You are on page 1of 10


Multilevel Inverter (MLI) has been recognized as an attractive topology for highvoltageDCACconversion.Thispaperfocusesonanewdualreferencemodulationtechnique for a hybrid multilevel inverter employing Silicon carbide (SiC) switches for fuel cell applications. The proposed modulation technique employ reference waveforms and a single inverted sine

wave as the carrier waveform. This technique is compared with the conventional dual carrier waveform in terms of output voltage spectral quality and switching losses. An experimental fivelevel hybrid inverter test rig has been built using SiC switches to implement the proposed algorithm. Gating signals are generated using PIC microcontroller.

PV sources have peculiar characteristics, which allow extracting maximum power from them only under particular voltage conditions. This process of searching for maximum power point (MPP) is called maximum power point tracking (MPPT). A low power single phase singlestage grid-connected PV system, which is mentioned above is considered for the present thesis. A 7-level cascaded multilevel inverter is employed for the PV system. This inverter inherently generates much lower harmonic content than conventional (2-level or 3-level) inverters, which can be attenuated to the specified limits by using a small L-filter. The foremost advantage of using the multilevel configuration is the avoidance of LC or LCL filters, which are highly undesirable for grid-connected systems. Other advantages are increased reliability, reduced leakage capacitance currents, highly modular structure which allows increase of power rating in steps. A single-phase PLL (based on delay), current controller in dq domain, voltage controller, and MPPT controller (using Perturb & Observe algorithm) are designed for the system to achieve the objective of injecting sinusoidal current into grid at UPF, while maintaining the PV source at MPP. The simulation results obtained using MATLAB (SIMULINK) under normal and various disturbance conditions validated the analytical formulations and verified the robustness of the control system.


The PV system considered in the thesis is a low power (< 5 kW), single-phase grid connected system, which injects real power into the grid at UPF. These systems are becoming important worldwide due to deregulation in the electricity market. The grid connected systems are not only capable of generating clean power, but also confer many advantages to the distribution systems. But, as mentioned earlier the problematic issue in using PV inverters is the level of current harmonics. The harmonic standards for grid connected PV system are far more stringent than other domestic appliances. The harmonic content is dependent on the inverter and filter topologies used in the system. Moreover, the efforts undertaken to increase the overall system efficiency are desirable as these result in decrease in the price per watt. Keeping in view of the above considerations, the following objectives are defined for the thesis. To investigate different types of grid-connected PV systems, the filter topologies and inverter configurations used with them, and propose a suitable combination that makes the whole system robust. To design appropriate control system which makes the PV system to inject pure real power to the grid while maintaining the PV arrays at maximum power point. The above mentioned objectives were realized by the work done which can be summarized as given below. The simulation studies are done using MATLAB (SIMULINK). A single-stage grid-connected system is considered in the present work, as it is expected to give better efficiency than a conventional two stage configuration. Equivalent circuit model of a 1.25 kW PV source used for the simulation studies is derived. It is found to imitate the peculiar characteristics of a real time PV array under different isolation and temperature conditions. A 7-level cascaded inverter is proposed for the system. The multilevel inverters inherently generate low harmonic content. Therefore a small L-filter would be sufficient to limit the harmonic content to IEEE1547 standards. So, the foremost advantage in using the multilevel configuration is the avoidance of LC or LCL filters, which are undesirable for grid-connected systems. A single-phase PLL (based on delay), current controller in dq domain, voltage controller and MPPT controller (using Perturb & Observe algorithm) are designed for the system to achieve the objective of injecting sinusoidal current into grid at under normal and various disturbance conditions validated the analytical formulations and verified the robustness of the control system.

This chapter begins with the discussion on the significance of the photo voltaic energy in the present energy scenario. The two broad classifications of the photo voltaic energy systems, standaloneandgridconnectedconfigurationsarediscussed.Theimportanceattributedtothegridconnec tedsystem,particularly low power single phase, is outlined. The structures of two different configurations of grid-connected PV systems are given. The harmonic standards enforced on the PV systems and various configurations of the low pass filters used are explained. This chapter discusses the various multilevel inverter topologies. A comparative study between them is made for 5-level configurations. It is shown that a cascaded inverter offers more advantages than other multilevel topologies for the PV system. A 7-levelcascaded inverter which is proposed for the system, is simulated in MATLAB by employing Phase Shifted Carrier based Pulse Width Modulation (PSCPWM) technique and its THD results are compared with a conventional 3-level inverter. The equivalent circuit model of a 1.25 kW PV array is presented in the beginning of the chapter. The various non-linear equations involved in the modeling are solved using MATLAB to get the characteristics of the PV array for different insulation and temperature conditions. Next, the principle of MPPT and Perturb and Observe algorithm are explained in detail. The complete control structure of the PV system is explained in the beginning. A delay based single-phase PLL is designed and simulated. Next, state-space modeling of current controller design is given. And, filter inductance design is presented taking various factors into consideration. The simulation results of the current loop are shown and its performance of the current loop is also examined for step changes in the reference current. This chapter starts with the design of the voltage controller. Simulation results showing its performance are added. The controller performance is also evaluated for sag and swells in the grid voltage. Next, the MPPP controller is implemented whose flowchart description of operation is also presented. Finally the results of the total system with the three controllers operating simultaneously are given. The THD analysis of the output current is done and found to be within the specified standards. The robustness of the control system is verified by examining the performance of the system for instantaneous changes in isolation levels. The general conclusions derived from the thesis and the scope for future research, are outlined.

1. NEED FOR MULTILEVEL INVERTERS The general function of multilevel inverters is to synthesize a desired ac voltage from several levels of dc voltages. The major advantages of this are: i) drastically reduced harmonic content in the inverter output when compared to conventional (2-level) inverters, and ii) makes the use of lower power rating electronic switches in high power applications practicable. Thus, the stringent harmonic conditions imposed on the power generating systems can be overcome by the application of multilevel inverters. The modular structure of multilevel inverters helps to increase the size of power rating in steps, without harming the existing inverter. The use of lower switching frequencies in multilevel inverters will result in higher converter efficiency. The use of a multilevel converter to control the frequency and voltage output(including phase angle) from renewable energy sources will provide significant advantages because of its fast response and autonomous control. Additionally, multilevel converters can also control the real and reactive power flow from a utility connected renewable energy source. These topologies are attractive for continuous control of system dynamic behavior and to reduce power quality problems such as voltage harmonics, voltage imbalance, or sags The multilevel inverters also find applications in various areas viz. Medium voltage adjustable drives, static VAR compensation, harmonic filtering, and HVDC back-to-back inter-tie. The advantages and drawbacks of different

multilevel inverter topologies are presented in the next section.

2. MULTI-LEVEL INVERTER FOR THE PV SYSTEM The objective of the PV system is to inject real power into the grid at UPF. From the comparison of various multilevel inverters, it can be concluded that the desired objective is easily achieved by using cascaded inverter with separate dc sources, which offers more advantages than other configurations. The major advantages are lowest component count, least maintenance, modular structure and self-balancing characteristics. But the only disadvantage is the need of separate dc sources. However, this is easily achieved in the PV system as explainedinsection1.2ofthethesis.As the cascaded inverter generates very low harmonic content when compared to a conventional inverter, a small L-filter would be sufficient to at the output of the inverter. This

will eliminate the use of LC or LCL filters, which have several drawbacks when used in grid connected systems. Thus the robustness of the system is increased by employing multilevel inverter, and the major controversial issue of harmonics in regard to PV system is overcome. The system under consideration is a residential system. So, the consideration of EMI effects created by PV system on the other house hold appliances is an important criterion. The use of cascaded inverter overcomes the problem. The modular nature of cascaded inverter is highly compatible with the modular structure of the PV arrays. This helps in increasing power rating of the system at a future date very conveniently. And, when a PV array has got damaged, the remaining system can be operated safely by removing that particular array from the system. Lastly, the capacitive leakage currents associated with PV arrays decrease with cascaded inverters.

The drawback of multilevel inverter is its cost due to the higher number of switching devices. However the voltage ratings of the switches used in multilevel topology are lower. So, there would not be a huge increase in the cost. And this cost too is mostly compensated by the filter cost. The use of very large number of inverter levels will increase the complexities and cost to a great extent. But with moderate number of levels, despite a possibility of increase in the cost, the advantages gained by those configurations are in plenty.

3. ANALYSIS OF PWM FOR THE PROPOSED INVERTER The proposed inverter basically has three single-phase full bridge inverters (Hbridges) in series. Therefore, the switching scheme used for the individual H-bridges influence the harmonic performance of the cascaded inverter, which is after all a series combination of the H-

bridges. Hence the modulation strategies used for an H-bridge (basic block of cascaded inverter) are studied first, and a better strategy is chosen. Then the cascaded inverter is built with these Hbridges which are already optimized for a better performance. It is already stated that the output of the cascaded inverter is the sum of the outputs from three H-bridges. So, apart from the optimized harmonic performance from each H-bridge, the interaction between them is also important for further elimination of harmonics and thus better performance of the total inverter.

4. MULTI-LEVEL INVERTERS FOR THREE PHASE PV SYSTEM Even though the present work is related to designing of multilevel inverters for grid connected systems of only low power (<5 kW) rating, the work will be consummated if a brief study of multilevel inverters application to high power PV systems is done. So, this section of the thesis presents the advantages of multilevel inverters application to three phase system. Generally the high power PV systems are connected to grid at sub-transmission level where the voltage level is much higher than that at distribution level. From the discussion of multilevel topologies and their application to PV system in the section 2.2 and section 2.3, it can be concluded that the cascaded configuration is again the best topology of multilevel inverters even for high power PV systems. Fig.2.12 shows the three phase configuration of 7-level inverter. Apart from the advantages of multilevel inverters to single-phase systems mentioned in the earlier sections, three-phase systems has

5. RESEARCH METHODLIGIES The software used in the present work is MATLAB. It is simple powerful programming language and it enables the user to write programs in a fraction of time. Using MATLAB, any physical systems once modeled, can be analyzed and the performance of the system can be computed. A true compromise between the two widely different techniques is simlink/sim power systems, which is of the MATLAB package, here the controller can be designed using the mathematical capability of MATLAB while the non-ideal behavior of various power circuit components such as diodes and MOSFETS can be captured using the power electronics library of sim power systems. All this can be accomplished in a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) based SIMLINK environment, this makes the simulation faster and more likes systlevel.

6 .LITERATURE SURVEY MULTI-LEVEL inverters is recently used in many industrial applications such as AC power supplies, static VAR compensators, drives systems. One of the significant advantages of multi-level structure is the harmonic reduction in the output waveform without increasing switching frequency or decreasing the inverter output power. The output voltage waveform of a multi-level inverter is composed of a number of levels of voltages, typically obtained from capacitor voltage sources. The so called multi-level starts from three level as the number of levels increasing, the output approaches zero. The number of achievements voltage level however, is limited by voltage unbalanced problems, voltage clamping requirements, circuit layout, and packing constants. Therefore, an important key in design an effective and efficient multi-level inverters is to ensure that the total harmonic in the output voltage waveform is small enough. The well known multi-level inverters topologies are cascaded H- bridge multi-level inverters, diode-clamped multilevel inverters and flying capacitor multi-level inverter. The multilevel inviter composed of cascaded H-bridges with separate DC source (SDCSs). Thereafter called a cascaded multi-level inverter, appears to be superior to the other multi-level topologies in terms of its structure that is not only simple and modular to higher number of output voltage level without under increasing in power circuit complexity in addition, extra clamping diodes are not necessary. It is generally accepted that the performance of an inverter, a in any switching stategy, can be related to the harmonic contents of its output voltage.

Power electronics researchers have always studied many novel control techniques to reduce harmonics in such waveforms up to now in multi-level technology, several well-known modulation techniques have been used a follows(4). Harmonic optima ion technique: space vector PWM(SV-PWM)technique, carrier -based PWM technique.

In this paper

The design considerations and simulation results of the voltage

controller are presented in the beginning of the chapter. The principle of voltage sharing between the different H-bridges of the cascaded inverter is explained, and is supported with the simulation results. The performance of the voltage and current controllers is verified under sag and swell conditions in the utility voltage. MPPT controller with Perturb and Observe algorithm is implemented on MATLAB (SIMULINK). Simulation results presented verified the desired operation of the complete control scheme. The robustness of the simultaneous operation of the current, voltage and MPPT controllers is verified by the simulation results obtained under stepchanges in the in solation. The harmonic content in the output current is found to be much lower than the limits imposed by IEEE1547/ IEC61727 standards.

7. EXPECTED SIMULATION RESULTS AND DISCUSSION In this section, the simulation and harmonic analysis of 7-level inverter proposed for the (single-phase) grid-connected PV system is done, and compared with the 3-leveltopology. The modulation strategies used are same as discussed in the earlier sections. The carrier frequency is taken as 5 kHz and fundamental as 50 Hz, which is used throughout for the rest of simulations in the thesis. For the 3-level inverter, the dc-link is taken as 500 V stiff voltage source. And for 7-level inverter, three isolated stiff dc voltage sources of 166.67Veach are taken. Thus the total dc-link voltage is same for both the configurations. This voltage is almost equal to the MPP voltage of the PV array at reference condition (which will be addressed in chapter 3). The simulation is done for amplitude modulation factor ma of 0.8.The output voltage of the 3level inverter (shown in Fig.2.6) with the parameters mentioned above is shown in Fig.2.13. It can be observed from the figure that the voltage changes from 0 to 500V in the positive cycle and 0 to -500 V in the negative cycle. The 7-level inverter (shown in Fig.2.5) is modulated using PSCPWM, in which the three carrier waveforms each of 5 kHz are phase shifted as explained

earlier. From the Fig.2.14, it can be observed the output of the cascaded inverter is changing from 0 to 166.67 V then to 333.33 V and then to 500 V in the positive cycle. And similarly the negative cycle repeats.

LIST OF APPENDED REFERENCE PAPERS [1]. S.B. Kjaer, J. K. Pedersen and F. Blaabjerg, A Review of Single-Phase GridConnected Inverters for Photovoltaic Modules, IEEE Trans. Ind. Applicat., Vol. 41, No. 5, September/October 2005, pp.1292-1306. [2]. R. Ramakumar and P. Chiradeja, Distributed generation and renewable energy systems, 37th Inter society Energy Convers. Conf., 2002, pp.716-724.

[3]. R. Ramakumar and J. E. Bigger, Photovoltaic Systems, Proc. IEEE., Vol. 81, No. 3, March 1993, pp.365-377. [4]. R. Gonzalez, J. Lopez, P. Sanchis and L. Marroyo, Transformerless Inverter for Single-Phase Photovoltaic Systems, IEEE Trans. Power Electron., Vol. 22, No. 2, March 2007, pp.693-697. [5]. M. Ciobotaru, R. Teodorescu and F. Blaabjerg, Control of single-stage single-phase PV inverter, European Conf. Power Electron. Applicat., September 2005, pp.1-10. [6]. T.C.Y. Wang, Zhihong Ye, Gautam Sinha and Xiaoming Yuan, Output Filter Design for a Grid-interconnected Three-phase Inverter, 34th Annual IEEE Power Electron. Specialists Conf., Vol. 2, June 2003, pp.779-784. [7]. M. Liserre, R. Teodorescu and F. Blaabjerg, Stability of Photovoltaic and Wind Turbine Grid-Connected Inverters for a Large Set of Grid Impedance Values, IEEE Trans. Power Electron., Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2006, pp.263-272. [8]. L.M. Tolbert and F.Z. Peng, Multilevel converters as a utility interface for renewable energy systems, IEEE Power Engineering Society Summer Meeting., Vol. 2, June 2000, pp.1271-1274. [9]. J. Rodriguez, Jih-Sheng Lai and Fang Zheng Peng, Multilevel Inverters: A Survey of Topologies, Controls, and Applications, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., Vol. 49, No. 4, August 2002, pp.724-738. [10]. F. Z. Peng and J. S. Lai, A static var generator using a staircase waveform multilevel voltage-source converter, Proc. Seventh Int. Power Quality Conf., Dallas, TX, Sept. 1994, pp.5866. [11]. T. A. Meynard and H. Foch, Multilevel converters and derived topologies for high power conversion, Proc. 1995 IEEE 21st Int. Conf. Industrial Electronics, Control, and Instrumentation., Nov. 1995, pp.2126. [12]. X. Yuan, H. Stemmler, and I. Barbi, Investigation on the clamping voltage selfbalancing of the three-level capacitor clamping inverter, Proc. IEEE PESC99., pp.10591064. [13]. J. S. Lai et al., A novel resonant snubber based soft-switching inverter, Conf. Rec. Applicat. Power Electron. Conf., Dallas, TX, 1995, pp.797-803. [14]. Jih-Sheng Lai and Fang Zheng Peng, Multilevel Converters - A New Breed of Power Converters, IEEE Trans. Ind. Applicat., Vol. 32, No. 3, May/June 1996, pp.509-517. [15]. O. Lopez, R. Teodorescu and J. Doval-Gandoy, Multilevel transfor