4=1.4534

Simulation Results

Switching angles are calculated by following the above discussed algorithm, and then the calculated values are

used to give the firing pulses to the nine level inverter, the staircase voltage waveform is obtained which is

shown in figure: 5 when resistive load is applied. The output waveform further improved when RL load is

Start

o

1

= u.uS77, o

2

= u.SuSS, o

3

= u.7867, o

4

= 1.4SS

Taking the initial guesses

α= [o

1

;o

2

;o

3

; o

4

]

a=[-sin(α

1

),-sin(α

2

),-sin(α

3

),-sin(α

4

);-3*sin(3* α

1

),-3*sin(3* α

2

),-3*sin(3* α

3

),-3*sin(3* α

4

);-5*sin(5* α

1

),-

5*sin(5* α

2

),-5*sin(5* α

3

),-5*sin(5* α

4

);-7*sin(7* α

1

),-7*sin(7* α

2

),-7*sin(7* α

3

),-7*sin(7* α

4

)]

b=inv(a)

c=[cos(α

1

)+cos(α

2

)+cos(α

3

)+cos(α

4

);cos(3* α

1

)+cos(3* α

2

)+cos(3* α

3

)+cos(3* α

4

);cos(5*α

1

)+cos(5*

α

2

)+cos(5* α

3

)+cos(5* α

4

); cos(7* α

1

)+cos(7* α

2

)+cos(7* α

3

)+cos(7* α

4

)]

k=s+d

Stop

t=[2.69;0;0;0], j=t-c, d=b*j

Aniket Anand et al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST)

ISSN : 0975-5462 Vol. 4 No.06 June 2012 2745

considered. Current waveform across the RL load is easily depicted in figure: 4. The FFT analysis is done in

both the cases. The THD calculated in case of resistive load is 14.49% while in case of RL load is further

reduced to 8.08%. The calculation revealed that 3

rd

,5

th

and 7

th

harmonics is significantly reduced up to four

decimal places and thus overall THD% is reduced.

Fig:2 Cascade multilevel inverter Fig:3 THD in case of RL load

Fig:4 Inverter output current in case of RL load Fig:5 Inverter 9 level output voltage in case of R load

Conclusions

The selective harmonics elimination method is used to eliminate the 3

rd

, 5

th

and 7

th

harmonics and switching

angle calculation is made in that respect. Sugsested algorithm is used to calculate the value of switching angles

and thus switching angles are used to decide the switching pulses for nine level cascaded multilevel inverter .

The Total Harmonics distortion is reduced to 8.08% and staircase voltage waveform is obtained which is much

closer to sinsouidal waveform. Therefore, an effective reduction of total harmonics distortation is achieved.

Refrences

[1] Chiasson. J; Tolbert. L; Mckenzie. K; Du. Z(2002). AComplete Solution to the Harmonic Elimination Problem. IEEE.pp. 503-508.

[2] Chiasson. J; Tolbert. L; Mckenzie. K; Du. Z(2003). A New Approach to Solving the Harmonic Elimination Equations for a multilevel

Converter. IEEE.pp.640-647.

[3] Ghasemi. N; Zare. F; Langton. C; Ghosh. A.(2011). In Proceedings of the 14

th

European Power Electronics Confrence, The

International Convention Centre, Birmingham. Pp. 1-9.

[4] Kumar. J; Das. B; Agarwal. P(2008). Selective Harmonic Elimination for a Multilevel Inverter. Fifteenth National Power System

Confrence(NPSC), IIT Bombay.pp.608-613.

[5] Liang. T.J; Conell; Richard. G(1997). Eliminating Harmonics in a Multilevel Converter using Resultant Theory . IEEE Transactions

on Power Electronics , Vol.12.No.6.pp 971-982.

C

u

r

r

e

n

t

Time (ms)

V

o

l

t

a

g

e

Time (ms)

Aniket Anand et al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST)

ISSN : 0975-5462 Vol. 4 No.06 June 2012 2746

[6] Murugesan. M;Sivaranjani. S; Ashokkumar. G; Sivakkumar.R(2011). Seven Level Modified Cascaded Inverter for Induction Motor

Drive Application. Journal of Inteernational Engineering and Applications. Pp.36-45.

[7] Patel. H. S; Hoft. R. G(1973). Generalized Techniques of Harmonics Elimination and Voltage Control in Thyristor Inverters: Part I-

Harmonic Elimination. IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, Vol.IA-9, No.3.pp.310-317

[8] Ramani. K; Krishnan. A(2009). An Estimation of Multilevel Inverter Fed Induction Motor Drive. International Journal of Reviews in

Compputing. pp.19-24.

[9] Samadi. A; Farhangi. S(2007).A Novel Optimization Method for Solving Harmonic Elimination Equations. The 7

th

International

Confrence on Power Electronics.pp.180-185.

[10] Tolbert. L. M; Khomfoi. S. Chapter31. Multilevel Power Converters. The University of Tennessee.pp.31-1 to 31-50.

[11] Yuan. X; Barbi. I(2000). Fundamentals of a New Diode Clamping multilevel Inverter. IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics,

Vol.15,No.4.pp.711- 718.

Aniket Anand et al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST)

ISSN : 0975-5462 Vol. 4 No.06 June 2012 2747

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