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Title: Investigation of modulation dynamics and control of modular multilevel converter for high voltage DC grids
Author: Nampally, Ashok
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 2613
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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Energy security concerns and the impact of traditional sources of power generation on the climate have prompted a rise in renewable energy expansion around the world. Power transmission from remote generation sites to consumers over long distance is most efficient using High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines. Consequently, HVDC and the integration of renewable resources are considered as key perspectives in the improvement of sustainable energy systems capable of secure and stable electric power supply. With the intention of huge energy demand in the future, the multi-terminal DC grid concept is proposed based on various converter topologies like Line Commutated Converter (LCC), Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC), and Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) HVDC technologies. These converters play a vital role in integrating remotely-located renewable generation and reinforcing existing power systems. The MMC has become increasingly popular in HVDC transmission compared to conventional line commutated converters, two-level and multilevel voltage source converters. Low generation of harmonics, a low switching frequency of semiconductors, sine formed AC voltages and currents, black start capability and higher overall efficiency are a few of the unique features of MMC. The MMC is characterised by a modular arm structure, formed by a cascade connection of a vast number of simple cells with floating DC capacitors. These cells are called Sub-Modules (SMs) and can be easily assembled into a converter for high voltage power conversion systems. Compared with traditional VSCs, the analytical modelling of MMC is more challenging. This is because of technical issues such as higher order system, the discontinuous and non-linear nature of signal transfer through converters, the complexity of the interaction equations between the AC and DC variables, and harmonic frequency conversion through AC side and DC side of the converter. This work intends to resolve these challenges by developing a detailed non-linear model using fundamental switching Selective Harmonic Elimination (SHE) modulation technique, an average MMC model in DQ0 frame and an analytical dynamic MMC model, which can be suitable for small-signal stability studies, and control design. Firstly, the detailed model of MMC using fundamental switching SHE modulation scheme has been developed using PSCAD/EMTDC (Power systems computer aided design Electromagnetic transients for DC) software. The basic terms and equations of the MMC have been presented along control loops. The significance of the switching frequency on the performance of the MMC has been studied as well as the relation between the switching frequency, the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and the number of output voltage levels. Detailed representation of MMC systems in PSCAD/EMTDC programs incorporates the modelling of Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) valves and should typically utilise small integration time-steps to represent fast switching events precisely. Computational burden introduced by such detailed models make the study of steady-state and transient events more complex, highlighting the need to implement more efficient models that provide comparative behaviour and dynamic response. Secondly, average DQ0 models has been implemented to accurately replicate the steady-state, dynamic and transient behaviour of MMC in PSCAD/EMTDC programs. These simplified models represent the average response of switching devices and converters by using averaging techniques involving controlled sources and switching functions. Developing the MMC average model in DQ0 frame was a challenging task because of the multiplication terms in the MMC average model in ABC frame. The proposed approach to overcome this challenge is considering generic form for the product variables and multiplying them in ABC frame and then transferring only the DC and fundamental frequency components of the results to DQ0 frame. The comparisons between detailed model and the average model validated the effectiveness of the average model in representing the dynamics of MMC. It is at least one hundred times faster than the detailed model for the same simulation time step. Finally, a dynamic analytical MMC model and associated controls have been proposed. To enable the model application to a broad range of system configurations and various dynamic studies, the model is built on a modular modelling approach using four sub-systems; an AC system, Phase Locked Loop (PLL) system, MMC system and a DC arrangement. The developed MMC system model has been linearized and implemented in state-space form. To select the best open-loop controller gains, eigenvalue analysis is performed for each particular test system. The rationality and correctness of the proposed model are verified against non-linear PSCAD/EMTDC simulations, and good accuracy is obtained in the time domain analysis. Further, the model is also verified in the frequency domain, and it is concluded that the developed model can be employed for dynamic analysis below 300 Hz.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Electric power distribution ; Modulation (Electronics) ; Electric current converters