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Title: DC-DC converter designs for medium and high voltage direct current systems
Author: Gowaid, Islam Azmy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 8133
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2017
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DC fault protection is one challenge impeding the development of multi-terminal dc grids. The absence of manufacturing and operational standards has led to many point-to-point HVDC links built at different voltage levels, which creates another challenge. Therefore, the issues of voltage matching and dc fault isolation in high voltage dc systems are undergoing extensive research and are the focus of this thesis. The modular multilevel design of dual active bridge (DAB) converters is analysed in light of state-of-the-art research in the field. The multilevel DAB structure is meant to serve medium and high voltage applications. The modular design facilitates scalability in terms of manufacturing and installation, and permits the generation of an output voltage with controllable dv/dt. The modular design is realized by connecting an auxiliary soft voltage clamping circuit across each semiconductor switch (for instance insulated gate bipolar transistor – IGBT) of the series switch arrays in the conventional two-level DAB design. With auxiliary active circuits, series connected IGBTs effectively become series connection of half-bridge submodules (cells) in each arm, resembling the modular multilevel converter (MMC) structure. For each half-bridge cell, capacitance for quasi-square wave (quasi two- level) operation is significantly smaller than typical capacitance used in MMCs. Also, no bulky arm inductors are needed. Consequently, the footprint, volume, weight and cost of cells are lower. Four switching sequences are proposed and analysed in terms of switching losses and operation aspects. A design method to size converter components is proposed and validated. Soft-switching characteristics of the analysed DAB are found comparable to the case of a two-level DAB at the same ratings and conditions. A family of designs derived from the proposed DAB design are studied in depth. Depending on the individual structure, they may offer further advantages in term of installed semiconductor power, energy storage, conduction losses, or footprint. A non-isolated dc-dc converter topology which offers more compact and efficient station design with respect to isolated DAB – yet without galvanic isolation – is studied for quasi two-level (trapezoidal) operation and compared to the isolated versions. In all the proposed isolated designs, active control of the dc-dc converter facilitates dc voltage regulation and near instant isolation of pole-to-pole and pole-to-ground dc faults within its protection zone. The same can be achieved for the considered non-isolated dc-dc converter topology with additional installed semiconductors. Simulation and experimental results are presented to substantiate the proposed concepts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral