The modular multilevel converter (MMC) has been a subject of increasing importance for medium/high-power energy conversion systems. Over the past few years, significant research has been done to address the technical challenges associated with the operation and control of the MMC. In this paper, a general overview of the basics of operation of the MMC along with its control challenges are discussed, and a review of state-of-the-art control strategies and trends is presented. Finally, the applications of the MMC and their challenges are highlighted.
Modular multilevel converters have several attractive features such as a modular structure, the capability of transformer-less operation, easy scalability in terms of voltage and current, low expense for redundancy and fault tolerant operation, high availability, utilization of standard components, and excellent quality of the output waveforms. These features have increased the interest of industry and research in this topology, resulting in the development of new circuit configurations, converter models, control schemes, and modulation strategies. This paper presents a review of the latest achievements of modular multilevel converters regarding the mentioned research topics, new applications, and future trends.
This paper reviews the current status and implementation of battery chargers, charging power levels, and infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids. Charger systems are categorized into off-board and on-board types with unidirectional or bidirectional power flow. Unidirectional charging limits hardware requirements and simplifies interconnection issues. Bidirectional charging supports battery energy injection back to the grid. Typical on-board chargers restrict power because of weight, space, and cost constraints. They can be integrated with the electric drive to avoid these problems. The availability of charging infrastructure reduces on-board energy storage requirements and costs. On-board charger systems can be conductive or inductive. An off-board charger can be designed for high charging rates and is less constrained by size and weight. Level 1 (convenience), Level 2 (primary), and Level 3 (fast) power levels are discussed. Future aspects such as roadbed charging are presented. Various power level chargers and infrastructure configurations are presented, compared, and evaluated based on amount of power, charging time and location, cost, equipment, and other factors.
Starting from Tesla's principles of wireless power transfer a century ago, this critical review outlines recent magneto-inductive research activities on wireless power transfer with the transmission distance greater than the transmitter coil dimension. It summarizes the operating principles of a range of wireless power research into 1) the maximum power transfer and 2) the maximum energy efficiency principles. The differences and the implications of these two approaches are explained in terms of their energy efficiency and transmission distance capabilities. The differences between the system energy efficiency and the transmission efficiency are also highlighted. The review covers the two-coil systems, the four-coil systems, the systems with relay resonators and the wireless domino-resonator systems. Related issues including human exposure issues and reduction of winding resistance are also addressed. The review suggests that the use of the maximum energy efficiency principle in the two-coil systems is suitable for short-range rather than mid-range applications, the use of the maximum power transfer principle in the four-coil systems is good for maximizing the transmission distance, but is under a restricted system energy efficiency (<;50%); the use of the maximum energy efficiency principle in relay or domino systems may offer a good compromise for good system energy efficiency and transmission distance on the condition that relay resonators can be placed between the power source and the load.
In this paper, the principle of modularity is used to derive the different multilevel voltage and current source converter topologies. The paper is primarily focused on high-power applications and specifically on high-voltage dc systems. The derived converter cells are treated as building blocks and are contributing to the modularity of the system. By combining the different building blocks, i.e., the converter cells, a variety of voltage and current source modular multilevel converter topologies are derived and thoroughly discussed. Furthermore, by applying the modularity principle at the system level, various types of high-power converters are introduced. The modularity of the multilevel converters is studied in depth, and the challenges as well as the opportunities for high-power applications are illustrated.
The enabling of ac microgrids in distribution networks allows delivering distributed power and providing grid support services during regular operation of the grid, as well as powering isolated islands in case of faults and contingencies, thus increasing the performance and reliability of the electrical system. The high penetration of distributed generators, linked to the grid through highly controllable power processors based on power electronics, together with the incorporation of electrical energy storage systems, communication technologies, and controllable loads, opens new horizons to the effective expansion of microgrid applications integrated into electrical power systems. This paper carries out an overview about microgrid structures and control techniques at different hierarchical levels. At the power converter level, a detailed analysis of the main operation modes and control structures for power converters belonging to microgrids is carried out, focusing mainly on grid-forming, grid-feeding, and grid-supporting configurations. This analysis is extended as well toward the hierarchical control scheme of microgrids, which, based on the primary, secondary, and tertiary control layer division, is devoted to minimize the operation cost, coordinating support services, meanwhile maximizing the reliability and the controllability of microgrids. Finally, the main grid services that microgrids can offer to the main network, as well as the future trends in the development of their operation and control for the next future, are presented and discussed.
Wide bandgap semiconductors show superior material properties enabling potential power device operation at higher temperatures, voltages, and switching speeds than current Si technology. As a result, a new generation of power devices is being developed for power converter applications in which traditional Si power devices show limited operation. The use of these new power semiconductor devices will allow both an important improvement in the performance of existing power converters and the development of new power converters, accounting for an increase in the efficiency of the electric energy transformations and a more rational use of the electric energy. At present, SiC and GaN are the more promising semiconductor materials for these new power devices as a consequence of their outstanding properties, commercial availability of starting material, and maturity of their technological processes. This paper presents a review of recent progresses in the development of SiC- and GaN-based power semiconductor devices together with an overall view of the state of the art of this new device generation.
This paper presents a review of control strategies, stability analysis, and stabilization techniques for dc microgrids (MGs). Overall control is systematically classified into local and coordinated control levels according to respective functionalities in each level. As opposed to local control, which relies only on local measurements, some line of communication between units needs to be made available in order to achieve the coordinated control. Depending on the communication method, three basic coordinated control strategies can be distinguished, i.e., decentralized, centralized, and distributed control. Decentralized control can be regarded as an extension of the local control since it is also based exclusively on local measurements. In contrast, centralized and distributed control strategies rely on digital communication technologies. A number of approaches using these three coordinated control strategies to achieve various control objectives are reviewed in this paper. Moreover, properties of dc MG dynamics and stability are discussed. This paper illustrates that tightly regulated point-of-load converters tend to reduce the stability margins of the system since they introduce negative impedances, which can potentially oscillate with lightly damped power supply input filters. It is also demonstrated that how the stability of the whole system is defined by the relationship of the source and load impedances, referred to as the minor loop gain. Several prominent specifications for the minor loop gain are reviewed. Finally, a number of active stabilization techniques are presented.
Multilevel inverters have created a new wave of interest in industry and research. While the classical topologies have proved to be a viable alternative in a wide range of high-power medium-voltage applications, there has been an active interest in the evolution of newer topologies. Reduction in overall part count as compared to the classical topologies has been an important objective in the recently introduced topologies. In this paper, some of the recently proposed multilevel inverter topologies with reduced power switch count are reviewed and analyzed. The paper will serve as an introduction and an update to these topologies, both in terms of the qualitative and quantitative parameters. Also, it takes into account the challenges which arise when an attempt is made to reduce the device count. Based on a detailed comparison of these topologies as presented in this paper, appropriate multilevel solution can be arrived at for a given application.
Droop control is the basic control method for load current sharing in dc microgrid applications. The conventional dc droop control method is realized by linearly reducing the dc output voltage as the output current increases. This method has two limitations. First, with the consideration of line resistance in a droop-controlled dc microgrid, since the output voltage of each converter cannot be exactly the same, the output current sharing accuracy is degraded. Second, the dc-bus voltage deviation increases with the load due to the droop action. In this paper, in order to improve the performance of the dc microgrid operation, a low-bandwidth communication (LBC)-based improved droop control method is proposed. In contrast with the conventional approach, the control system does not require a centralized secondary controller. Instead, it uses local controllers and the LBC network to exchange information between converter units. The droop controller is employed to achieve independent operation, and the average voltage and current controllers are used in each converter to simultaneously enhance the current sharing accuracy and restore the dc bus voltage. All of the controllers are realized locally, and the LBC system is only used for changing the values of the dc voltage and current. Hence, a decentralized control scheme is accomplished. The simulation test based on MATLAB/Simulink and the experimental validation based on a 2 × 2.2 kW prototype were implemented to demonstrate the proposed approach.
High-frequency-link (HFL) power conversion systems (PCSs) are attracting more and more attentions in academia and industry for high power density, reduced weight, and low noise without compromising efficiency, cost, and reliability. In HFL PCSs, dual-active-bridge (DAB) isolated bidirectional dc-dc converter (IBDC) serves as the core circuit. This paper gives an overview of DAB-IBDC for HFL PCSs. First, the research necessity and development history are introduced. Second, the research subjects about basic characterization, control strategy, soft-switching solution and variant, as well as hardware design and optimization are reviewed and analyzed. On this basis, several typical application schemes of DAB-IBDC for HPL PCSs are presented in a worldwide scope. Finally, design recommendations and future trends are presented. As the core circuit of HFL PCSs, DAB-IBDC has wide prospects. The large-scale practical application of DAB-IBDC for HFL PCSs is expected with the recent advances in solid-state semiconductors, magnetic and capacitive materials, and microelectronic technologies.
DC microgrids (MGs) have been gaining a continually increasing interest over the past couple of years both in academia and industry. The advantages of dc distribution when compared to its ac counterpart are well known. The most important ones include higher reliability and efficiency, simpler control and natural interface with renewable energy sources, and electronic loads and energy storage systems. With rapid emergence of these components in modern power systems, the importance of dc in today's society is gradually being brought to a whole new level. A broad class of traditional dc distribution applications, such as traction, telecom, vehicular, and distributed power systems can be classified under dc MG framework and ongoing development, and expansion of the field is largely influenced by concepts used over there. This paper aims first to shed light on the practical design aspects of dc MG technology concerning typical power hardware topologies and their suitability for different emerging smart grid applications. Then, an overview of the state of the art in dc MG protection and grounding is provided. Owing to the fact that there is no zero-current crossing, an arc that appears upon breaking dc current cannot be extinguished naturally, making the protection of dc MGs a challenging problem. In relation with this, a comprehensive overview of protection schemes, which discusses both design of practical protective devices and their integration into overall protection systems, is provided. Closely coupled with protection, conflicting grounding objectives, e.g., minimization of stray current and common-mode voltage, are explained and several practical solutions are presented. Also, standardization efforts for dc systems are addressed. Finally, concluding remarks and important future research directions are pointed out.
DC-DC converters with voltage boost capability are widely used in a large number of power conversion applications, from fraction-of-volt to tens of thousands of volts at power levels from milliwatts to megawatts. The literature has reported on various voltage-boosting techniques, in which fundamental energy storing elements (inductors and capacitors) and/or transformers in conjunction with switch(es) and diode(s) are utilized in the circuit. These techniques include switched capacitor (charge pump), voltage multiplier, switched inductor/voltage lift, magnetic coupling, and multistage/-level, and each has its own merits and demerits depending on application, in terms of cost, complexity, power density, reliability, and efficiency. To meet the growing demand for such applications, new power converter topologies that use the above voltage-boosting techniques, as well as some active and passive components, are continuously being proposed. The permutations and combinations of the various voltage-boosting techniques with additional components in a circuit allow for numerous new topologies and configurations, which are often confusing and difficult to follow. Therefore, to present a clear picture on the general law and framework of the development of next-generation step-up dc-dc converters, this paper aims to comprehensively review and classify various step-up dc-dc converters based on their characteristics and voltage-boosting techniques. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of these voltage-boosting techniques and associated converters are discussed in detail. Finally, broad applications of dc-dc converters are presented and summarized with comparative study of different voltage-boosting techniques.
This paper addresses the harmonic stability caused by the interactions among the wideband control of power converters and passive components in an ac power-electronics-based power system. The impedance-based analytical approach is employed and expanded to a meshed and balanced three-phase network which is dominated by multiple current- and voltage-controlled inverters with LCL- and LC-filters. A method of deriving the impedance ratios for the different inverters is proposed by means of the nodal admittance matrix. Thus, the contribution of each inverter to the harmonic stability of the power system can be readily predicted through Nyquist diagrams. Time-domain simulations and experimental tests on a three-inverter-based power system are presented. The results validate the effectiveness of the theoretical approach.
This paper presents a novel approach to conceive the secondary control in droop-controlled microgrids (MGs). The conventional approach is based on restoring the frequency and amplitude deviations produced by the local droop controllers by using an MG central controller (MGCC). A distributed networked control system is used in order to implement a distributed secondary control (DSC), thus avoiding its implementation in MGCC. The proposed approach is not only able to restore frequency and voltage of the MG but also ensures reactive power sharing. The distributed secondary control does not rely on a central control, so that the failure of a single unit will not produce the fail down of the whole system. Experimental results are presented to show the feasibility of the DSC. The time latency and data drop-out limits of the communication systems are studied as well.
Impedance networks cover the entire of electric power conversion from dc (converter, rectifier), ac (inverter), to phase and frequency conversion (ac-ac) in a wide range of applications. Various converter topologies have been reported in the literature to overcome the limitations and problems of the traditional voltage source, current source as well as various classical buck-boost, unidirectional, and bidirectional converter topologies. Proper implementation of the impedance-source network with appropriate switching configurations and topologies reduces the number of power conversion stages in the system power chain, which may improve the reliability and performance of the power system. The first part of this paper provides a comprehensive review of the various impedance-source-networks-based power converters and discusses the main topologies from an application point of view. This review paper is the first of its kind with the aim of providing a "one-stop" information source and a selection guide on impedance-source networks for power conversion for researchers, designers, and application engineers. A comprehensive review of various modeling, control, and modulation techniques for the impedance-source converters/inverters will be presented in Part II.
Plug-in vehicles can behave either as loads or as a distributed energy and power resource in a concept known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) connection. This paper reviews the current status and implementation impact of V2G/grid-to-vehicle (G2V) technologies on distributed systems, requirements, benefits, challenges, and strategies for V2G interfaces of both individual vehicles and fleets. The V2G concept can improve the performance of the electricity grid in areas such as efficiency, stability, and reliability. A V2G-capable vehicle offers reactive power support, active power regulation, tracking of variable renewable energy sources, load balancing, and current harmonic filtering. These technologies can enable ancillary services, such as voltage and frequency control and spinning reserve. Costs of V2G include battery degradation, the need for intensive communication between the vehicles and the grid, effects on grid distribution equipment, infrastructure changes, and social, political, cultural, and technical obstacles. Although V2G operation can reduce the lifetime of vehicle batteries, it is projected to become economical for vehicle owners and grid operators. Components and unidirectional/bidirectional power flow technologies of V2G systems, individual and aggregated structures, and charging/recharging frequency and strategies (uncoordinated/coordinated smart) are addressed. Three elements are required for successful V2G operation: power connection to the grid, control and communication between vehicles and the grid operator, and on-board/off-board intelligent metering. Success of the V2G concept depends on standardization of requirements and infrastructure decisions, battery technology, and efficient and smart scheduling of limited fast-charge infrastructure. A charging/discharging infrastructure must be deployed. Economic benefits of V2G technologies depend on vehicle aggregation and charging/recharging frequency and strategies. The benefits will receive increased attention from grid operators and vehicle owners in the future.
DC power systems are gaining an increasing interest in renewable energy applications because of the good matching with dc output type sources such as photovoltaic (PV) systems and secondary batteries. In this paper, several distributed generators (DGs) have been merged together with a pair of batteries and loads to form an autonomous dc microgrid (MG). To overcome the control challenge associated with coordination of multiple batteries within one stand-alone MG, a double-layer hierarchical control strategy was proposed. 1) The unit-level primary control layer was established by an adaptive voltage-droop method aimed to regulate the common bus voltage and to sustain the states of charge (SOCs) of batteries close to each other during moderate replenishment. The control of every unit was expanded with unit-specific algorithm, i.e., finish-of-charging for batteries and maximum power-point tracking (MPPT) for renewable energy sources, with which a smooth online overlap was designed and 2) the supervisory control layer was designed to use the low-bandwidth communication interface between the central controller and sources in order to collect data needed for adaptive calculation of virtual resistances (VRs) as well as transit criteria for changing unit-level operating modes. A small-signal stability for the whole range of VRs. The performance of developed control was assessed through experimental results.
Today, conventional power systems are evolving to modern smart grids, where interconnected microgrids may dominate the distribution system with high penetration of renewable energy and energy storage systems. The hybrid ac/dc systems with dc and ac sources/loads are considered to be the most possible future distribution or even transmission structures. For such hybrid ac/dc microgrids, power management strategies are one of the most critical operation aspects. This paper presents an overview of power management strategies for a hybrid ac/dc microgrid system, which includes different system structures (ac-coupled, dc-coupled, and ac-dc-coupled hybrid microgrids), different operation modes, a thorough study of various power management and control schemes in both steady state and transient conditions, and examples of power management and control strategies. Finally, discussion and recommendations of power management strategies for the further research are presented.
In recent researches on inverter-based distributed generators, disadvantages of traditional grid-connected current control, such as no grid-forming ability and lack of inertia, have been pointed out. As a result, novel control methods like droop control and virtual synchronous generator (VSG) have been proposed. In both methods, droop characteristics are used to control active and reactive power, and the only difference between them is that VSG has virtual inertia with the emulation of swing equation, whereas droop control has no inertia. In this paper, dynamic characteristics of both control methods are studied, in both stand-alone mode and synchronous-generator-connected mode, to understand the differences caused by swing equation. Small-signal models are built to compare transient responses of frequency during a small loading transition, and state-space models are built to analyze oscillation of output active power. Effects of delays in both controls are also studied, and an inertial droop control method is proposed based on the comparison. The results are verified by simulations and experiments. It is suggested that VSG control and proposed inertial droop control inherits the advantages of droop control, and in addition, provides inertia support for the system.