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Jordi Zaragoza Bertomeu

Ph.D. Thesis title:
Modulation strategies for the neutral point-clamped converter and control of a wind turbine system


Author:

Jordi Zaragoza Bertomeu


Director:

Modulation strategies for the neutral point-clamped converter and control of a wind turbine system


Reading date:

25/11/2011


Abstract:

Multilevel converters are power electronic topologies that can generate three or more voltage levels in each output phase. As a result, the voltage and current waveforms generated have lower total harmonic distortion. Multilevel topologies are based on connecting power devices or converters in a series. Consequently, high voltages can be handled on the dc and ac sides of the converter, while each device stands only a fraction of the total dc-link voltage. For these reasons multilevel converters are generally applied to high-power applications. The three-level neutral-point-clamped converter is the most extensively used multilevel topology. This topology is the main focus of research in this dissertation. The main objective is to propose new modulation strategies that are able to meet a compromise solution while considering computational algorithm speed, voltage balance in the dc-link capacitors, switching losses and low frequency voltage oscillations at the neutral point. All the modulation strategies proposed here are based on carrier-based pulse-width modulation. A new modulation strategy has been implemented using a proper zero-sequence signal injected into the modulation signals. The zero sequence is determined from a space-vector modulation standpoint, particularly the nearest-three-vector modulation strategy. The proposed carrier-based technique is compared with its space-vector modulation counterpart. It shows some advantages, such as easier implementation and reduced switching events; however, it still produces oscillations in the neutral-point voltage for some operating conditions. A new modulation strategy able to completely remove such voltage oscillations is also presented. It is called double-signal pulse-width modulation. The main drawback of this strategy is that it increases the switching frequency of the power devices and has no natural capacitor voltage balance. Some balancing strategies are proposed in this dissertation for this specific modulation. Furthermore, a hybrid pulse-width modulation approach is presented which is able to combine sinusoidal pulse-width modulation with double-signal pulse-width modulation; this represents a compromise solution between switching losses and neutral-point voltage oscillation amplitudes. The second part of this thesis is focused on wind generation applications. Multilevel converters are starting to be used in such a field nowadays, and are expected to be further applied in the near future as the sizes of wind turbines grow. Two back-to-back-connected power converters are considered in this application, although they are analyzed independently. First of all, the control of the grid-connected converter is studied. A voltage-oriented control is used with standard proportional-integral controllers. The originality of the method is that a fuzzy supervisor is designed and included in the structure; the fuzzy supervisor is able to modify the proportional-integral parameters online. It is shown how the control of the total dc-link voltage improves significantly under load changes when the converter is working as a rectifier. On the other hand, a control study is performed on the wind turbine side. The variable speed wind turbine is based on a permanent magnet synchronous generator. A field-oriented control strategy is applied. The controllers are evaluated and compared using different tuning strategies which highlight the advantages and drawbacks of each.