This paper presents a new technique for measuring the capacitor voltages in a modular multilevel converter using a reduced number of voltage sensors. With this technique, the minimum number of voltage sensors per arm is two. Each sensor measures the output voltage of a set of submodules (SMs) connected in series and acquires a new measurement when there is only one SM activated within the set. The acquired value corresponds to the capacitor voltage of the activated SM minus the voltage drops produced in the switches. A simple mathematical model is used to estimate all the SM capacitor voltages, and it is then updated whenever there is a new measurement available. An algorithm that enforces the periodic update of the voltage measurements is also presented. The proposed measuring technique highly reduces the number of voltage sensors; hence reducing the complexity and costs of the signal conditioning and data acquisition stages. Simulation and experimental results are presented to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed technique.
CitationPicas, R., Zaragoza, J., Pou, J., Ceballos, S., Balcells, J. New measuring technique for reducing the number of voltage sensors in modular multilevel converters. "IEEE transactions on power electronics", 01 Gener 2016, vol. 31, núm. 1, p. 177-187.
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