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Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Systems, Transportation and Industrial Applications by Kamal Al-Haddad, Mariusz Malinowski, Haitham Abu-Rub

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Chapter 14Multilevel Converter/Inverter Topologies and Applications

Baoming Ge1, Fang Zheng Peng1 and Yongdong Li2

1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan State University, Michigan, USA

2Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

14.1 Introduction

The demand for clean energy and energy saving has stimulated the rapid growth of sustainable energy generation and adjustable speed drives (ASDs). Today's wind and solar power unit ratings, as popular renewable energy sources, reach tens of megawatts. Many laminators, mills, conveyors, pumps, fans, blowers and compressors require large ASDs with medium voltage (several kV to tens of kV). In addition, flexible AC transmission system (FACTS) devices for the control of power flow, voltage and frequency are used to increase transmission capacity, reduce congestion, improve controllability and integrate more renewable energy into grids. FACTS devices are normally connected to medium-voltage distribution or to high-voltage transmission systems. For traditional two-level inverters used in the above applications, step-up transformers and/or zigzag transformers are used to reach the medium- and high-voltage levels and to synthesize output voltage to multipulse waveforms. However, transformers are bulky, lossy, high cost and present nonlinear/saturation problems that lead to difficulties in the system control.

Multilevel inverters provide a novel approach for reaching high voltage and reducing ...

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