A Modular Multilevel Converter with Power Mismatch Control for Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems
A modular multilevel power converter configuration for grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems is proposed. The converter configuration replaces the conventional bulky line frequency transformer with several high frequency transformers, potentially reducing the balance of systems cost of PV systems. The front-end converter for each port is a neutral-point diode clamped (NPC) multi-level dc-dc dual-active bridge (ML-DAB) which allows maximum power point tracking (MPPT). The integrated high frequency transformer provides the galvanic isolation between the PV and grid side and also steps up the low dc voltage from PV source. Following the ML-DAB stage, in each port, is a NPC inverter. N number of NPC inverters’ outputs are cascaded to attain the per-phase line-to-neutral voltage to connect directly to the distribution grid (i.e., 13.8 kV). The cascaded NPC (CNPC) inverters have the inherent advantage of using lower rated devices, smaller filters and low total harmonic distortion required for PV grid interconnection. The proposed converter system is modular, scalable, and serviceable with zero downtime with lower foot print and lower overall cost. A novel voltage balance control at each module based on power mismatch among N-ports, have been presented and verified in simulation. Analysis and simulation results are presented for the N-port converter. The converter performance has also been verified on a hardware prototype.