Control of Cascaded Multilevel Inverters

Keith Corzine, Missouri University of Science and Technology
M. W. Wielebski
Fang Zheng Peng
Jin Wang

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A new type of multilevel inverter is introduced which is created by cascading two three-phase three-level inverters using the load connection, but requires only one dc voltage source. This new inverter can operate as a seven-level inverter and naturally splits the power conversion into a higher-voltage lower-frequency inverter and a lower-voltage higher-frequency inverter. This type of system presents particular advantages to Naval ship propulsion systems which rely on high power quality, survivable drives. New control methods are described involving both joint and separate control of the individual three-level inverters. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of both controls. A laboratory set-up at the Naval Surface Warfare Center power electronics laboratory was used to validate the proposed joint-inverter control. Due to the effect of compounding levels in the cascaded inverter, a high number of levels are available resulting in a voltage THD of 9% (without filtering).