Overdistention Operation of Cascaded Multilevel Inverters
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In the past decade, the multilevel power converter has transitioned from an experimental concept to a standard product of many medium-voltage drive manufacturers. By utilizing small voltage steps, the multilevel topology offers higher power quality, higher voltage capability, lower switching losses, and improved electromagnetic compatibility over standard topologies. Recently, several researchers have focused on the cascaded multilevel inverter whereby two multilevel inverters are series connected to a motor load by splitting the neutral connection. The resulting performance is exceptional in terms of power quality since the overall number of voltage levels is effectively the product of the two cascaded inverters. This paper demonstrates that it is possible to extend this performance to an even higher number of voltage levels referred to as overdistended operation. This further improves the power quality that is significant in applications that have stringent total harmonic distorsion requirements, such as naval ship propulsion. A new control is introduced for overdistention operation and is validated with computer simulation and laboratory measurements.