A Generalized Capacitor Voltage Balancing Scheme for Flying Capacitor Multilevel Converters


Multilevel power electronic converters are the converter of choice in medium-voltage applications due to their reduced switch voltage stress, better harmonic performance, and lower switching losses. Although it has received little attention, the flying-capacitor multilevel converter has a distinct advantage in terms of its ease of capacitor voltage balancing. A number of techniques have been presented in the literature for capacitor voltage balancing, some relying on "self-balancing" properties. However, self balancing cannot guarantee balancing of capacitor voltages in practical applications. Other researchers present closed-loop control schemes which force voltage balancing of capacitors. In this paper, a new closed loop control scheme is proposed which regulates the capacitor voltages for a multilevel flying capacitor converter. The proposed scheme is based on the converter equations and involves implementing simple rules. In particular, multiple duty cycles are defined and modulated in direct response to the capacitor voltages. Through simulation, the method is shown to work on four, eight and nine-level flying capacitor inverters.

Meeting Name

25th Annual IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (2010: Feb. 21-25, Palm Springs, CA)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Capacitor Voltage Balancing; Capacitor Voltages; Closed-Loop Control; Direct Response; Duty Cycles; Flying Capacitor; Flying Capacitor Converter; Flying-Capacitor Inverter; Harmonic Performance; Lower Switching Loss; Medium Voltage; Multilevel Converter; Power Electronic Converters; Reduced Switch; Self-Balancing; Simple Rules; Voltage Balancing; Capacitance; Closed Loop Control Systems; Paper Capacitors; Power Electronics; Capacitors

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2010 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2010