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``

Converters for Wind Turbine

Systems

I

Reliability Comparison of Multilevel

Converters for Wind Turbine

Systems

By

Emmanouil Lyrakis

Master of Science

in Sustainable Energy Technology

to be defended publicly on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 13:00 AM.

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) and

Applied Sciences (AS)

IV

DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

DEPARTMENT OF

ELECTRICAL SUSTAINABLE ENERGY,

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS

AND COMPUTER SCIENCES

The following academic staff certifies that it has read and recommends to the Faculty

Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) and Applied

Sciences (AS) for acceptance a thesis entitled

TURBINE SYSTEMS

by

EMMANOUIL LYRAKIS

Master of Science Sustainable Energy Technology

V

VI

An electronic version of this thesis is available at http://repository.tudelft.nl/.

VII

VIII

Abstract

The extension of the reliability and hence the lifetime of the power converters used in wind

turbine systems gains growing interest given the potential to drive the costs further down.

This study conducts a detailed comparison among several suggested multilevel converter

topologies so as to investigate which converters achieve a more even distribution of the load

among their electronic components and consequently achieve an extended lifetime

expectancy. Additionally it analyzes a lot of factors that play a deteriorating or favorable role

in the fatigue of a multilevel power converter. The relevant research is being conducted

through simulations conducted with the help of Matlab and Simulink.

The course of this thesis consists of several processing steps: (a) the mechanical modelling of

the wind turbine (b) the electrical modelling of the generator and the converter (c) the

detailed analysis of the switching methods (d) the power loss analysis of the individual

components of each topology according to operation (e) the thermal modelling of these

components and (f) the lifetime estimation. The concept of the model relies on the analytical

approximation of the dynamic response of all the aforementioned parts to random generated

wind profiles. By utilizing the above tools a gradual transition is achieved from the initial wind

speed input to the electrical parameters of the generator and the converters, to the power

losses of the power semiconductors of each topology, to the temperature profile of the

devices and finally to the estimated consumed lifetime. At the end, provided the fatigue

estimations but also with the help of the data collected from the intermediate steps an

integrated comparison is performed regarding the reliability of the examined converter types.

Emmanouil Lyrakis

IX

X

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of Contents ............................................................................................................ XI

Acknowledgements........................................................................................................ XX

1 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1

1.2 The role of Power Electronics in modern Wind Turbines Systems ........................... 3

XI

Table of Contents

3.6 PWM switching strategy for the 3-level H-bridge converter .................................. 40

3.7 PWM switching strategy for the 3-level T-type converter ...................................... 43

XII

Table of Contents

Bibliography .................................................................................................................. 87

Generator-Side Converters.................................................................................................. 96

XIII

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1-1 Global cumulative installed wind energy capacity from 2000 to 2015 [1] .............. 1

Figure 1-2 Variable speed wind turbine with partial-scale power converter [2] ...................... 2

Figure 1-3 Variable speed wind turbine with full-scale power converter [2] ........................... 3

Figure 1-4 Distribution of failure rate and downtime for different parts in a wind turbine

system [5] .................................................................................................................................. 4

Figure 2-1 Two-level back-to-back voltage source converter for wind turbines [15] ............. 10

Figure 2-2 3-level NPC back-to-back converter for wind turbine [15] .................................... 11

Figure 2-3 Three-level Active Neutral Point Clamped back-to-back configuration ................ 12

Figure 3-1 Three-phase PWM waveforms for a 2-level VSC [22] ............................................ 17

Figure 3-2 Qualitative time division of voltage and current waveforms of a converter ......... 19

Figure 3-5 Sinusoidal PWM of 3-level NPC half-bridge converter, (a) Sr >0 , (b) Sr <0 ........... 23

Figure 3-7 Sinusoidal PWM-1 for 3L-ANPC converter, (a) Sr >0 , (b) Sr <0 ............................. 27

Figure 3-8 Sinusoidal PWM-2 for 3L-ANPC converter, (a) Sr >0 , (b) Sr <0............................. 29

Figure 3-9 PWM-DF strategy for 3L-ANPC converter, (a) Sr>0, (b) Sr<0 ................................. 32

Figure 3-10 PWM, switches states and output voltage of ALD strategy, (a) Sr > 0 stress-in mode,

(b) Sr < 0 stress-in mode, (c) Sr > 0 stress-out mode, (d) Sr < 0 stress-out mode. .................. 36

Figure 3-12 PWM strategy for 3L-HB converter, (a) Sr>0, (b) Sr<0 ......................................... 41

Figure 3-14 PWM strategy for 3L-T-type converter, (a) Sr>0, (b) Sr<0 ................................... 43

XIV

List of Figures

Figure 4-5 IGBT module broken down to its different component layers and substrates from

chip to heat sink ...................................................................................................................... 53

component .............................................................................................................................. 54

Figure 4-7 Modelling of the calculation of the on-state voltages for the IGBT and the diode 55

Figure 4-8 Modelling of the calculation of the conduction losses for IGBT (left) and diode (right)

................................................................................................................................................. 56

Figure 4-10 Calculation of switching power losses for IGBT and antiparallel diode ............... 58

Figure 4-15 Number of cycles to failure Nf as a function of temperature cycling ΔΤj and mean

junction temperature Tm ......................................................................................................... 62

Figure 5-1 Wind speed profile with an average wind speed of 8m/s ..................................... 65

Figure 5-2 Loss distribution of grid side converter topologies for wind speeds of 6, 8, 10 and

12m/s. Dcon and Dsw are the conduction and switching loss in diodes respectively, Tcon and

Tsw are the conduction and switching loss in the IGBT respectively...................................... 67

Figure 5-3 Loss distribution of generator side converter topologies for wind speeds of 6, 8, 10

and 12m/s................................................................................................................................ 70

Figure 5-4 The difference in the amount of power losses on the components between a

switching frequency of 8kHz (left) and a switching freequency of 2kHz (right) ..................... 73

Figure 5-5 Maximum mean temperatures of the converter topologies versus average wind

speed for generator-side converters....................................................................................... 76

Figure 5-6 Maximum amplitude of temperature cycle of each converter topology versus

average wind speed for generator-side converters ................................................................ 76

Figure 5-7 Maximum mean temperatures of the converter topologies versus average wind

speed for grid-side converters ................................................................................................ 77

Figure 5-8 Maximum amplitude of temperature cycle of each converter topology versus

average wind speed for generator-side converters ................................................................ 78

Figure 5-9 Consumed lifetime of the components of the tested back-to-back configurations

with color coding ..................................................................................................................... 80

XV

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 2-1 Comparison of the examined back-to-back configurations for wind turbines ....... 15

Table 3-4 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 2-level VSC conducts

................................................................................................................................................. 21

Table 3-8 Conducting components during function of the 3-level NPC converter ................. 24

Table 3-9 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level NPC converter

conducts .................................................................................................................................. 24

Table 3-10 Switching losses of components of the 3-level NPC converter ............................. 25

Table 3-11 Switches States of PWM-1 strategy of 3-level ANPC converter ............................ 26

Table 3-12 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-1 strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter .. 27

Table 3-13 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter forPWM-1

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 28

Table 3-15 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC

converter conducts during PWM-1 switching strategy ........................................................... 28

Table 3-16 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-1

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 29

Table 3-17 Switches States of PWM-2 strategy of 3-level ANPC converter ............................ 30

Table 3-18 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-2 strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter .. 30

Table 3-19 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-2

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 30

Table 3-21 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC

converter conducts during PWM-2 switching strategy .......................................................... 31

Table 3-22 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-2

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 31

XVI

List of Tables

Table 3-24 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-DF strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter 33

Table 3-25 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-

DF switching strategy .............................................................................................................. 34

Table 3-27 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC

converter conducts during PWM-DF switching strategy........................................................ 35

Table 3-28 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-DF

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 35

Table 3-29 Switches States of PWM-ALD strategy of 3-level ANPC converter ....................... 37

Table 3-30 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-DF strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter 37

Table 3-31 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-

ALD switching strategy ............................................................................................................ 38

Table 3-32 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC

converter conducts during PWM-ALD switching strategy ...................................................... 39

Table 3-33 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-ALD

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 39

Table 3-34 Switches States of PWM strategy of 3-level H-bridge converter .......................... 40

Table 3-35 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM strategy of the 3-level HB converter .......... 41

Table 3-36 Conducting components during function of the 3-level HB converter for PWM

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 42

Table 3-37 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level H-Bridge

converter conducts during PWM switching strategy ............................................................. 42

Table 3-38 Switching losses of components of the 3-level HB converter during PWM switching

strategy .................................................................................................................................... 42

Table 3-39 Switches States of PWM strategy of 3-level T-type converter .............................. 44

Table 3-40 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM strategy of the 3-level T-type converter .... 44

Table 3-41 Conducting components during function of the 3-level HB converter for PWM

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 44

Table 3-42 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level T-type

converter conducts during PWM switching strategy .............................................................. 45

Table 3-43 Switching losses of components of the 3-level T-type converter during PWM

switching strategy ................................................................................................................... 45

XVII

List of Tables

Table 5-1 Maximum consumed lifetime per converter topology for generator-side converters

................................................................................................................................................. 81

Table 5-2 Maximum consumed lifetime per converter topology for grid-side converters .... 81

XVIII

List of Symbols

List of Symbols

𝑉𝑑𝑐 DC-link voltage

𝐼𝑝ℎ Phase current

𝑉𝑜𝑢𝑡 Converter output voltage

𝑑1 … 𝑑6 Duty ratios

𝐸𝑠𝑤 Switching energy losses

𝑓𝑠 Switching frequency

𝐼𝑜𝑢𝑡 Converter output current

𝑓𝑣 Voltage frequency

𝑇𝑙𝑜𝑎𝑑 Load mechanical torque

𝜌 Air density

𝑣𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑 Wind speed

𝑐𝑝 Power coefficient of the wind turbine

𝐴 Frontal area of the wind turbine

𝜔𝑚 Mechanical rotational speed

𝜆 Tip speed ratio

𝑅 Radius of the rotor

𝑑𝑞 Generator stator voltage

𝑢̅𝑠

𝑅𝑠 Stator resistance

𝑑𝑞 Stator current

𝑖̅𝑠

𝑞

𝜆𝑑𝑠 , 𝜆𝑠 Flux linkage

𝑝 Pole pairs of the generator

𝐿𝑠 Stator inductance

𝐿𝑚 Magnetizing inductance

𝑑 , 𝑑𝑞

𝑑 Duty ratios at the dq-reference frame

𝑅𝑓 Filter resistance

𝐿𝑓 Filter inductance

𝐶𝑑𝑐 DC-link capacitance

𝑃𝑐𝑜𝑛 Conduction power losses

𝑢𝐶𝐸 On-state collector-emitter voltage

𝑢𝐹 On-state diode voltage

𝑟𝐶 Collector-emitter on-state resistance

𝑟𝐷 Diode on-state resistance

𝑢𝐶𝐸0 On-state zero-current collector-emitter voltage

𝑢𝐹0 On-state zero-current diode voltage

𝐴𝐶𝐸 , 𝐴𝐷 Curve fitted constants

𝑇𝐻 High reference temperature

𝑇𝐿 Low reference temperature

𝑇𝑗𝑇 IGBT junction temperature

𝑇𝑗𝐷 Diode junction temperature

𝐸𝑜𝑛𝑥 , 𝐸𝑜𝑓𝑓𝑥 Turn-on and turn-off energy losses

𝑃𝑠𝑤𝑇 , 𝑃𝑠𝑤𝐷 Switching power losses

𝑖𝑐𝑒 Collector-emitter current

𝑅𝑡ℎ Thermal Resistance

𝐶𝑡ℎ Thermal capacitance

𝑇𝑚 Mean junction temperature

𝛥𝑇𝑗 Amplitude of junction temperature cycle

𝑁𝑓 Number of cycles to failure

𝐿𝐶 Consumed lifetime

XIX

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr.Ir. Henk Polinder. The close

cooperation at every stage, the elaborate discussion on approaches but most importantly his

triggering comments were vital for the finalization of this thesis. In addition, I am thankful to

PhD. candidate Udai Shipurkar for his willingness to support my efforts to get across the

concept of this study and his tireless assistance throughout the whole course of this endeavor.

I want to also express my heartfelt gratitude to my family that supported my attempts during

my studies in DUT both economically but also psychologically. Finally special thanks go to my

dearest friends, colleagues and supporters Alvertos Maselis, Makis Gravanis and Christos

Tsiourakis for the strength that I have drawn from their selfless companionship.

XX

Introduction

1 Introduction

The modern world is intrinsically linked with the continuous supply of electrical energy.

Humanity has extensively based its function and routine to the standard of the uninterrupted

electrical power consumption that is being distributed through the electrical network. The

pillars of this power production, the modern power plants, even though they have served the

society well for many decades and have been a reliable solution, are to be gradually replaced

by more sustainable solutions. The fossil fuels price instability combined with the never ending

search for alternatives that will replace the depleting fossil fuel resources have pushed the

development of sustainable energy technologies forward. The necessity for reduction of the

CO2 emissions that has been one of the greatest challenges of this century is also a crucial

reason for the mankind to be directed to cleaner sources of energy.

Wind power, however unpredictable, has been proved to be a decisive factor for the energy

transition. This energy transition is the reason that is driving forward wind energy developers

and manufacturers to increase the installed capacity of wind power worldwide. The

cumulative wind power capacity has skyrocketed in the last few years. In Figure 1-1 it can be

seen that wind power reached at the end of 2015 a total installed capacity of 432 GW, almost

being doubled during the last 4 years [1].

Figure 1-1 Global cumulative installed wind energy capacity from 2000 to 2015 [1]

Through extensive research and development wind turbine manufacturers do not just manage

to constantly increase the total installed capacity, but also try constantly to improve power

production per wind turbine so that any relative costs will be reduced. These include the

manufacturing and installation costs of a wind turbine as well as maintenance costs that are

essential to keep the wind farms fully operational until the end of their lifetime.

1

Introduction

The technology used for the Wind Turbine Systems has evolved rapidly during the last years.

The development in power electronics has facilitated greatly the interconnection of the wind

turbines to the grid and can provide it with energy at the right frequency and voltage. The

different existent configurations are categorized by different concepts of generators,

converters and speed control. Among the wind turbine systems that have been established

during these years, the fixed speed wind turbine and the partial variable speed wind turbine

configuration are worth mentioning as important intermediate steps for the configurations

that are used nowadays. However these two are not any longer a part of the nowadays

industry. The two concepts that are broadly used and installed nowadays are:

the Variable Speed Wind Turbine with Full-Scale Power Converter

The variable speed wind turbine with partial-scale power converter has served well the

industry during the last years and is nowadays the most established application of wind

turbines. This wind turbine concept is usually combined with a gearbox and its components

can be standardized and mass produced and used by the manufacturers. The generator used

is a Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG), the stator windings of which are connected

directly to the grid, while its rotor windings are connected to the grid through a power

converter (Figure 1-2). This way, the power electronics converter that controls the generator

is not of full scale and depending on the generator its rating can vary from 1/4 to 1/3 of the

generator rating [2].

Figure 1-2 Variable speed wind turbine with partial-scale power converter [2]

Thus, the converter can provide partial power output regulation, improvement of the power

quality and limited grid support. The size of the converter understandably reduces significantly

the total cost of the wind turbine, restricts the power electronics losses and decreases the

total weight of the hub. These elements favor the use of this configurations against other ones

using a full scale power converter. On the other hand, the necessity for slip rings for the DFIG

and the poor power controllability in grid fault cases show that this configuration may be

gradually replaced by concepts that ensure a more reliable performance in the future [2].

2

Introduction

A configuration that is increasingly getting the spotlight for the new models of wind turbines

is one using a full-scale power converter between the grid and the generator. The generator

can be either an asynchronous or a synchronous, however the mostly used configuration is

the Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator. Frequently, the gearbox is omitted - direct

drive - or restricted to one stage in order to avoid the mechanical losses that it entails. This

feature together with the better control of speed and power, the improved grid support ability

and the elimination of the slip rings and brushes advocate the predominance of the PMSG

concept for the new bigger wind turbine models [2].

Figure 1-3 Variable speed wind turbine with full-scale power converter [2]

The reservations behind this concept are the availability of the permanent magnets as well as

the lack of standardized components and the rather large weight of the big generators that

are needed for the construction of these turbines.

During the last decades power electronics have revolutionized the industrial and domestic

scene and these advancements have accordingly benefited the connection of the wind turbine

systems to the grid, their efficiency and performance. Research on semiconductor

components have brought power electronics for wind turbines from the simple soft-starter to

the modern IGBT switch converter concepts. With the ratings of the switches being constantly

increased, industry has been able to develop full-scale power converters that offer full

controllability of the output power characteristics.

The need for wind turbine integration into the electrical grid has been greatly benefited by

power-electronic converters. Their utilization has enabled the development of variable speed

wind turbines and the maximization of power harnessing of the wind. [3]

Modern wind turbines in their majority use, regardless of the generator type, a back-to-back

concept of converters that are intermediately connected with a DC voltage link. This is done

so that the generator frequency can be decoupled from the frequency of the power grid. The

intermediate DC link consists of a series of capacitors that ensure a stable dc-link voltage. The

generator-side as well as the grid-side converter make use of IGBT switches that are switching

with a frequency of several kHz.

3

Introduction

Reliability performance is a great concern for the wind turbine systems. Failures of any kind

do not just cause major instability issues to the grid, but they also affect greatly the income of

the wind farm owners not only as a result of the loss of produced energy but also because

maintenance expenses become an additional burden to these companies. Especially for

offshore wind farms that are an emerging trend and their sizes tend to grow with fast rates,

maintenance times are longer, costs are significant and maintenance is not possible during

the whole year.

Field data suggest that the increase of the size of the wind turbines favor failures [4]. Looking

at Figure 1-4 as provided by [5], it can be observed that power electronics and control are two

weak links of the wind turbine system with the highest values for annual failure rates [5].

Figure 1-4 Distribution of failure rate and downtime for different parts in a wind turbine system [5]

Other reliability field studies agree on indicating power converters as a frequent source of

failure. In an evaluation of more than 31000 downtime events of pitch controlled, variable-

speed wind turbines, converters were reported to have caused 13% of the failures and were

responsible for the 18% of the downtime of these monitored turbines [6, 7]. Another case of

reliability study that looks into data of more than 6000 wind turbines in Denmark and

Germany concludes that from an annual rate of 0.2 failures per turbine, 1/5 to 1/7 of the

failure cases derive from power converter failures [6, 8].

Research on reliability is lately moving from the statistical approach to a physics based

approach that includes not only the statistics of failure but also the cause behind each failure.

Reason for that is that the statistical approaches have over the years proven to be too generic

and unsatisfactory [9]. When it comes to the reduction of the Cost of Energy (CoE), reliability

of turbines is a critical parameter. The drivetrain constitutes indisputably a decisive factor to

the frequency of failures occurrence [8] and power electronics prove to be a weak link in terms

of reliability.

design and cost driver for the wind turbine operators, especially of offshore wind turbine

parks. However, a crucial prerequisite for the addressing of this issue is to understand the

mechanisms and causes underlying the converter failures.

4

Introduction

An inclusive summary of the possible failure mechanisms is provided by [10] as researched

by [11]. The failure mechanisms that have been identified are divided into chip-related and

package-related and are reported briefly below. A general overview of common failure causes

in power electronics is given in Figure 1-5.

a) Electrical overstress

b) Latch-up and triggering of parasitic structures

c) Charge effects, ionic contamination or hot carrier injection

d) Electro-migration, contact- and stress-induced migration

e) Thermal activation

f) False triggering due to cosmic radiation

a) bond-wire lift-off

b) solder fatigue

c) degradation of thermal grease

d) fretting corrosion at pressure contacts

e) tin whiskers

Cleanliness

Electrical

-Migration

-Electr. overstress

-Insulation defects

-EMC

-Corrosion

- Condensation causing migration -Test conditions do not

and insulation defects especially in replicate real field conditions

presence of salt

-Tests do not cover

combination of stress factors

Failure

Temperature Components

-Thermomechanical stress due to -Early failures due to insufficient

CTE difference (bond-wire/solder- full operation burn-in

joint fatigue) -Insufficient derating

- Component aging/drift -Tin whisker formation on lead-

free solder

The two first package-related failure mechanisms, bond-wire lift-off and solder fatigue are

recognized as the two main failure mechanisms in power electronic modules. They both

originate from the temperature swings of the components as a result of the thermal loading

that is caused by the switching activity. The difference in thermal-expansion coefficients of

the materials used in these semiconductors cause cracks and delamination of the chips.

5

Introduction

Summarizing, power electronics and power converters are proved to be a common cause of

failure in modern wind turbines. Therefore, their reliability becomes a vital issue, and should

draw more attention since they play an important part in utility interfaces with renewable

energy sources [12]. Wind power is in any case considered to be one of the most demanding

application areas for power electronics. The varying torque of the generator, as a result of the

fluctuations of wind speed, causes variations in the electrical loading and subsequently

deteriorates the thermal cycling of the converters. The unpredictability of wind speed adds

up to the oddity of this load.

For that reason, power electronic manufacturers have tried during the last years to develop

power converter topologies with an extended reliability. That could as well mean the

designing of more complex topologies with more power electronic components that offer a

more evenly distributed loading of the power converter or even topologies that can sustain

faults and preserve their functioning ability. Since power electronics nowadays are the most

common drivers for generators and particularly wind turbines, it is believed that converters

with an increased reliability and therefore an extended lifetime will have as a result an

increase to the energy yield of these wind farms and a cost reduction for their operators.

In accordance with this assumption, this thesis investigates certain proposed multilevel

converter topologies. Its objective is to compare different multilevel converter topologies

according to their reliability based on simulation results. This assessment is developed based

on the power losses of each converter, their distribution throughout their components and

the impact that they have on the thermal behaviour of the power electronic components of

each converter. The study of the power loss and the thermal behaviour of the components

offers useful conclusions about their lifetime and the prospect of improving them.

1.6 Contribution

The selection of one group of converters (multilevel) with a common reference (same number

of levels) has as a result a comprehensive report of the available converter alternatives for

usage in wind turbine systems. This also offer a standard reference point for the conduction

of a valid comparison between them. What is expected from this project is to bring out the

advantages and drawbacks of the tested configurations during normal wind turbine operating

conditions. For that reason different modulation strategies and function routines are tried out

so that a complete image over the operation capabilities of each topology can be drawn.

The special contribution of this attempt lies therefore in the variety of the 3-level converter

topologies that have been included in this comparative study. These alternative configurations

are judged upon realistic wind turbine conditions. The added value of this thesis lies to the

fact that it examines the reliability of the power electronic components of the converters with

a physics based approach utilizing data and results of experimental measurements. Therefore

it is expected that unbiased by statistics conclusions are reached regarding the reliability and

lifetime of these converters.

6

Introduction

Initially, in Chapter 2 a short introduction on the studied topologies is given. Their main

characteristics along with their structural features are analyzed. The operation principals and

their specificities are clarified so that a solid base is set for further analysis. At the end of the

chapter a comparison of their key characteristics is provided.

After the initial description of the topologies that are tested, a detailed and thorough analysis

of the modulation and switching strategies of each converter is presented in Chapter 3. The

reason for that is to fully understand the logic behind the switching tactics of the different

topologies and to reach certain conclusions for the conduction and switching of each

component. This leads to valuable conclusions about the losses of each power electronic

component of the different topologies which is later used for the construction of the power

loss and thermal behaviour models.

Chapter 4 offers an insight into the methodology that is followed so that the necessary results

and conclusions can be extracted. The process is divided into individual steps of the method

followed and is analytically explained. Therefore the course from start to result is segmented

to smaller steps and analyzed. Special attention is given to the power loss and thermal

behaviour models. At the top of that, clarifications are provided regarding the manner some

of these techniques are translated and implemented in the constructed model.

Chapter 5 includes a brief description of the results of all the simulations conducted and

extracts some initial conclusions while Chapter 6 attempts to translate these results. Useful

conclusions are made based on the simulation results and it is investigated if and by how far

the objectives of this project have been met. At the end recommendations for future research

prospects are quoted.

7

Introduction

8

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

2.1 Introduction

The concept of the multilevel voltage source converters is a matter that has drawn the

attention of the power industry during the last years. Their application in the high power

industry has offered a remarkable improvement to power management and transmission. The

philosophy that lies behind their operation is based on the composition of the sinusoidal form

of output using multiple levels of DC voltage [13]. In this chapter the structural characteristics

of the examined converter topologies are briefly presented.

the classic 2-level voltage source converter (VSC). The range of multilevel converters starts

already from 3 levels and in theory can be extended to any (2n+1)-level topology. By going up

a level in a multilevel converter, the switch utilization (𝑃𝑜 /𝑃𝑇 ) increases, as the maximum

voltage that each switch has to sustain is decreased and consequently its rating can therefore

be decreased. Additionally, the output power quality is improved as the levels of voltage

increase and the need for filtering the output decreases. Consequently the total harmonic

distortion (THD) tends to get lower [3]. However the cost of the converter is increased because

of the additional power electronic components. Moreover, the PWM methods used by

converters of higher become more complicated and therefore add to the price. But beyond

the cost reservations, the critical question lies at whether the increase of levels in a power

converter makes the converter more reliable or less reliable. The decrease of power loading

and thus thermal loading per component can be said to be a favorable factor to the reliability

and lifetime of a converter. On the other hand the increase of the number of power electronic

components within a converter topology makes the circuit more susceptible to failure in

statistical terms.

For the purpose of this thesis the range of power-electronic converters that is investigated

includes different topologies and switching regimes of 3-level converters as well as the

classical 2-level converter.

The basic 2-level VSC topology is used as a reference model. Primarily because it still

represents the mainly used configuration in other power applications and expectedly every

candidate improvement has to be compared the most simple and basic building block of the

industry. Secondarily if the 2-level VSC can be regarded as the simplest multilevel converter

that comes before 3-level converter configurations then a comparison can be carried out

between the 2-level and the 3-level topologies. The outcome of this comparison can give a

generic yet useful conclusion regarding whether an increase in the levels of the converter

extends or decreases the reliability of a converter.

Furthermore, the different topologies of 3-level converters and the different switching

strategies that are looked into offer a comprehensive comparison of the 3-level converters.

Therefore, using a common basis among the converters which is the production 3 levels of

voltage as an output, the converters can be designed to have the same voltage and current

output and a valid comparison can then be conducted. The selection of 3-level converters

resides in the fact that 3-level converters seem to be the optimal tradeoff solution between

9

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

quality performance and increased manufacturing cost in high-power systems like the one of

the wind turbine [3].

The choice of these particular 3-level topologies is based on the fundamental question of this

thesis which is whether one of those 3-level topologies can achieve a longer lifetime and at

what cost. The topologies that are investigated are:

3-level active neutral-point-clamped (3L-ANPC) converter

3-level H-bridge converter (3L-HB)

3-level T-type converter (3L-T2C)

In the following subchapters a brief presentation of all the topologies under investigation is

given.

The 2-level voltage source converter or the half bridge converter is, as already stated, the

mostly used 3-phase power converter topology for power applications. Its advantage lies

within the relevant expertise on its standardized technology which offers ease of

manufacturing [14]. The 3-phase 2-level VSC is an AC-DC-AC converter with 2 unidirectional

IGBTs per phase [3]. The need for interconnection between the generator and the grid

commands that the converter is used both as an inverter and a rectifier in a back-to-back (BTB)

configuration with an intermediate DC-link. On the grid side the inverter is connected with a

transformer before the whole system is connected to the grid [14]. On both sides of the

configuration, a first order filter is connected. Each couple of IGBTs with their antiparallel

diodes represent a phase leg of the converter. The configuration can be seen in Figure 2-1 .

Figure 2-1 Two-level back-to-back voltage source converter for wind turbines [15]

The generator side converter allows power flow in both ways and connects the generator with

the dc-link. On the other side the grid side converter controls both active and the reactive

power flow to the grid and is the one that modulates the DC-link voltage.

The simplicity of its structure and the economy of material when it comes to its components

are the factors that evince this converter’s robustness and reliability [14]. The control of the

DC-link voltage level offers total manageability of the grid current [16]. On the other side, with

the power of the wind turbine systems increasing, the respective voltage and current levels

10

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

are growing as well. This leads to the increase of conduction and switching losses and

subsequently to lower lifetime expectancy.

As has been already mentioned, 3-level topologies are developed as a reasonable next step of

the 2-level voltage source converters as the latter are lacking the ability of handling the

increasing power of the wind turbine generators. The need for more switching devices to

share the load and for more voltage levels to improve the quality of power has made the

multilevel converters serious competitors in the wind turbine industry [14].

Figure 2-2 3-level NPC back-to-back converter for wind turbine [15]

Multilevel converters frequently use capacitors as DC voltage sources in series, to produce the

different output voltage levels. From the three different methods of interconnection between

those levels, diode clamped converters Diode Clamped Converters (DCC) is the one studied

within the limits of this thesis. The simplest DCC topology, the 3-level Neutral Point Clamped

Converter takes its name from the middle (neutral) point that create the capacitors of the DC-

link [17]. Its use is the most established among the multilevel converters. In many cases it even

allows the connection of the turbine to the grid without the presence of a step-up transformer

[18].

The 3-level NPC requires double the number of IGBTs of a 2-level converter and apart from

the antiparallel freewheeling diodes there are also the two additional diodes that clamp the

neutral point as can be seen in Figure 2-2. The purpose of existence of two diodes for the

provision of the neutral or zero state, is that the phase current establishes which diode is

utilized, as each one can cover only one direction of the current.

Even though the overall number of the power electronic components is higher, their voltage

rating is half compared to that of the 2-level converter topology. Indeed at all times during

proper function there are either two components that share the total voltage loading of the

dc-link or one switch that has to withstand half of the dc-link voltage. The fact that the

converter produces three levels of voltage and lower dv/dt stresses reduces the sizes of the

used filters [2]. The most important of its drawbacks is the uneven loss distribution among its

power components. The fact that only two diodes are used for the clamping of the neutral

point makes these diodes a potential weak point in the converter. Furthermore, the

fluctuation of the neutral point voltage is another disadvantage which has however seen

remarkable improvement after long research on this topic [14], [15].

11

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

The topology of the 3-level active neutral-point-clamped converter is derived from the 3-level

NPC one. The fundamental difference between them is that the 3-level ANPC topology has

two additional IGBT switches placed antiparallel to the two diodes that clamp the neutral

point [19]. The clamping of the neutral point is now made by active switches, hence the name

active neutral-point-clamped. The back-to-back configuration of the converter model that can

be utilized for wind turbine systems can be seen in Figure 2-3.

Its components, like in the 3-level NPC topology, have as minimum requirement a voltage

rating of Vdc 2 . However, the two active switches that replace the diodes give the topology

the capability of more than one ways of neutral point clamping. As a result the distribution of

the conduction losses can become more even compared to the 3 level NPC. With the use of

the right switching strategies the switching losses can also be restricted utilizing the variety of

the different commutations that are now available [18]. This additional feature of the ANPC

topology also gives the capability of many different switching strategies, theoretically as many

as the different valid commutation combinations.

The reason that seems to obstruct the extensive use and the establishment of the 3-level

ANPC topology in the market is the added costs compared to the already established

technologies. In the three phase back-to-back system the converter uses 24 IGBT modules

more than the 2-level VSC which imposes a remarkable increase of cost. Apart from that, the

additional gate drivers add remarkably to the complexity of the controller and affect adversely

the cost of the system. It should also be mentioned that by making use of a 3-level ANPC the

efficiency cannot improve compared to that of a 3-level NPC. The fact that in a 3-level system

at each moment one diode and active switch conducts, creates a standard minimum amount

of conduction and switching losses that is inevitable. What the 3-level ANPC offers as benefit

is thus not the reduction of losses but a more even distribution of them across the

components of each phase leg [20].

This feature plays an important role in a reliability study such as this. A basic principle of

reliability is that any system is as reliable as its weakest part or subsystem. A reduction in the

losses of a converter may improve the overall efficiency of the converter. However, as long as

12

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

these losses load the components unequally, the converter’s reliability is being identified as

the reliability of its most heavily loaded component. Unequal loading causes differences in the

thermal behaviour of the semiconductor devices hence a difference in their consumed

lifetime. That is the main reason that topologies that promise an even distribution among their

components are being investigated in this project.

The 3-level H-bridge consists of two single-leg converters or it can be said that it is the

combination of two half-bridge converters. As seen in Figure 2-4, it is also used in back-to-

back configuration in a wind turbine system. Its unique feature is that it needs only half of the

DC-link voltage to produce the same voltage output as any other 3-level converter [2].

However the switches it employs need to have a voltage rating equal to the total of the DC-

link voltage.

An advantage that the H-bridge topology offers is the equal distribution of losses among its

power electronic components [21]. Furthermore compared to the 3-level NPC converter the

diodes that clamp the neutral point are omitted as there is no longer need for a middle point

at the DC-link. That also eliminates the need of multiple DC-link capacitors that are necessary

to fix the middle point [22].

On the other hand, in a 3-phased 3-level H-bridge converter the absence of a neutral or

reference point dictates the use of open winding on both sides of the configuration. And even

though this feature isolates each phase from the others and automatically adds to the fault

tolerant ability of the topology, it certainly has some disadvantages. These include the cost

requirements that are created by the additional cable used as well as the extra inductance

and capacitance as a result of the added cable length [15]. The open-windings transformer

also decreases the level of efficiency of the overall system and adds-up to the weight and

volume of the configuration [23]. In addition to these, the need to block the zero sequence

current adds to the complexity of the configuration as particular components and control

methods need to be employed [15].

However the fact that the H-bridge converters end to an open winding, makes them suitable

candidates for modular generator windings which is a concept that gains more and more

attention lately. Concisely the stator windings are designed as modular parts of the generator

each of which can be separately connected to a converter. This could not only increase the

13

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

reliability of the system by sharing the generator load to more converter blocks but also

provide the system with fault tolerance. This is based on the fact that any failure to either a

part of the generator or one of the converters would not prohibit the overall function of the

turbine, but could be isolated by the rest of the system. The turbine could thus continue its

operation uninterrupted with a reduced production capability.

The 3-level T-type converter is a topology that combines the structural and operational

characteristics of the 2-level VSC and the 3-level NPC converter. Structurally, the 3-level T-

type converter can be considered a development of the 2-level VSC with an extension of one

bidirectional switch to clamp the neutral point of the DC-link as can be seen in Figure 2-5 [24].

In terms of material usage the T-type converter is one of the most economic topologies as

each phase leg includes 4 IGBT switches, only two more compared to the 2-level VSC. One

should add to that that the rating of these additional IGBT modules have half the rating of the

outer ones. On the other hand compared to the 3-level NPC converter, T-type employs two

less diodes per phase leg [25]. Already from that perspective it appears that the 3-level T-type

converter combines the advantages of the 2-level VSC with the ones of a 3-level converter

[24].

In a comparison with the 3-level NPC topology, the 3L-T2C shows remarkable efficiency for low

switching frequencies as well, as a result of its low conduction losses [24]. Additionally, it

employs less power electronic components compared to any other 3-level converter and its

switching and function principle is rather straight-forward and simple. At the same time,

compared to a 2-level converter the 3L-T2C has a 3-level voltage output reducing filtering

requirements. Moreover, its switching losses also show a considerable improvement

compared to the 2-level voltage source converter [25].

A unique feature of the T-type VSC is that it can employ switches of two different voltage

ratings. During its operation, its outer switches are called to block the full dc-link voltage,

similarly to a 2-level VSC and have to be designed and selected accordingly. The two middle

switches, on the other hand, share the voltage loading and thus can be designed to have half

the voltage rating of the two outer switches. The reduced blocking voltage capability of the

14

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

middle switches are the reason for the lower switching losses the restriction of the conduction

losses to an acceptable level, even though the current passes through two switches in series

[26].

In order to offer a rather integrated image of the configurations under examination of

converters for wind turbine systems an initial comparison is put together. This comparison is

summarized in Table 2-1.

Table 2-1 Comparison of the examined back-to-back configurations for wind turbines

Types of

1 1 1 1 2

Switches

IGBTs number 12 24 36 24 24

Diodes number 12 36 36 24 24

DC-link voltage Vdc Vdc Vdc Vdc 2 Vdc

Switch voltage Vdc (12),

Vdc Vdc 2 Vdc 2 Vdc 2

rating Vdc 2 (12)

Switch current I ph I ph I ph I ph I ph

rating

12 Vdc I ph 12 Vdc I ph 18 Vdc I ph 12 Vdc I ph 18 Vdc I ph

Switch Net

Rating

12 Vdc I ph 18 Vdc I ph 18 Vdc I ph 12 Vdc I ph 18 Vdc I ph

Diode Net

Rating

Fault tolerance No No No Yes No

Output

Standard Standard Standard Open-winding Standard

Connection

PWM-1,PWM-2,

PWM Methods Bipolar-PWM PD-PWM PWM-DF, Unipolar-PWM PD-PWM

PWM-ALD

Half DC-link

Good

Most used voltage needed,

Mature Improved loss efficiency,

Advantages technology, No need for

Technology distribution Less power

Economical intermediate DC

components

points

Need for neutral Complex Needs more

Extensive Zero-sequence

DC-point, controller, switches for

Disadvantages losses on two current blocking,

Unequal loss Expensive, middle

components Longer Cables

distribution Same efficiency voltages

From this initial comparison several things stand out from first sight. It should be clarified at

this point that this comparison is aimed for configurations that offer the same power output

towards the grid. From the examined configurations only 3L-T2C employs more than one type

of switches in terms of power rating with half of the switches being rated for half the DC-link

voltage and the rest of the switches for the total of 𝑉𝑑𝑐 . The 3-level ANPC converter utilizes

the most power electronic components compared to all other 3-level converters with 6

15

Multilevel Power Electronic Converters

switches per phase leg. Moreover, even though the NPC configuration has the same number

of diodes due to the two clamping diodes per phase leg, there are two less IGBT switches per

phase leg compared to the ANPC converter topology.

Additionally, from the examined converters only the H-bridge can produce the same output

with half voltage across the DC-link. This is constitutes a significant advantage taking into

consideration that the power rating of the capacitors that have to be employed for the dc-link

reduces to half, decreasing thus cost. Regarding the total power rating of the components, it

is at its highest in the ANPC and T-type converters. In the first because of the number of its

components and in the second because of its need to use half of the switches with a higher

voltage rating. Finally, as far as the output connection is concerned, the H-bridge topology is

the only one that does not interconnect with the standard connection but utilizes an open

winding connection which equips the topology with fault-tolerance capability.

In general, it is observed that when it comes to the converter net power rating of the

semiconductor devices there are no significant differences among the described converter

topologies. That indicates that there are no major cost differences at least regarding the

power electronics, from converter to converter. As a result an almost common reference basis

is created upon the different examined topologies can be evaluated according to their

reliability.

16

Converter Performance characteristics

In the previous chapter, basic knowledge and comprehension is developed around the basic

characteristics and structural features of different converter topologies. Nevertheless, in

order for a detailed representation of the converter losses to be realized the switching

strategies of these converters have to be analyzed. In this chapter, a thorough investigation

on the particularities of each switching technique offers an insight to the power losses

distribution among the power electronic components.

converters

The most common control strategy for a 2-level VS converter but also for most of the

multilevel converters is the pulse width modulation technique (PWM). In PWM a control signal

is constantly is compared to a switching-frequency triangular waveform resulting in the

generation of the switching signals. In a three-phase inverter the same triangular waveform is

compared with three sinusoidal control voltages with a phase difference of 120o between

them. The line-to-line voltage is the outcome of the subtraction of one phase voltage from

the other [22].

In Figure 3-1 the relevant waveforms are being presented for the case of a 2-level voltage

source converter. The produced output voltage waveforms are drawn given the fact that the

ground reference of the voltages is connected to the bottom part of the dc link of the

converter. As a consequence the output voltage contains a dc-component. If the reference is

connected to the middle point of the DC-link (provided that two capacitors could distribute

17

Converter Performance characteristics

the DC voltage equally) then the voltage output is of sinusoidal form with a mean value of

zero. This clarification is necessary for the comparison of the 2-level VSC with the multilevel

converter topologies that follow. The phase voltage of the converter is essentially configured

by the duty ratio of the IGBT switches of each phase. Therefore the duty ratio is regulated so

that it can produce the desired output which in the case of the generator side converter is

adjusted to the generator output. At the grid-side converter the produced voltage must be

regulated with the required input voltage requirements of the transformer.

For the conduction and switching losses to be calculated, the function routine of the converter

must be divided to discrete time intervals. According to these time intervals, the fraction of

each period during each component conducts is determined. This is a very important

prerequisite so that according to the conduction and the switching routine of the components

of each converter, a representative power loss model can be built. To reach to the desired

result and conclusion over the conduction time interval of each switch, three different criteria

of time division and discretization are used in this paper:

The first way of time discretization and division of the power output is dependent on the

voltage waveform. According to this criterion a period is divided to two halves. The time

interval during which the voltage output is larger than zero (or above the average voltage

value) is referred to as positive cycle and the time interval during which the voltage is lower

than zero (or below the average voltage value) is from now on called negative cycle.

Each one of those the two voltage cycles is characterized by a different series of occurrences

or “states”. A state represents a unique combination of statuses of the converter switches

that can occur during a voltage period. Each different valid combination of turned-on and off

IGBT switches composes a state. Those states usually occur in a specific alternation sequence

that produces the output voltage. In many cases, certain states occur only during a particular

half of a voltage cycle, but it also happens that a state can occur in both positive and negative

cycle.

The third criterion is the current direction. Current in power converters is not always in phase

with the voltage. Especially in wind turbines where the power factor is rarely equal to 1 and

reactive power plays an important role, there is almost always a phase difference between

the waveforms of voltage and current as can be seen in Figure 3-2. Apart from that, power

converters are bidirectional power devices. In multilevel converters the IGBT switches ensure

the continuous conduction by providing the capability of bidirectional power flow with the

help of the antiparallel diodes. This means that when an IGBT switch is turned on, either the

switch or the respective antiparallel diode is conducting in accordance with the current

direction.

18

Converter Performance characteristics

positive and negative current time intervals,

Figure 3-2 Qualitative time division of voltage and current waveforms of a converter

The 2-level VSC, as its name dictates, can produce only two voltage levels (𝑉𝑑𝑐 and 0) and the

total current passes through one component at each moment. The duty cycles of the 2

switches are complementary which means that the sum of their duty cycles is always equal to

1. Additionally the topology of the converter is symmetrical which means that their duty cycles

are characterized by the same pattern with a phase difference of half a period or 180o. In

terms of power losses and thermal loading the components of the upper half of the converter

is expected to be equally loaded with the ones of the lower half. During the positive cycle, the

duty ratio of the upper switch is higher than the corresponding of the lower switch and during

the negative cycle the inverse occurs. The converter, therefore, produces the sinusoidal half

of the output with voltage values above the mean value 𝑉𝑑𝑐 /2. It is then self-explanatory

that in order for the lower half of the output to be produced the exact same switching pattern

is followed by the lower switch of the topology.

For the calculation of the conduction and switching losses the procedure that is mentioned in

paragraph 3.2 must first take place. When the conduction time intervals of each switch are

found, then its switching and conduction losses can be expressed as a function of its

conduction time. In Table 3-1 the two switch states of the 2-level VSC are listed with reference

to the switches as presented in Figure 3-3 together with the corresponding output phase

voltage. For this calculation, the dc-component of the output voltage is omitted for the sake

of simplicity of reference.

19

Converter Performance characteristics

State Vout S1 S2

P Vdc 2 1 0

N Vdc 2 0 1

During the positive cycle the duty ratio of the switches as a function of voltage output

is given by equations (3-1)-(3-3).

Vdc V

Vout d1 d 2 dc (3-1)

2 2

Vout

1

Vdc 2 (3-2)

d1

2

d 2 1 d1 (3-3)

During the negative cycle the duty ratio of the switches as a function of voltage output

is given by equations (3-4) and (3-5).

Vout

1

Vdc 2 (3-4)

d2

2

d1 1 d 2 (3-5)

where d1 and d 2 are the duty ratios of switches S1 and S2. Table 3-2 summarizes the duty ratios

of the switches of the converter.

20

Converter Performance characteristics

Vout Vout

1 1

Vdc 2 Vdc 2

d1 d2

2 2

d 2 1 d1 d1 1 d 2

If all the different possible combinations of the three available criteria are listed as done in

Table 3-3, then the voltage period of conduction can be broken down to all the different

eventualities. Analyzing these with the help of the circuit of Figure 3-3 a list of all the

conducting components at each time interval can be made.

Table 3-3 Conducting components during function of 2-level VSC

Conducting

State Current

Components

P I out 0 S1

P I out 0 D1

N I out 0 S2

N I out 0 D2

In Table 3-3 the cycle is omitted as the same states (P and N) occur both in positive and

negative cycle. In other words, the voltage period consists of a continuous alternation

between P and N state. What changes from positive to negative voltage cycle is the duty ratios

of the switches that define the duration of states P and N. However this is not the case for the

rest of the multilevel converters. It should be stated, at this point, that when the current

direction is from the dc-link towards the output of the converter, the output current is taken

as positive.

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. This can be realized

with the help of the duty ratios of the switches and the current direction of the converter. The

duty ratios of the switches serve both as quantitative variables and parts of Boolean

conditions. The current direction is as well used as a means of segregation between the time

intervals that the switches are on and the IGBTs conducting and the period fractions that the

switches are on but their antiparallel diodes conduct. Therefore the part of each period that

each component conducts is summarized in Table 3-4.

Table 3-4 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 2-level VSC conducts

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d1 Ts D1 I out 0 d1 Ts

S2 I out 0 d 2 Ts D2 I out 0 d 2 Ts

Regarding the switching frequency of the components of the 2-level VSC, the calculation is

quite straight-forward, as both switches switch on and off during a switching period. However

switching losses occur only at the component which is conducting. Therefore, the current

21

Converter Performance characteristics

direction decides whether the switching losses occur at the diode or the switch. It has to be

mentioned that transition from IGBT conduction to antiparallel diode conduction can be

considered as soft switching, as the current becomes zero during this transition. If Esw is the

energy loss that is dissipated during a switch-on and off of a component, then the switching

losses are given in Table 3-5.

Table 3-5 Switching losses of components of 2-level VSC

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 f s Esw D1 I out 0 f s Esw

S2 I out 0 f s Esw D2 I out 0 f s Esw

In Table 3-5 𝑓𝑠 is the switching frequency, while (𝐼𝑜𝑢𝑡 > 0) and (𝐼𝑜𝑢𝑡 < 0) are Boolean

expressions that are equal to 1 if they apply and equal to 0 if not.

As already stated, the 3-level NPC converter apart from the “P” and “N” states introduces a

“zero” or “0” state as well. In this topology this state is unique and can be acquired from only

one combination of switches turned on and off. All the available commutation states are listed

in Table 3-6. The PWM switching pattern and sequence of states are depicted in Figure 3-5. Sr

is the sinusoidal output voltage reference modulation signal generated from the current-loop

controller that is compared to the triangular wave.

The zero state both in the positive and negative cycle is being acquired by switching on

switches S2 and S3. The inductive load current direction is the factor that determines which

path is followed in its conduction [19]. For each current direction there is one unique path for

the current to follow and that is due to the existence of the diodes that prohibit conduction

towards reverse bias. Positive state is given from turning on switches S1 and S2 and the

negative state from S3 and S4 respectively. From Figure 3-5 it is concluded that during the

positive cycle an alternation between the positive “P” and zero “0” state. During the negative

cycle the same alternation occurs between the negative and zero state. S2 stays ON during the

positive cycle as it conducts during both occurring states. The same happens with its

22

Converter Performance characteristics

symmetrical switch S3 during the negative cycle. That means that any switching losses burden

only the outer switches S1 and S4 during the positive and negative cycle correspondingly. With

increasing frequency this unequal distribution of losses deteriorates [18].

Table 3-6 Switches States of 3-level NPC converter

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4

P Vdc 2 1 1 0 0

0 0 0 1 1 0

N Vdc 2 0 0 1 1

Figure 3-5 Sinusoidal PWM of 3-level NPC half-bridge converter, (a) Sr >0 , (b) Sr <0

Taking into consideration Figure 3-5 and Table 3-6 then for the 3-level NPC converter the duty

ratios of the switches for both positive and negative cycle of the converter are listed in Table

3-7.

Table 3-7 Duty ratios of switches of the 3-level NPC converter

Vout

d1 d1 0

Vdc 2

d2 1 d2 1 d4

d3 1 d1 d3 1

Vout

d4 0 d4

Vdc 2

In Table 3-7 𝑑1 , 𝑑2 , 𝑑3 , 𝑑4 are the duty ratios of switches S1 – S4. Again all the different possible

combinations of the three discretization criteria are listed in Table 3-8. Analyzing these with

23

Converter Performance characteristics

the help of the circuit of Figure 3-4 a list of all the conducting components at each time interval

is made.

Table 3-8 Conducting components during function of the 3-level NPC converter

Positive P I out 0 S1 S2

Positive P I out 0 D1 D2

0 I out 0 S2 D5

0 I out 0 S3 D6

Negative N I out 0 D3 D4

Negative N I out 0 S3 S4

It can be seen that during positive cycle 𝑑4 = 0 and during negative cycle 𝑑1 = 0. It would be,

therefore, valid if in order to refer to the cycles, these equations are used as Boolean

expressions. Additionally the conducting dividend of the period has to be determined also for

the two additional diodes D5 and D6. These conduct only during zero state and according to

the current direction. Thus, their “duty ratio” can be defined as the time intervals in which

zero state occurs and the current is towards their forward bias direction.

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can again be determined. Therefore the

part of each period that each component conducts is being summarized in Table 3-9.

Table 3-9 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level NPC converter conducts

Switches:

S1 d 4 0 I out 0 d1 Ts

S2 d 4 0 I out 0 d1 0 I out 0 d 2 Ts

S4 d1 0 I out 0 d 4 Ts

Diodes:

D1 d 4 0 I out 0 d1 Ts

D2 d 4 0 I out 0 d1 Ts

D3 d1 0 I out 0 d 4 Ts

D4 d1 0 I out 0 d 4 Ts

D5 d 4 0 I out 0 d 3 d1 0 I out 0 d 2 Ts

24

Converter Performance characteristics

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. The switching losses for a 3-level NPC converter are given in Table

3-10.

Table 3-10 Switching losses of components of the 3-level NPC converter

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw D1 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw

S2 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw D2 f v Esw

S3 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw D3 f v Esw

S4 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw D4 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw

D5 I out 0 f s Esw

D6 I out 0 f s Esw

In Table 3-10 expressions like 𝑑4 = 0 are Boolean expressions that are equal to 1 if they apply

and equal to 0 if not. 𝑓𝑣 is the voltage frequency.

The multiple combinations that the ANPC converter can employ to achieve zero state give also

multiple possibilities for switching strategies. As has already been mentioned, the total

conduction and switching losses of the ANPC topology cannot at any case be much less than

the conduction losses of the NPC topology. Therefore the strategies that are chosen to be

studied have as an ultimate purpose the even distribution of the conduction losses among the

power electronic components of the converter. Some of them attempt a slight decrease of

switching losses on certain components. However, the amount of total losses among the

different 3-level topologies and among the different strategies appears to be almost the same.

The different switching strategies that are studied are the most common among the most

used ones. In the paragraphs that follow four of them are analyzed.

In strategy PWM-1 as it is referred in [19] the switches of the topology can be divided in two

groups according to their switching frequency. The outer switches S1 and S4 (Figure 3-6) along

with the switches that clamp S5 and S6 the neutral point switch on and off at a higher frequency

whereas the inner switches switch at a lower frequency. This occurs because the inner

switches (and their respective diodes) stay on or off during the extent of each cycle and

therefore the switching frequency of those switches is the voltage frequency.

25

Converter Performance characteristics

In Figure 3-7 the PWM-1 strategy is displayed where Sr is the reference voltage that is

compared to the triangular carrier waves. P and N switching states continue to produce 𝑉𝑑𝑐 /2

and −𝑉𝑑𝑐 /2 voltage levels respectively since the reference voltage is taken from the neutral

point. For these two states the components that conduct are the same with the NPC

converter. This can be validated from Table 3-11.

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6

P Vdc 2 1 1 0 0 0 0

+

0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

0- 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

N Vdc 2 0 0 1 1 0 0

However from Figure 3-7 and Table 3-11 it is obvious that there are two different zero states,

0+ and 0-, that are employed at different half cycles of a voltage period and are achieved by a

different combination of switches. For 0+ S2 and S5 have to be turned on while for 0- S3 and S6

must be turned on. At this point the additional feature of the ANPC converter is already visible

as IGBT modules 5 and 6 that have replaced the diodes of NPC converter can conduct the load

current in both directions.

26

Converter Performance characteristics

Figure 3-7 Sinusoidal PWM-1 for 3L-ANPC converter, (a) Sr >0 , (b) Sr <0

Taking into account the above then for the PWM-1 strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter the

duty ratios of the switches for both positive and negative cycle of the converter are listed in

Table 3-12.

Table 3-12 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-1 strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter

Vout

d1 d1 0

Vdc 2

d2 1 d2 0

d3 0 d3 1

Vout

d4 0 d4

Vdc 2

d5 1 d1 d5 0

d6 0 d6 1 d 4

In Table 3-12, 𝑑1 , 𝑑2 , … , 𝑑6 are the duty ratios of switches S1 – S6. All the different possible

combinations of the three discretization criteria are listed in Table 3-13. Analyzing these with

the help of the circuit of Figure 3-6 a list of all the conducting components at each time interval

is made.

27

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-13 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter forPWM-1 switching strategy

Positive P I out 0 S1 S2

Positive P I out 0 D1 D2

Positive 0+ I out 0 S2 D5

Positive 0+ I out 0 S5 D2

Negative 0- I out 0 S6 D3

Negative 0- I out 0 S3 D6

Negative N I out 0 D3 D4

Negative N I out 0 S3 S4

It can be seen that during positive cycle 𝑑4 = 0 and during negative cycle 𝑑1 = 0. It would be,

therefore, valid if in order to refer to the cycles, these equations are used as Boolean

expressions. With the same philosophy, in order to be able to refer to the conduction dividend

of each state during a cycle Table 3-14 is also constructed.

Table 3-14 Conduction dividend of each state of strategy PWM-1

N d4

0- d1 0 d 6

0+ d 4 0 d5

P d1

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. Therefore the part of

each period that each component conducts during PWM-1 is being summarized in Table 3-15.

Table 3-15 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC converter conducts during

PWM-1 switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d1 Ts D1 I out 0 d1 Ts

S2 I out 0 d 2 Ts D2 I out 0 d 2 Ts

S3 I out 0 d3 Ts D3 I out 0 d3 Ts

S4 I out 0 d 4 Ts D4 I out 0 d 4 Ts

S5 I out 0 d5 Ts D5 I out 0 d5 Ts

S6 I out 0 d6 Ts D6 I out 0 d6 Ts

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. The switching losses for the PWM-1 switching strategy of the 3-level

ANPC converter are given in Table 3-16.

28

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-16 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-1 switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw D1 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw

S2 f v Esw D2 f v Esw

S3 f v Esw D3 f v Esw

S4 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw D4 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw

S5 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw D5 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw

S6 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw D6 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw

In Table 3-16 f v is the voltage frequency of the output of the converter.

In strategy PWM-2 which is also referred in [19], the switches of the topology can again be

divided in two groups according to their switching frequency. This time only the inner switches

S2 and S3 (Figure 3-6) switch a higher frequency whereas the rest of the switches switch at the

voltage frequency.

Figure 3-8 Sinusoidal PWM-2 for 3L-ANPC converter, (a) Sr >0 , (b) Sr <0

What is characteristic of this switching strategy is that at each state there is a switch that is

turned on but is not conducting therefore not actively contributing to the modulation of the

output. This is done so that the switching losses of certain switches can be avoided during

certain commutations. Therefore, at each moment in time three switches are on, the two

conducting and one spare that is about to switch on during the next commutation. With the

help of Table 3-17 and Figure 3-8 it can be seen that at the alternation between states P and

0+ of the positive cycle, S5 stays on during P state, so that when commutation P0+ occurs

29

Converter Performance characteristics

that utilizes switch S5 no switching losses affect this switch. At each commutation there is

therefore a switch that is not subjected to switching losses.

Table 3-17 Switches States of PWM-2 strategy of 3-level ANPC converter

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6

P Vdc 2 1 1 0 0 0 1

0+ 0 1 0 1 0 0 1

0- 0 0 1 0 1 1 0

N Vdc 2 0 0 1 1 1 0

According to that strategy all states are being achieved by different combinations of switches

on and off. Conclusively that is the very reason that four out of the six switches of the topology

have a switching frequency equal to the voltage frequency. Taking into consideration the

above then for the PWM-2 strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter the duty ratios of the

switches for both positive and negative cycle of the converter are listed in Table 3-18.

Table 3-18 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-2 strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter

d1 1 d1 0

Vout

d2 d2 1 d3

Vdc 2

V

d3 1 d2 d3 out

Vdc 2

d4 0 d4 1

d5 0 d5 1

d6 1 d6 0

In Table 3-18, 𝑑1 , 𝑑2 , … , 𝑑6 are the duty ratios of switches S1 – S6. All possible combinations of

the three discretization criteria are listed in Table 3-19 .

Table 3-19 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-2 switching strategy

Positive P I out 0 S1 S2 S6

Positive P I out 0 D1 D2 S6

Positive 0+ I out 0 S6 D3 S1

Positive 0 +

I out 0 S3 D6 S1

Negative 0- I out 0 S2 D5 S4

Negative 0- I out 0 S5 D2 S4

Negative N I out 0 D3 D4 S5

Negative N I out 0 S3 S4 S5

30

Converter Performance characteristics

Analyzing these with the help of the circuit of Figure 3-6 a list of all the conducting components

at each time interval is made. With grey color the components that are turned on but are not

conducting are marked.

It can be seen that during positive cycle 𝑑4 = 0 and during negative cycle 𝑑1 = 0. It would be,

therefore, valid if in order to refer to the cycles, these equations are used as Boolean

expressions. With the same principle, in order to be able to refer to the conduction dividend

of each state during a cycle Table 3-20 is constructed.

Table 3-20 Conduction dividend of each state of strategy PWM-2

N d1 0 d3

0- d1 0 d 2

0+ d 4 0 d3

P d4 0 d2

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. Therefore the part of

each period that each component conducts during PWM-2 is being summarized in Table 3-21.

Table 3-21 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC converter conducts during

PWM-2 switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d 4 0 d 2 Ts D1 I out 0 d 4 0 d 2 Ts

S2 I out 0 d 2 Ts D2 I out 0 d 2 Ts

S3 I out 0 d3 Ts D3 I out 0 d3 Ts

S4 I out 0 d1 0 d3 Ts D4 I out 0 d1 0 d3 Ts

S5 I out 0 d1 0 d 2 Ts D5 I out 0 d1 0 d 2 Ts

S6 I out 0 d 4 0 d3 Ts D6 I out 0 d 4 0 d3 Ts

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. As it has already been discussed, all other components apart from S2

and S3 have a switching frequency equal to the voltage frequency of the converter. The

switching losses for the PWM-2 switching strategy of a 3-level ANPC converter are given in

Table 3-22.

Table 3-22 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-2 switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 f v Esw D1 f v Esw

S2 I out 0 f s Esw D2 I out 0 f s Esw

S3 I out 0 f s Esw D3 I out 0 f s Esw

S4 f v Esw D4 f v Esw

S5 f v Esw D5 f v Esw

S6 f v Esw D6 f v Esw

31

Converter Performance characteristics

The third proposed switching strategy for ANPC as proposed by [19] and [27] and mentioned

by [18] proposes a different PWM technique compared to the already analyzed PWM-1 and

PWM-2 but at the same time it is a combination of them. In this PWM strategy the output

phase voltage has an apparent switching frequency that is double the switching frequency,

even though all switches do not switch more than once per switching period. This feature

enables this switching strategy to produce the same output as any other ANPC PWM strategy

with only half of the switching frequency that would normally be used. For this particular

reason this switching strategy is referred to as PWM-DF (double frequency) as the

commutation sequences cause a natural doubling of the apparent switching frequency [18],

[19].

As seen in Figure 3-9 the reference voltage signal Sr is now compared with two different

carrier waves which have a phase difference of Ts 2 . This feature increases the number of

possible states as the switches can switch according to the comparison between the reference

voltage and either one of the two carrier waves. Indeed in this switching strategy there are

four different zero states 01-, 02-, 01+ and 02+ as can be seen in Table 3-23. 01-, 02- are only

obtained during the negative cycle and 01+ and 02+ during the positive cycle.

Figure 3-9 PWM-DF strategy for 3L-ANPC converter, (a) Sr>0, (b) Sr<0

This switching strategy as well has some additional switches on during some of the states to

avoid switching losses during commutations. Thus, at P state S1 and S2 switches are on to

conduct the load current and S6 is also on so that the switching losses of the commutation

P02+ are avoided. In 02+ the same happens with switch S1. However in state 02+ only the two

necessary switches for the conduction are on, since it is not needed to switch on spare

switches in order to avoid losses. The on and off states of the switches are listed in Table 3-23.

32

Converter Performance characteristics

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6

P Vdc 2 1 1 0 0 0 1

01+ 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

02+ 0 1 0 1 0 0 1

01- 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

02- 0 0 1 0 1 1 0

N Vdc 2 0 0 1 1 1 0

The improvement of static conversion for reference voltage values close to the zero is an

additional advantage of the PWM-DF strategy. The operation of the converter does not get

affected by the dead times for 𝑆𝑟 ≅ 0, because the commutations involve different couples

of switches [19]. According to Figure 3-9 it can be deduced that during the positive cycle the

duty ratio of the switches as a function of voltage output is given by equations (3-6)-(3-8).

Vdc

Vout d1 d3 (3-6)

2

d3 d5 1 d1 (3-7)

Vout

1

Vdc 2 (3-8)

d1

2

The same applies for 𝑑4 during the negative cycle. The rest of the duty ratios of the switches

for both positive and negative cycle of the converter are given by Table 3-24.

Table 3-24 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-DF strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter

V

1 out

Vdc 2 d1 0

d1

2

d2 d1 d2 1 d4

d3 1 d1 d3 d 4

V

1 out

d4 0 d4 Vdc 2

2

d5 1 d1 d5 d 4

d6 d1 d6 1 d 4

In Table 3-24, 𝑑1 , 𝑑2 , … , 𝑑6 are the duty ratios of switches S1 – S6. All the different possible

combinations of the three discretization criteria are listed in Table 3-25 . Analyzing these with

the help of the circuit of Figure 3-6 a list of all the conducting components at each time interval

is made. With grey color the components that are turned on but are not conducting are

marked.

33

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-25 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-DF switching strategy

Positive P I out 0 S1 S2 S6

Positive P I out 0 D1 D2 S6

Positive 01+ I out 0 S2 D5 -

Positive 01+ I out 0 S5 D2 -

Positive 02+ I out 0 S6 D3 S1

Positive 02+ I out 0 S3 D6 S1

Negative 01- I out 0 S6 D3 -

Negative 01- I out 0 S3 D6 -

Negative 02- I out 0 S2 D5 S4

Negative 02- I out 0 S5 D2 S4

Negative N I out 0 D3 D4 S5

Negative N I out 0 S3 S4 S5

It can be seen that during positive cycle 𝑑4 = 0 and during negative cycle 𝑑1 = 0. It would be,

therefore, valid if in order to refer to the cycles, these equations are used as Boolean

expressions. With the same principle, in order to be able to refer to the conduction dividend

of each state during a cycle Table 3-26 is constructed.

Table 3-26 Conduction dividend of each state of strategy PWM-DF

N d1 0 d 4 d 2

01- d1 0 d 6

02- d1 0 d 2

01+ d 4 0 d5

02+ d 4 0 d3

P d 4 0 d1 d3

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. Therefore the part of

each switching period that each component conducts during PWM-DF is being summarized in

Table 3-27.

34

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-27 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC converter conducts during

PWM-DF switching strategy

Switches:

S1 d 4 0 d1 d3 I out 0 Ts

S2 d 4 0 d5 d 4 0 d1 d 3 d1 0 d 2 I out 0 Ts

S3 d 4 0 d3 d1 0 d 4 d 2 d1 0 d 6 I out 0 Ts

S4 d1 0 d 4 d 2 I out 0 Ts

S5 d 4 0 d 5 d1 0 d 2 I out 0 Ts

S6 d 4 0 d 3 d1 0 d 6 I out 0 Ts

Diodes:

D1 d 4 0 d1 d3 I out 0 Ts

D2 d 4 0 d5 d 4 0 d1 d 3 d1 0 d 2 I out 0 Ts

D3 d 4 0 d3 d1 0 d 4 d 2 d1 0 d 6 I out 0 Ts

D4 d1 0 d 4 d 2 I out 0 Ts

D5 d 4 0 d 5 d1 0 d 2 I out 0 Ts

D6 d 4 0 d 3 d1 0 d 6 I out 0 Ts

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. The switching losses for the PWM-DF switching strategy of a 3-level

ANPC converter are given in Table 3-22.

Table 3-28 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-DF switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 d 4 0 I out 0 f s Esw D1 d 4 0 I out 0 f s Esw

S2 I out 0 f s Esw D2 I out 0 f s Esw

S3 I out 0 f s Esw D3 I out 0 f s Esw

S4 d1 0 I out 0 f s Esw D4 d1 0 I out 0 f s Esw

S5 I out 0 f s Esw D5 I out 0 f s Esw

S6 I out 0 f s Esw D6 I out 0 f s Esw

All the aforementioned switching strategies attempt to distribute the losses evenly but even

so the switching losses of the converter are concentrated either on the outer or the inner

switches. In [18] a new PWM strategy is proposed that promises to even out any differences

in the losses distribution between the switches.

In the ALD ANPC strategy an additional signal is produced on top of the usual reference voltage

signal Sr. PWM modulation voltage signal Sr’ (Figure 3-10) is the result of the addition of a

signal Sradd synchronous to the original reference voltage signal Sr. This creates a signal Sr’ that

is synchronized with Sr but its amplitude is slightly increased. Therefore if a switch uses as a

modulation signal Sr’ instead of Sr, it is easily understood that its switching behaviour changes.

During the positive cycle the switch switches-on earlier, switches-off later and its duty ratio

35

Converter Performance characteristics

hence increases. During the negative cycle the exact opposite occurs, with the switch

switching-on later and switching-off earlier than it would have following the original Sr

reference voltage signal.

Figure 3-10 PWM, switches states and output voltage of ALD strategy, (a) Sr > 0 stress-in mode, (b) Sr < 0 stress-in

mode, (c) Sr > 0 stress-out mode, (d) Sr < 0 stress-out mode.

Ultimate goal of this switching technique is not to change the conduction time of the switch

but to restrict the amount of total switching losses in the converter. In a normal case in which

two switches would switch on simultaneously to produce a state, they would normally be both

subjected to an amount of switching losses as they would be both run through by the load

current. But if one of the switches would switch on slightly earlier than the other, then it would

skip any switching losses. The same happens with switching off when the same switch turns-

off later than the other. Bringing this from a single commutation to PWM level, it is obvious

that by determining which switches follow Sr and which Sr’, the controller can select on which

switch the switching losses are concentrated. It can thus stress more the inner switches or the

outer ones according to which switches are heavier loaded. Within this philosophy, there are

two different modes in the ALD ANPC strategy, stress-in and stress-out mode as displayed in

Figure 3-10. The use of Sr’ does not change the modulation index, as both switches have to be

on during a state for the current to pass through. Therefore the conduction is being

determined by the switch that uses Sr [18].

For example, if a converter uses stress-in mode, then during the positive cycle, S1 follows Sr’

modulation signal and S2 follows Sr. As a result during the commutation from 0+ state to P S1

turns-on first and S2 follows after a while. Then S1 is not loaded with any switching losses and

S2 is more stressed. This, however, does not have any impact on the output phase voltage or

current as the conduction time of S2 defines the moment when P state starts.

36

Converter Performance characteristics

The amplitude of Sradd depends on the modulation index of the converter and at any case it

must obey equation (3-9).

proportionality of stress-in and stress-out during the extent of a voltage period. Consequently

it decides the percentage of switching losses that stress the inner and the outer switches.

The ALD PWM strategy has 6 different zero states as can be seen in Table 3-29. Positive and

negative cycles have different zero states and 0+ and 0- occur in both stress-in and stress-out.

The additional zero states (0+In, 0+Out, 0-In, 0-Out) occur at the time intervals that are defined by

the time difference between

Table 3-29 Switches States of PWM-ALD strategy of 3-level ANPC converter

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6

P Vdc 2 1 1 0 0 0 1

+In

0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1

0+Out 0 0 1 1 0 0 1

0+ 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

0- 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

0-In 0 0 1 1 0 1 0

0-Out 0 0 1 0 1 1 0

N Vdc 2 0 0 1 1 1 0

According to Figure 3-10 the duty ratio of the switches as a function of voltage output for both

positive and negative cycle of the converter are given by Table 3-30.

Table 3-30 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM-DF strategy of the 3-level ANPC converter

V

d1 aout out d1 0

Vdc 2

Vout V

d 2 ain d 2 1 out

Vdc 2 Vdc 2

Vout V

d3 1 d3 ain out

Vdc 2 Vdc 2

V

d4 0 d 4 aout out

Vdc 2

d5 0 d5 1

d6 1 d6 0

In Table 3-30 𝑎𝑖𝑛 is the ratio of the duty cycle of the inner switches over the duty cycle of the

inner switches only during stress-in. Similarly 𝑎𝑜𝑢𝑡 is the ratio of the duty cycle of the outer

37

Converter Performance characteristics

switches over the duty cycle of the outer switches only during stress-out. Both are described

by equations (3-10) and (3-11).

ASr _ add

1 , Stress-out

ain ASr (3-10)

1

, Stress-in

ASr _ add

1 , Stress-in

aout ASr (3-11)

1

, Stress-out

In the above equations the not necessarily valid assumption is taken that the increase of the

duty ratio of the switch following Sr’ is equal to the ratio of 𝐴𝑆𝑟′ /𝐴𝑆𝑟 . All the different possible

combinations of the three discretization criteria for PWM-ALD are listed in Table 3-25 .

Analyzing these with the help of the circuit of Figure 3-6 a list of all the conducting components

at each time interval is made. With grey color the components that are turned on but are not

conducting are marked.

Table 3-31 Conducting components during function of the 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-ALD switching

strategy

Positive P I out 0 S1 S2 S6

Positive P I out 0 D1 D2 S6

Positive 0+In I out 0 S6 D3 S1

Positive 0+In I out 0 S3 D6 S1

Positive 0 +Out

I out 0 S6 D3 S2

Positive 0+Out I out 0 S3 D6 S2

Positive 0+ I out 0 S6 D3 -

Positive 0 +

I out 0 S3 D6 -

Negative 0- I out 0 S2 D5 -

Negative 0- I out 0 S5 D2 -

Negative 0-In I out 0 S2 D5 S4

Negative 0 -In

I out 0 S5 D2 S4

Negative 0-Out I out 0 S2 D5 S3

Negative 0-Out I out 0 S5 D2 S3

Negative N I out 0 D3 D4 S5

Negative N I out 0 S3 S4 S5

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. Therefore the part of

each switching period that each component conducts during PWM-ALD is being summarized

in Table 3-27.

38

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-32 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level ANPC converter conducts during

PWM-ALD switching strategy

Switches:

S1 d 4 0 min d1 , d 2 I out 0 Ts

S2 d4 0 min d1 , d2 d1 0 1 min d3 , d4 I out 0 Ts

S3 d 1

0 min d3 , d 4 d 4 0 1 min d1 , d 2 I out 0 Ts

S4 d1 0 min d3 , d 4 I out 0 Ts

S5 d1 0 1 min d3 , d 4 I out 0 Ts

S6 d 4 0 1 min d1 , d 2 I out 0 Ts

Diodes:

D1 d 4 0 min d1 , d 2 I out 0 Ts

D2 d4 0 min d1 , d2 d1 0 1 min d3 , d 4 I out 0 Ts

D3 d 1

0 min d3 , d 4 d 4 0 1 min d1 , d 2 I out 0 Ts

D4 d1 0 min d3 , d 4 I out 0 Ts

D5 d1 0 1 min d3 , d 4 I out 0 Ts

D6 d 4 0 1 min d1 , d 2 I out 0 Ts

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. The switching losses for the PWM-ALD switching strategy of a 3-level

ANPC converter are given in Table 3-22.

Table 3-33 Switching losses of components of the 3-level ANPC converter during PWM-ALD switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 d 4 0 aout 1 I out 0 f s Esw D1 d 4 0 aout 1 I out 0 f s Esw

d 4 0 ain 1 I out 0 f s Esw d 4 0 ain 1 I out 0 f s Esw

S2 D2

d1 0 I out 0 f s Esw d1 0 I out 0 f s Esw

d1 0 aout 1 I out 0 f s Esw d1 0 aout 1 I out 0 f s Esw

S3 D3

d 4 0 I out 0 f s Esw d 4 0 I out 0 f s Esw

S4 d1 0 aout 1 I out 0 f s Esw D4 d1 0 aout 1 I out 0 f s Esw

S5 f v Esw D5 f v Esw

S6 f v Esw D6 f v Esw

39

Converter Performance characteristics

The operation of a 3-level H-bridge converter resembles that of the 2-level VSC. Essentially if

each one of the two legs of the H-bridge are seen individually then the voltage output of each

one is the same with the output of a 2-level VSC. Instead of a reference or neutral point H-

bridge ends in an open winding. The output voltage of each phase is given, instead, by the

outcome of the subtraction of the potentials at the middle point of the switches. Due to that

fact, the DC-link voltage that is needed for the 3-level HB to produce the same output is half

of the one needed for the rest of topologies that have already been mentioned.

As can be seen in Table 3-34, there are two different ways for the zero state to be achieved.

In state 0+ both of the upper two switches S1 and S3 have to be turned on (Figure 3-11). At this

case both output legs are connected to the upper part of the DC-link and therefore have a

potential equal to 𝑉𝑑𝑐 /2, hence their subtraction results to zero. In 0- the lower switches S2

and S4 have to be turned on. At this case both output legs are connected to the bottom part

of the DC-link and therefore have a potential equal to 0, hence their subtraction gives zero

again. P state is achieved when the total potential difference of the DC-link is being transferred

to the output. Similarly when switches S2 and S3 are on, the output legs are inversely

connected to the total voltage of the DC-link and thus the output is −𝑉𝑑𝑐 /2.

Table 3-34 Switches States of PWM strategy of 3-level H-bridge converter

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4

P Vdc 2 1 0 0 1

0+ 0 1 0 1 0

0- 0 0 1 0 1

N Vdc 2 0 1 1 0

For the calculation of the duty ratio of each switch of the H-bridge topology, Figure 3-12 is

used. It can be seen that the reference voltage signal is being compared to two triangular

waveforms with a phase difference of half a period between them. One signal controls the

conduction of switches S1 and S2 and the other of S3 and S4. As a natural consequence the duty

ratio of each switch is complementary to the duty ratio of the other switch on the same leg.

At the same time each switch the duty ratio of each switch is during a switching period equal

40

Converter Performance characteristics

to the duty ratio of the switch which is placed diagonal to it, even though their conduction

times are not identical. For example S1 has the same duty cycle with S4 but the two switches

obey to two different control signals and thus have not identical switching pattern. As a result,

during every switching period all 4 states occur. The duty ratio of all the switches of the 3-

level H-bridge topology are given in Table 3-35.

Table 3-35 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM strategy of the 3-level HB converter

V

1 out

Vdc 2 d1 1 d3

d1

2

d 2 1 d1 d 2 d3

V

1 out

d3 1 d1 Vdc 2

d3

2

d4 d1 d4 1 d3

Figure 3-12 PWM strategy for 3L-HB converter, (a) Sr>0, (b) Sr<0

In Table 3-35, 𝑑1 , 𝑑2 , 𝑑3 , 𝑑4 are the duty ratios of switches S1 – S4. All the different possible

combinations of the three discretization criteria are listed in Table 3-36 . Analyzing these with

the help of the circuit of Figure 3-11 a list of all the conducting components at each time

interval is made.

41

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-36 Conducting components during function of the 3-level HB converter for PWM switching strategy

Positive P I out 0 S1 S4

Positive P I out 0 D1 D4

0 +

I out 0 S1 D3

0+ I out 0 D1 S3

0- I out 0 D2 S4

0 -

I out 0 S2 D4

Negative N I out 0 D2 D3

Negative N I out 0 S2 S3

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. Therefore the part of

each switching period that each component of the 3-level H-bridge converter conducts during

PWM is being summarized in Table 3-37.

Table 3-37 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level H-Bridge converter conducts

during PWM switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d1 Ts D1 I out 0 d1 Ts

S2 I out 0 d 2 Ts D2 I out 0 d 2 Ts

S3 I out 0 d3 Ts D3 I out 0 d3 Ts

S4 I out 0 d 4 Ts D4 I out 0 d 4 Ts

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. The switching losses for the PWM switching strategy of a 3-level H-

bridge converter are given in Table 3-38.

Table 3-38 Switching losses of components of the 3-level HB converter during PWM switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 f s Esw D1 I out 0 f s Esw

S2 I out 0 f s Esw D2 I out 0 f s Esw

S3 I out 0 f s Esw D3 I out 0 f s Esw

S4 I out 0 f s Esw D4 I out 0 f s Esw

42

Converter Performance characteristics

The T-type converter is the simplest of the 3-level topologies in terms of PWM philosophy.

Zero state can only be provided by one certain combination of switches and these are the two

switches that clamp the neutral point in series (Figure 3-13).

There is a unique path to the neutral point and that is mainly the reason that two switches are

sharing that load. The zero state is the only one that uses two switches to conduct the phase

current through. P and N states identify with the switching behaviour of S1 and S4 respectively.

Even though the inner switches S2 and S3 play no role in current conduction during those

states, S2 is turned on during P state and S3 during N state. Due to this, the middle switches

take switching losses during only one of the two cycles hence for half of each voltage period.

The PWM strategy for the 3-level T-type is being presented in Figure 3-14 while the switches

states are included in Table 3-39.

Figure 3-14 PWM strategy for 3L-T-type converter, (a) Sr>0, (b) Sr<0

43

Converter Performance characteristics

State Vout S1 S2 S3 S4

P Vdc 2 1 1 0 0

0 0 0 1 1 0

N Vdc 2 0 0 1 1

Following the above, the duty ratios of each switch can be easily calculated. The modulation

of the duty cycles of switches S1 and S4 are responsible for the formation the output voltage

for the positive and negative cycle respectively. On the other hand the inner switches conduct

during the zero state but their duty ratio is 1 in one half cycle of a voltage period to avoid

switching losses. The duty ratios of all switches of the PWM strategy of the 3L-T2C for both

positive and negative cycle are given in Table 3-40.

Table 3-40 Duty ratios of switches for the PWM strategy of the 3-level T-type converter

V

d1 out d1 0

Vdc 2

d2 1 d2 1 d4

d3 1 d1 d3 1

Vout

d4 0 d4

Vdc 2

In Table 3-40, 𝑑1 , 𝑑2 , 𝑑3 , 𝑑4 are the duty ratios of switches S1 – S4. All the different possible

combinations of the three discretization criteria are listed in Table 3-41. Analyzing these with

the help of the circuit of Figure 3-13 a list of all the conducting components at each time

interval is made. With grey color the components that are turned on but are not conducting

are marked.

Table 3-41 Conducting components during function of the 3-level HB converter for PWM switching strategy

Positive P I out 0 S1 S2

Positive P I out 0 D1 S2

0 I out 0 S2 D3

0 I out 0 D2 S3

Negative N I out 0 D4 S3

Negative N I out 0 S4 S3

Following the above data, the fraction of the switching period during which each component

conducts (hence is subjected to conduction losses) can be determined. Therefore the part of

each switching period that each component of the 3-level T-type converter conducts during

PWM is being summarized in Table 3-42. The duty ratios of switches S2 and S3 do not coincide

with the fraction of the switching period they conduct as they remain turned on, as

mentioned, for state P or N even though they do not participate to the current conduction.

44

Converter Performance characteristics

Table 3-42 Part of the switching period at which each component of the 3-level T-type converter conducts during

PWM switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d1 Ts D1 I out 0 d1 Ts

S2 I out 0 d 4 0 d 3 d1 0 d 2 Ts D2 I out 0 d 4 0 d 3 d1 0 d 2 Ts

S4 I out 0 d 4 Ts D4 I out 0 d 4 Ts

Regarding the switching losses those occur from the sequence of the states and thus the

conducting components. S2 and S3 have no switching losses during positive and negative cycle

respectively. The switching losses for the PWM switching strategy of a 3-level T-type converter

are given in Table 3-43.

Table 3-43 Switching losses of components of the 3-level T-type converter during PWM switching strategy

Switches: Diodes:

S1 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw D1 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw

S2 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw D2 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw

S3 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw D3 I out 0 d 4 0 f s Esw

S4 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw D4 I out 0 d1 0 f s Esw

In this chapter, a total of 8 switching strategies have been described for the 5 different

converters that are put into test in this project. The limited number of possible switching

combinations (states) of certain topologies allows them to have no more than one switching

strategies. It is observed that as the number of available components per phase leg increases,

more sequences of switching states are possible. A characteristic example is that the 3L-ANPC

topology which employs the most components compared to the other examined converters,

can be controlled by more than one ways. Each switching strategy has certain features that

stand out and for which the converters are at the end of the project judged.

The 2L-VSC follows the typical PWM switching technique which consists of a continuous

alternation of the upper and the lower switch conducting. The voltage output is being

determined by the duty ratio of these switches. However the total load of each phase

converter falls upon these two modules. That may be a determining factor for the converter’s

reliability.

The 3L-NPC which is the most frequently used converter topology for wind turbine

applications appears to be an improvement concerning the loading of the outer switches.

However the load and losses distribution among the components still imposes a big issue for

this topology with the clamping diodes taking the whole load during zero state.

For the 3L-ANPC four different switching strategies have been analyzed. PWM-1 uses two

different switching frequencies for the switches, reducing any switching losses on the inner

switches. The active-switch clamping of the topology constitutes an improvement compared

to the clamping diodes of the NPC topology. PWM-2 has the particularity of keeping a switch

45

Converter Performance characteristics

at ON-state at each commutation cutting thus down the switching losses during these

commutations. As a result, 4 out of 6 switches switch at voltage frequency and only two at

switching frequency. PWM-DF gives a voltage output signal of apparent frequency which is

double of the switching frequency, reducing thus the required switching frequency to half.

This strategy combines the advantages of PWM-1 and PWM-2 having a total of four different

ways to achieve zero state. Lastly, the ALD strategy introduces a new technique of switching

loss distribution which can be regulated according to the application and which components

are heavier loaded in normal operation.

The 3L-HB PWM switching strategy resembles that of the 2L-NPC topology being extended to

four switches. The fact that the DC-link voltage of the converter is lower appears to limit the

losses of the components and allows the use of switches with half the voltage rating.

Finally the PWM switching technique that is used for the 3L-T2C shares the load of the

components that clamp the neutral point. However the outer switches that have to be of

voltage rating at least equal to the dc-link may be the weak point of this topology.

46

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

To conduct a reliability comparison of all the converter topologies, configurations and

switching strategies that are analyzed in Chapter 2 and 3 with a physics-of-failure based

approach a detailed model of a wind turbine system is constructed. This chapter analyzes the

most important aspects of the model constructed and includes the methodology and design

considerations that are used during the construction of this model. This model is created so

that it can receive as an input a wind speed profile and through a series of processes produce

the power loss profile and the thermal stress behaviour of the power electronics components

of the converters. For the construction of the models Simulink® is used as designing and

simulation tool.

At this point, it should be referred that the models that have been developed in this project

have been built upon the principles that are suggested by a series of papers regarding relevant

research by the Department of Energy Technology of Aalborg University [28, 14, 15, 29, 30, 2,

31].

In Figure 4-1, the overview of the procedure followed is depicted in a few basic steps. The

purpose of the procedure is to interpret the input of a wind turbine which is the wind speed

into terms that are related to the lifetime of the power converters.

From the initial input, a mechanical model extracts the produced load torque on the shaft of

the generator. The torque is then used as an input signal for the generator model. The

electrical part of the wind turbine system presents an interaction and an interdependence

among its components. The generator system provides all the necessary electrical parameters

to the controller which in turn controls the voltage output level and therefore the switching

behaviour of the converter. The converter behaviour, at the end, regulates the proportions of

the generator providing feedback. The electrical output parameters of the power converters

are utilized by the power semiconductor loss model in order to calculate the power losses of

the power electronic components of the topology. Those parameters are converted to

temperature indicators for the semiconductor devices with the help of developed thermal

47

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

models based on the structure of the components. The values of the temperature profile

generated are then used as the input parameters of the lifetime model so that at the end the

consumed lifetime of the converter is received. Through this process the initial input signal is

being translated to the electrical parameters of the turbine, the power losses of the converter,

the thermal profile and finally the lifetime estimation.

The first step of the model that receives the values of wind speed, is the mechanical part of

the turbine. This section of the procedure is assigned with the task to convert the input of the

wind turbine, which is the wind speed 𝑣𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑 to the necessary variables that have to be

imported to the generator with the help of the constructional parameters of the turbine.

These variables are the produced rotational mechanical speed 𝜔𝑚 as well as the load torque.

At the same time, the mechanical model receives feedback from the generator regarding the

value of the electrical torque. In Figure 4-2 the function of the mechanical model is presented

in a simple manner.

The rotor model receives the wind speed and the rotational mechanical speed as feedback.

Firstly, the pitch angle is estimated as a function of the rotational speed taking into account

all the relevant limits of the turbine. By pitching the turbine blades the power output and the

rotational speed of the turbine are regulated. A turbine starts developing a pitch angle once

the wind speed of the turbine becomes higher than the rated wind speed. Following, with the

values for the wind speed 𝑣𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑 , the rotational speed 𝜔𝑚 , and the pitch angle 𝜃𝑝𝑖𝑡𝑐ℎ , the

power coefficient of the turbine is approximated. This is achieved with the use of certain

constant values that feature the design of the rotor of the wind turbine. With the power

coefficient estimated the load torque 𝑇𝑙𝑜𝑎𝑑 can be then calculated according to equation

(4-1).

1 v3 c A

2

wind p

load (4-1)

m

where 𝑐𝑝 is the power coefficient, 𝑃 the aerodynamic power produced, 𝜌 the of the air density

and 𝐴 the frontal area of the wind turbine. But from the definition of the tip speed ratio 𝜔𝑚

can be expressed as a function of 𝜆 (Equation (4-2)).

vwind

m (4-2)

R

where 𝑅 is the length of the radius of the rotor. Therefore, the load torque can be given by

(4-3).

48

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

1 v2 c A R

2

wind p

load (4-3)

At the end, the rotational speed can be calculated as a function of the electrical torque of the

generator and the load torque of the shaft. The choice of a direct drive configuration means

that no gearbox is interposed between the rotor of the turbine and the shaft of the electrical

generator. The relevant parameters are summarized in Table 4-1 Mechanical parameters of

the Wind Turbine.

Table 4-1 Mechanical parameters of the Wind Turbine

Parameters

Rated power Pgen [MW] 2

Blade radius 𝑅 [m] 41.3

Cut-in wind speed vcut in [m/s] 4

Rated wind speed vrated [m/s] 12

Cut-off wind speed vcut off [m/s] 25

Optimal tip speed ratio opt 8.1

Maximum power coefficient c pmax 0.383

Rated turbine speed nrated [rpm] 19

Minimum turbine speed nmin [rpm] 6

The type of generator that is chosen for this project is a permanent magnet synchronous

generator in a direct drive configuration. That means that there is no gearbox between the

hub and the shaft of the generator. Consequently there is a 1:1 transfer of the rotational speed

to the generator which needs to be big enough to compensate for the slow speed that the

absence of a gearbox entails. The PMDD generators have also a large number of pole pairs for

the same reason. As referred in paragraph 1.1, such a configuration requires the total amount

of power to flow through the converter. This results in a higher amount of losses in the

converter compared to the DFIG power system configuration and requires converters of

higher power rating. However, this configuration proves to be the most appropriate for a

comparative study that takes into consideration the losses of the power converters. Any

differences that might exist between the tested topologies become more obvious, and better

thermal behaviour is easier indicated. Furthermore, permanent magnet generators turbine

configurations appear to have more reliability issues compared to doubly-fed induction

generators. Turbines with a PMG show a much higher failure rate than DFIG turbines regarding

both major and minor failures [32]. It is, therefore, understandable that any comparative

study on power electronics turbines would have a considerably larger impact and significance

for PMG turbine configurations.

The nominal power of the generator is selected at 2MW and the details of the generator can

be seen in Table 4-2.

49

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

Rated wind speed vrated [m/s] 12

Number of pole pairs p 102

Rated shaft speed ns [rpm] 19

Rated fundamental frequency f e [Hz] 32.3

Stator leakage inductance Lls [mH]

0.276

Magnetizing inductance Lm [mH]

The dynamic model of the PMSG, as it is designed, can be described by formulas (4-4)-(4-7) ,

provided that all the calculations occur in the dq reference frame.

0 1 dq d sdq

usdq Rs is dq pm s dt (4-4)

1 0

sd Ls isd r (4-5)

sq Ls isq (4-6)

T p r isq (4-7)

𝑑𝑞 𝑑𝑞

where 𝑢̅𝑠 is the stator voltage, 𝑅𝑠 the stator resistance, 𝑖̅𝑠 the current, 𝜆 is the flux linkage

and Ls the inductance.

In a PMSG configuration, the converters have full-scale rating because the total amount of

power passes through them. In back-to-back topologies that are analyzed within the borders

of this project there are two different types of converters, the generator-side and the grid-

side converters. Additionally, within this project multiple parallel converters have been

designed to share the load of each side so that the use of switches with particularly high

current rating can be avoided.

d I d I

d d q q

I dc s s

(4-9)

Converters

where 𝑈𝑠 and 𝐼𝑠 the voltage and the current of the stator of the generator, while 𝑑𝑑 and 𝑑𝑞

the duty ratios of the phases at the dq-reference frame. The control of the generator-side

converter ensures maximum power production by controlling the stator current through the

rotational speed. Controlling the stator current, provides indirectly control over the

electromagnetic torque. This is achieved by a series of PI-controllers.

The grid-side converter model is featured by equations (4-10)-(4-12) where the dq-reference

frame is used.

50

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

di d

Lf R f i d L f i q Vconv

d

Vgrid

d

(4-10)

dt

di d

Lf R f i q L f i d Vconv

q

Vgrid

q

(4-11)

dt

idc k i d d d i q d q

dVdc

Cdc (4-12)

dt

where d and q indicators are used to indicate the vector in the dq-reference frame, 𝑅𝑓 and 𝐿𝑓

are the characteristic values of the filter on the grid side. Factor k is equal to 1 for Clarke

transformation.

Table 4-3 Parameters of the back-to-back converters

Parallel Converters 5

DC-Link Voltage 1150

Rated Active Power [kW] 400

Switching frequency [kHz] 8

Grid-Side Converters

Rated Output Voltage[Vrms] 704

Rated current [Arms] 328.2

Filter Inductance [mH] 0.15

Generator-Side Converters

Rated Input Voltage [Vrms] 554

Rated current [Arms] 417

topologies, it can be understood that an attempt for detailed design and modelling of all these

converters and controllers is not possible. The control of the power converters is based upon

the standard control techniques that are described in paragraphs 4.4.1 and 4.4.2. For that

reason the same converter controller is used for all the tested converter topologies not in

terms of signals but in terms of the voltage and current output. That is fairly reasonable from

the point of that the loading and lifetime comparison can be conducted between converters

that produce the same output. This way any load and temperature differences that could

possibly be caused by the uniqueness of responses of the different converter controllers are

ruled out. Consequently this whole comparative study is limited and focused mainly on which

topology primarily and which switching strategy has a better effect on the power electronic

components of the converter and therefore better results. Details of the modelled converters

is given in Table 4-3.

The generator-side converter controller (Figure 4-3) regulates the current through the stator

of the generator controlling the rotational speed of the rotor speed according to the

Maximum Power Point Tracking. The converter is controlled in a dq reference frame rotating

with synchronous speed. The magnetic flux of the rotor is regarded in line with the d-axis,

𝑞

while the 𝑖𝑠 controls the generated torque of the generator. The reference currents are

produced according to the optimal power characteristics of the turbine. This is accomplished

by utilizing the rotor rotational speed in order to determine the reference torque value

according to the optimal power and torque curves. The reference current signal can then be

51

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

generated utilizing the reference torque value. The reference of the d-axis current is set to

zero so that any power losses are minimized [33].

Subsequently, this signal is inserted in a current control loop where the difference between

the reference and the measured current values is inserted in a PI controller to produce the

corresponding reference voltage signals. Compensation terms are added to improve the

dynamic response.

The grid-side converter is in a dq reference frame that is rotating with the grid voltage. Current

𝑖𝑔𝑑 maintains the dc-link voltage level controlling the amount of real power that is being fed to

𝑞

the grid. Reactive power is respectively regulated by 𝑖𝑔 . Therefore, the grid side control

consists of an outer control and an inner current control loop [31]. The outer control

compares the dc-link voltage with the reference value, generating an error which when led

through a PI controller can produce the reference grid d-axis current. The inner control loops

similarly compare the reference values of the grid currents with the measured ones. The

errors of these comparisons pass through PI controllers and generate the reference voltage

values. Finally, those reference values are inserted in the PWM modulation block so that the

duty ratios of all the relevant switches can be calculated.

52

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

Different research papers agree that the thermal stresses that are imposed on the power

electronic components is the most probable cause of their failure [2], [34], [35], [36] . When

it comes to IGBTs the most common failures origin from the thermal-cycling-induced stresses

[36].

Figure 4-5 IGBT module broken down to its different component layers and substrates from chip to heat sink

Since the IGBT module is the main semiconductor component of interest in power converter

topologies, a breakdown to its structural layers could contribute to the better understanding

of its failure causes. In Figure 4-5 such a breakdown is being shown. When these different

layers are subjected to thermal cycling, they tend to expand and compress with different

rates. Therefore when the losses that are dissipated from the power electronic components

mounted on the module are high enough may trigger cracks and disconnections due to the

mismatching expansion coefficients [2]. The most probable failures that are also referred in

paragraph 1.4 are bond wire lift-off and solder joints cracking. With this correlation between

thermal loading and lifetime, it is made clear that through correct mapping of the losses in an

IGBT module, a model can be designed to mathematically estimate lifetime expectancy [37].

However there are other factors in design that affect the reliability of a converter system.

These factors may have to do with the rating of the components, the packaging technology

used and the cooling system design. Taking that into account, the lifetime of a power

converter is a term related to the thermal response of its semiconductor devices but also

directly connected to its cost.

As can be seen in Figure 4-1, the loss model receives from the converter model the

fundamental electrical parameters. Apart from this, it utilizes parameters provided by the

data-sheets of the modules. Finally it also takes into account the junction temperature of each

device during its function, which is received as feedback from the thermal model. As a result

it calculates and gives as output the net power losses of each semiconductor device. The

power losses in power semiconductor devices can be generally divided in two big categories,

conduction and switching losses. A possible third group that is usually neglected are leakage

53

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

losses. Thus the net losses of each component can be calculated as the sum of the conduction

and switching losses of this component (Figure 4-6). The models that are described for the

calculation of the losses are extracted from [28, 38, 39, 40].

Figure 4-6 Representation of calculation of power net losses of a power electronics component

The instantaneous value of conduction losses of an IGBT or a diode can be given by formula

(4-13).

where 𝑃𝑐𝑜𝑛 is the instantaneous value of conduction losses of a particular device, 𝑢𝑜𝑛 is the

on-state voltage drop and 𝑖(𝑡) represents the load current. When this component has a

switching routine and is not always conducting, as happens in a power converter

configuration, then the duty ratio of each component contributes to that formula. Therefore

in the case of an IGBT or a diode the conduction losses can be given respectively by formulas

(4-14) and (4-15).

PconD u F t i t d D (4-15)

On-state voltages 𝑢𝐶𝐸 and 𝑢𝐹 and are usually provided by the vendor in the data-sheet of the

device. To be specific, these values are a function of the load current that goes through the

device during on state. The data-sheets of the IGBT modules give therefore a diagram that

describes the relationship between the output characteristics of each device and present the

load current as a function of the on-state voltage for various junction temperatures. The

method that is proposed by [38] suggests that the on state voltage should be interpreted

based on that diagram as a linear equation, resembling thus the on state-voltage with a

voltage source connected in series with an on-state resistance. The formula of the on state

voltage for the IGBT would then be the one described in equation (4-4) and the corresponding

one for its antiparallel the one in equation (4-5).

u F iD VF 0 rD iD (4-17)

where 𝑢𝐶𝐸0 is the on-state zero-current collector-emitter voltage and 𝑢𝐹0 the corresponding

zero-current diode voltage while 𝑟𝐶 and 𝑟𝐷 are the collector-emitter on-state resistance and

diode on-state resistance respectively. However, in [28] and [39] a more accurate method is

proposed for the fitting of the on-state voltages calculation to the provided diagrams. Instead

of a linear relation between the on-state voltage and the load current, a power factor one is

being introduced. Therefore the relationships are now described in (4-18) and (4-19).

54

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

u F iD VF 0 rD iD AD (4-19)

where 𝐴𝐶𝐸 and 𝐴𝐷 are the curve fitted constants for the IGBT and the diode respectively.

Since the data-sheets of the devices cannot provide the necessary values of on-state voltages

for every junction temperature, the vendor usually provides graphs for the upper limit

temperature and the lowest possible temperature. To include the contribution of the junction

temperature to the calculation of the conduction losses, two equations (like (4-18) and (4-19))

are being calculated for each device. One extracted from the graph for a high temperature 𝑇𝐻

and one for a low temperature 𝑇𝐿 . Following, with the help of linear extrapolation the

instantaneous value of on-state voltage is calculated as seen in equations (4-20) and (4-21).

T jT TL

uCE uCEL uCEH uCEL (4-20)

TH TL

T jD TL

uF uFL uFH uFL (4-21)

TH TL

Consequently the instantaneous power losses of the IGBT and its antiparallel diode can be

given for a particular junction temperature by equations (4-22) and (4-23).

PconT t VCE 0 rCE iC ACE iC t dT (4-22)

PconD t VF 0 rD iD AD

i t d

D D (4-23)

In Figure 4-7, the calculation of the on-state voltages is depicted in the form of a model. In

Figure 4-8, the final calculation of each component’s conduction losses is presented in the

same way. Among the different examined topologies there are other factors that decide the

conduction losses of each component. Referring to Chapter 3, it can be seen that the duty

ratio may not always determine whether a component is conducting the load current or not.

In fact it is shown that a lot of times it differs from the conduction fraction of the component.

Additionally, the current direction almost always determines which of the two semiconductor

devices of an IGBT module this current goes through. That is the reason that in the

subchapters of Chapter 3 the fraction of the switching period for which each component is

conducting is calculated.

Figure 4-7 Modelling of the calculation of the on-state voltages for the IGBT and the diode

55

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

Figure 4-8 Modelling of the calculation of the conduction losses for IGBT (left) and diode (right)

Regarding the power switching losses of the semiconductor devices, these are given according

to [38] by formulas (4-24) and (4-25).

PswD EonD EoffD f s (4-25)

where 𝑓𝑠 is the switching frequency of the device and 𝐸𝑜𝑛𝑥 and 𝐸𝑜𝑓𝑓𝑥 are the turn-on and

turn-off losses of the components respectively. Also indicator T is used for the switch while D

for the diode.

For an IGBT 𝐸𝑜𝑛 and 𝐸𝑜𝑓𝑓 can be calculated with two different ways. The one is to calculate

the area of the triangles that are shaped during switch-on and switch-off by the voltage and

current graphs of the switch. The other way is to use the data-sheet values that have been

experimentally measured by the vendor. To provide a standardized way for the calculation of

the switching losses, a relationship has again been developed between the circuit electrical

parameters, the data-sheet given parameters and the switching losses which are also the final

output.

Data-sheets of IGBT modules provide graphs that describe switch-on and switch-off losses as

a function of the passing current. As in conduction losses, the curve that describes the

relationship between them is being interpreted to a mathematical function of the load

current. Even though simpler methods of curve fittings are being proposed in for this

interpretation, it is found that the more accurate is the use of a second degree polynomial

equation [39]. Therefore these formulas describing the graphs given are of the form of

equations (4-26) and (4-27).

EonT aT 2 on iCE

2

aT 1on iCE aT 0 on (4-26)

EoffT aT 2 off i

2

CE aT 1off iCE aT 0 off (4-27)

where 𝑎𝑇2𝑜𝑛 , 𝑎𝑇1𝑜𝑛 , 𝑎𝑇0𝑜𝑛 and 𝑎𝑇2𝑜𝑓𝑓 , 𝑎𝑇1𝑜𝑓𝑓 , 𝑎𝑇0𝑜𝑓𝑓 are fitting constants. To end up to a

single equation that describes the total losses of a switching period, these two equations are

added together and give a sole second grade polynomial formula like (4-28).

2

aT 1 iCE aT 0 (4-28)

However these measurements are recorded under particular test conditions regarding the

voltage level and the junction temperature of the device. It is therefore necessary to process

these measurements in the appropriate way to calculate the losses for the real conditions of

56

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

the components. Firstly, similarly with the on-state voltage of the conduction losses, the

switching losses have to be calculated for a particular junction temperature of the IGBT. For

that reason, two equations of the form of (4-28) are again extracted from the given graphs of

the data-sheet, one for a high temperature 𝑇𝐻 and one for a low temperature 𝑇𝐿 . With the

help of linear extrapolation the value of losses for the junction temperature of the IGBT can

be calculated (formula (4-29)).

T jT TL

Eon offT Eon offT L

TH TL

E on offT H Eon offT L (4-29)

Secondly, the switching losses have to be calculated for the correct voltage level of the

application. That is being managed with a direct proportionality factor that is calculated by

dividing the collector-emitter voltage level with the dc reference voltage as can be seen in

equation (4-30).

Vdc

Eon / off @Vdc Eon / off @Vdcref (4-30)

Vdcref

Regarding the diode switching losses, these according to [38] can be restricted to the reverse

recovery energy losses. These are provided by the vendor as well at the same form as the

switching energy losses of the IGBT. It is therefore understood that they have to pass through

the same processing so that the final switching losses of the diode can be calculated for the

correct conditions.

Summarizing, the procedure that is followed for the calculation of losses of the IGBT and its

antiparallel diode is put together in Figure 4-9 and Figure 4-10 in the form of a model that

receives input from the device datasheet and the circuit and gives as output the device’s

switching losses at each moment. Again in certain switching strategies, the switching losses

do not occur in accordance with the switching frequency as different methods are employed

to reduce the switching losses on the components as much as possible. That means that

additional logical conditions can be an input to the calculation of power losses of a component

of a specific converter. Some of these have already been mentioned in Chapter 3.

57

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

Figure 4-10 Calculation of switching power losses for IGBT and antiparallel diode

There are three different ways of heat propagation in a system, conduction, convection and

radiation. In power electronic components, heat conduction is the only that is taken into

consideration. The heat flow is for simplicity reasons taken as one dimensional, starting from

the junction towards the case, thermal grease, the heat sink and the ambient successively. In

an attempt to correlate the thermal behaviour of a component to electrical analog circuit

terms, the model developed is presented as the thermal equivalent of a transmission line.

Considering especially that in thermal distribution there is no equivalent for parameters such

as inductance or transverse conductance, then the temperature equation follows equation

(4-31) [41].

2T T

Cth Rth (4-31)

x 2

t

Therefore the thermal behaviour of any material, or of a power electronic component for that

matter can be described by a thermal resistance Rth and capacitance Cth [42]. The power

dissipation occurring close to the chip surface is the thermal equivalent of a current source.

The complete list of the parallelisms that have been considered for the construction of the

thermal model can be found in Table 4-4. The thermal capacitance, which imprints the

dynamic character of the thermal behaviour of a component, is directly proportional to the

relevant volume and the specific heat of the material [42].

Table 4-4 Thermal parameters as equivalent of electric circuit parameters [41]

Electrical Thermal

Voltage (V) Temperature (oC)

Current (A) Power dissipation (W)

Resistance (Ω) Thermal Resistance (K/W)

Capacitance (F) Thermal Capacitance (Ws/K)

In reality, since the thermal behaviour of a component is more complex than a single level of

thermal resistance and capacity, the total thermal impedance can be modeled as multiple

thermal RC elements connected in series. From that point two different methods are usually

followed regarding the thermal modelling, the Cauer or the Foster model [43].

The Cauer model represents a real physical setup of the semiconductor thermal capacities

with intermediary thermal resistances (Figure 4-11). The RC elements are assigned to different

layers of the semiconductor module which entails that each element of the thermal circuit

58

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

has a physical meaning. Therefore the calculation of the intermediate temperatures between

the layers is also feasible. On the other hand, the Foster model, uses individual RC elements

which have no correspondence to their physical structure (Figure 4-12). Therefore there is no

particular physical explanation for its parameters and values, but is a mathematical

interpretation of the observed thermal behaviour of the module [43].

Generally, the thermal network of an IGBT module can be summarized by Figure 4-13, where

𝑇𝐴 is the ambient temperature, 𝑇𝑗𝑥 the junction temperature of each device and 𝑇ℎ𝑠 the

heatsink temperature. In a power semiconductor the case and the junction temperatures are

established during different time intervals. The junction temperature is being determined

when the power loss flows within the power devices, while the case temperature is

established when the losses flow through the thermal network outside the devices.

The standardized way for the vendors to give information regarding the thermal properties of

the semiconductor devices is to provide the parameters for a fourth degree Foster RC network

in the data-sheets of the devices. However, in the Foster model no considerable filtering is

observed between the junction and the case temperature. It is only when the power losses

pass through the thermal grease thermal resistance that they create a considerable difference

between the case and heatsink temperature profiles. According to these observations made

59

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

by [41] and [29] the use of the Foster model should be restricted to the description of the

thermal behaviour of the thermal network inside the IGBT module only. On the other hand a

transformation to the equivalent Cauer model may offer considerable filtering via the use of

the parallel thermal capacitances, but this approach is still not accurate. Due to over-filtering

a Cauer thermal network reduces the speed of the dynamic properties of the device.

should be adopted in order for the disadvantages of each method to be diminished. This

approach includes two different thermal paths for the thermal flow, as can be seen in Figure

4-14. The first path a fourth grade Foster model is used to describe the junction temperature

of the junction utilizing the datasheet parameters given by the manufacturer. However the

case reference temperature that is used for this calculation is being estimated by the second

thermal path so that the disadvantage of the Foster model that has been mentioned is

eliminated. The second thermal path that is used mainly for the calculation of the temperature

of the case and the heatsink temperature. The 1st grade Cauer equivalent model does not play

a significant role in the calculation of junction temperature, but is used for its loss filtering

properties that can provide a valid value for the case temperature.

Summarizing, the thermal model that is used for this project includes two different thermal

paths, the first of which can imprint the dynamic thermal behaviour of the junction

temperature and the second can provide the necessary reference temperatures and be used

for the calculation of the rest of the temperatures. The thermal properties of the thermal

grease can be simplified to a single thermal resistance due to the small thickness. Usually the

value of the thermal resistance is given by the manufacturer of the IGBT module.

Regarding the heatsink, it can be modelled as a single level of a Foster thermal network, that

is as a thermal capacitance in parallel with a thermal resistance. Since the heat sink can by

construction host multiple power components, within the framework of this project one heat

sink is used to host the components of every phase of each converter. Therefore each heat

sink accepts the losses of all the components of one of the three phases of the grid- or the

generator-side converter.

60

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

The components that are put to test, must have the appropriate ratings so that they can take

the amplitudes of the voltage and the current. As far as the voltage is concerned, in three-

level topologies it is common that two components share the voltage load of the dc-link. The

voltage and the current ratings of the IGBT modules that have to be used for the different

converter topologies can be calculated according to Table 2-1 and with the help of the

converter ratings of Table 4-3. Therefore the commercial IGBT modules that are used during

the simulations are “FF600R07ME4_B11” and “FF600R12ME4A_B11” IGBT modules of

Infineon Technologies. These two switches have a current rating of 600A which obeys to the

current rating requirements. FF600R07ME4_B11 has a voltage rating of 1200V that is above

the total dc-link voltage and its parameters are used for the switches that have to withstand

the total amount of the dc-link voltage. FF600R12ME4A_B11 has a voltage rating of 600V

which is higher than half the DC-link voltage and is utilized for the cases where a switch with

a voltage rating of 𝑉𝑑𝑐 /2 at least has to be used [44, 45]. In practice, there is the tendency of

overrating the voltage and current ratings of the switches of converters so that better thermal

response and increased reliability is ensured. However, within the framework of this thesis,

voltage and current ratings are chosen quite close to the nominal values of the converters so

that any differences in the thermal behaviour of the tested converters are highlighted. The

selected heatsink is P16 of Semikron [46].

The damage or equivalently the consumed lifetime of a power electronic component is usually

estimated by lifetime models as a function of the mean temperature and the amplitudes of

the temperature cycles. Typically, the structural characteristics of the component are not

included in its lifetime modelling. Consequently, the input parameters that are needed are

contained in the temperature profile of the device during a certain test period.

Since power electronic components are subjected to different temperature cycles during

operation, the calculation of consumed lifetime with a single value of 𝛥𝑇𝑗 would not provide

reliable results. Instead, the complete range of temperature cycles has to be analyzed and

subcategorized into groups or bins according to their amplitude and mean value so that they

can be of utilizable. Eventually, the summation of the individual life consumptions of these

fractions of the temperature cycles results to a value of total life consumption of the

component [47].

The damage and the lifetime of the power modules of the converter topologies within the

framework of this thesis is calculated according to the model developed during the LESIT

project [48]. During this research, IGBT modules of different manufacturers have been put

into test under different thermal conditions. According to the test results of the project, the

number of cycles until failure can be calculated from the temperature cycle amplitudes ΔTj

and the mean temperature Tm of the components. Even though no physical parameters are

taken into consideration, the model correlates the ΔTj to the plastic deformation and the Tm

to the properties of the materials [48].

61

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

Figure 4-15 Number of cycles to failure Nf as a function of temperature cycling ΔΤj and mean junction

temperature Tm

The trend-lines that are deduced from the plotting of the results in the double logarithmic

scale (Figure 4-15) indicate a power law relation between the power cycling lifetime and 𝛥𝑇.

As a result, the number of cycles to failure could be expressed by the Coffin-Mansion law

(4-32) [49].

N f a T n (4-32)

But the fact that these straight lines are almost parallel for different mean temperatures

introduces an additional factor to the model and reflects a thermally activated mechanism

which can be better described by the Arrhenius approach. The final formula extracted is

summarized in (4-33).

Q

N f A T j a exp (4-33)

R Tm

𝐽

where 𝑅 is the gas constant (8.314 ∙ 𝐾), 𝐴 = 302500 𝐾 −𝑎 , 𝛼 = −5 and 𝑄 = 7.8 ∙

𝑚𝑜𝑙

104 𝐽𝑚𝑜𝑙 −1 when 𝑇𝑚 is expressed in Kelvin [48].

A special feature of this empirical model is that it considers bond-wire lift-off as the main

failure mechanism of the power devices. Its usefulness lies in the fact that even though it is

quite straightforward and simple, it can provide a good reference basis for a valid comparison

between differently loaded components.

In the used lifetime model the sequence at which the power and temperature cycles occur do

not have any effect and therefore it is assumed that the accumulation of life

consumption/damage is linear. The individual consumed lifetimes are at the end summed up

(4-34) and give the total life consumption according to Palmgren-Miner’s rule [50].

k

ni

LC (4-34)

i 1 Ni

where 𝑁𝑖 is the lifetime for the i-th load and 𝑛𝑖 is the number of cycles the component has

been exposed to the i-th load profile, while 𝑘 is the total number of load profiles. Failure

occurs when the life consumption LC reaches one.

62

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

The temperature profile of each component as an output of the thermal model described in

paragraph 4.7 is a rather irregular signal. The particularity of the application of the wind

turbines deteriorates the randomness of the temperature fluctuations. The variations of the

wind speed, when these occur below the nominal wind speed, are reflected in the power

production of the turbine and consequently in the power losses and eventually the

temperature cycling of the components. The varying rotational speed of the generator adds

up to the arbitrariness of the temperature cycles as their duration will also vary according to

the generator voltage frequency. Therefore, a method is required so that these almost

stochastic signals can be analyzed and the needed data for the lifetime model can be acquired

[47].

This is achieved with the rainflow counting algorithm. This method is a well-established tool

for fatigue analysis and reduces the spectrum of varying stress into a set of simple stress

reversals. A very critical asset of the rainflow counting method is that it allows the use of the

Miner’s rule for the assessment of the fatigue life. The basic idea behind rainflow counting is

that the signal is turned around by 90o and water flows from the top so that the oscillations

of the signal act like “pagoda roofs”. As a consequence the larger oscillations of the signals are

separated from the smaller ones. A more in depth analysis of the rainflow counting method

and algorithm can be found in [51] and [52] as the details behind the method are not in the

scope of this work.

63

Methodology and Modelling Considerations

64

Simulation Results

5 Simulation Results

In this chapter, the findings of the conducted simulations are presented in an efficient and

compact manner so that useful conclusions can be made regarding the power losses, the

thermal behaviour and the reliability of the tested topologies. The investigated converters and

switching strategies are evaluated according to the power losses, the thermal stress and the

resulting damage of each power electronic component of their setup. Based on these results

a comparison is made among the topologies, so that the most appropriate topology for the

studied case can be proposed.

The series of simulations are conducted for the wind turbine that is mentioned in paragraph

4.2 and the generator configuration that is mentioned in 4.3. The two different switch types

that are referred in paragraph 4.8 are being utilized according to the requirements of each

topology that are mentioned in Table 2-1.

In order to create a more integrated image of the response of the converters to different

conditions, four different wind profiles are used. The wind speed input of the model is each

time generated based on a mean value and a controlled deviation. This has as a result the

generation of a random wind profile so that the influence of the wind fluctuations can be

investigated. According to the above, four different wind profiles are tested with average wind

speeds of 6, 8, 10 and 12 m/s. All the different converters and switching strategies are tested

upon the same wind profiles. The duration of the simulation time intervals is equal to 10

minutes or 600 seconds. In Figure 5-1, the wind profile with an average wind speed of 8 m/s

is plotted and illustrated as an example. Regarding the topology specific parameters, the used

switching frequency in the ANPC converter that uses the DF switching strategy is equal to 4

kHz, therefore half of the switching frequency that is used in the other topologies. Regarding

the power factor of the grid-side converter, even though it can vary according to the grid-

code, a constant 0.9 inductive power factor is used.

Figure 5-1 Wind speed profile with an average wind speed of 8m/s

65

Simulation Results

The power loss model that is utilized for the calculation of the power dissipation of the

electronic components of the tested converters is described in paragraph 4.6. For the

estimation of the average power losses of each electronic component an additional series of

simulations has been executed with a constant wind speed for a time interval of 10 seconds.

The selection of the simulation time has been made taking into consideration that the junction

temperature of the component is an important parameter of the losses calculation of each

component. For that reason, a duration of 10 seconds is selected so that the junction

temperatures of the component can reach an equilibrium mean value and the influence of the

junction temperatures can be recorded in the measurement.

In Figure 5-2 the loss distribution among the modules and the components of the grid-side

converters is illustrated for the tested topologies during four different wind speeds. The

relevant data are available in Appendix A. It is generally observed that the majority of the

losses in the grid-side are spotted in the IGBT’s either as conduction or as switching losses.

This comes as a natural consequence of the selection of a power factor very close to 1. The

small phase difference between the voltage and the current waveforms entail that IGBT’s

mostly conduct during each period and the diodes have a smaller conduction dividend. For

each of the converter topologies the components that are investigated are representative and

symmetrical of the ones missing.

900 600

800

500

700

600 400

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

500

300

400

300 200

200 100

100

0

0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

6 m/s 8 m/s 10 m/s 12 m/s

T1/D1 T2/D2 T3/D3

(a) 2L-VSC (b) 3L-T2C

Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

450 450

400 400

350 350

300 300

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module Dnpc

(c) 3L-HB (d) 3L-NPC

66

Simulation Results

450 450

400 400

350 350

300 300

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module T5/D5 Module T1/D1 T2/D2 T5/D5

Module Module Module

(e) 3L-ANPC PWM-1 (f) 3L-ANPC PWM-2

Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

450 450

400 400

350 350

300 300

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 T2/D2 T5/D5 T1/D1 T2/D2 T5/D5

Module Module Module Module Module Module

(g) 3L-ANPC DF (h) 3L-ANPC ALD

Figure 5-2 Loss distribution of grid side converter topologies for wind speeds of 6, 8, 10 and 12m/s. Dcon and

Dsw are the conduction and switching loss in diodes respectively, Tcon and Tsw are the conduction and switching

loss in the IGBT respectively

The 2L-VS Converter (Figure 5-2(a)) is clearly the topology that is most heavily loaded among

the tested converters. This is attributed to the continuous switching of both switches in both

positive and negative voltage cycle. The exposure of the module to the full extent of the dc-

voltage deteriorates the power dissipation increasing the switching losses. The IGBT’s are the

components that appear to suffer the largest part of the losses.

For the 3L-NPC converter (Figure 5-2 (d)), it is noted that the outer switches (S1 and S4) are the

ones that bear the most losses. The largest part of them are again spotted at the IGBT’s. The

inner IGBT’s suffer expectedly the most conduction losses as they conduct during both P and

0 states. However the switching losses of the outer switches are significantly higher than those

of the inner modules. The neutral-point-clamping diodes take a very small part of the losses

and therefore the problem of inequality of the loss distribution is highlighted.

improvement in the loss distribution among the components compared to the 3L-NPC

topology (Figure 5-2 (e)). This is due to the fact that the improvements that this strategy

introduces concern the NPC active switches and the inner switches. Because of this, the

switching losses of the inner switches are reduced, as they occur with voltage frequency and

67

Simulation Results

not with switching frequency. Additionally a part of losses that in the NPC are suffered by the

diode are transferred to the IGBT part of the module in the ANPC converter.

The PWM-2 strategy of the ANPC converter (Figure 5-2 (f)) reduces the losses inflicted on the

outer switch by reducing their switching frequency to voltage frequency. At the same low

frequency are switched-on and off the two Active-NPC switches. However, the considerable

increase in switching losses of the inner IGBT’s makes them the weak link of the topology,

even though their conduction losses show an improvement compared to the PWM-1 strategy.

In the DF strategy of the ANPC converter the halving of the switching frequency (4 kHz) creates

an image of a more even distribution of losses among the components of the converter (Figure

5-2 (g)). All switches are subjected to a shared amount of switching losses. The conduction

losses of the inner switches are as expected slightly larger than those of the outer switches.

Nevertheless, they are still reduced compared to PWM-1 and PWM-2. As a result of the

switching technique the switching losses of the ANPC switches increase but without any

substantial cost as their losses remain lower than those of the other two types of switches.

In the ALD strategy a 30-70 percentage of Stress-in-Stress-out has been chosen for the Grid-

side converter (Figure 5-2 (h)). This selection has been made after repeated tests so that the

total losses of the most heavily loaded components (in this case the inner and outer IGBT’s)

are as balanced as possible. Therefore the biggest part of the distributable switching losses

loads the outer switches. As a result the switches are observed to have the best distribution

of losses among the tested topologies. The neutral-point-clamping modules switch with

voltage frequency and thus are lightly stressed compared to the other types of switches.

For the 3L-HB Converter two modules are showcased in Figure 5-2 (c). These represent the

switches of one of the two legs of the converter with the remaining switches considered

symmetrical to the first. Even though the losses are almost optimally distributed among the

switches, the amount of losses is higher than in the other converters. This happens due to the

larger conduction times but also due to the continuous switching of the switches during both

voltage cycles.

Regarding the 3L-T2C converter (Figure 5-2 (b)) the components with the heaviest loading are

the outer switches which are also of larger voltage rating. This can be attributed to the fact

that the outer switches of the converter are exposed to the full extent of the dc-voltage. The

higher voltage rating of the outer module has an additional effect as its conduction and

switching parameters are different than the parameters of the middle switches.

In Figure 5-3 the loss distribution among the modules and the components of the generator-

side topologies is illustrated. The relevant data are available in Appendix A. Contrary to the

68

Simulation Results

grid-side converters, in most cases the majority of the losses are spotted in the diodes of the

modules. The total losses of each converter are compared to the corresponding grid-side

converters quite higher. This is an expected outcome since the current of the generator-side

converter is higher which automatically affects both switching and conduction losses.

1400 550

500

1200

450

1000 400

350

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

800 300

600 250

200

400 150

100

200

50

0 0

6 m/s 8 m/s 10 m/s 12 m/s 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 T2/D2 T3/D3

2

(a) 2L-VSC (b) 3L-T C

550 550

500 500

450 450

400 400

350 350

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

300 300

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module T1/D1 T2/D2 Dnpc

Module Module

(c) 3L-HB (d) 3L-NPC

550 550

500 500

450 450

400 400

350 350

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

300 300

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 T2/D2 T5/D5 T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module T5/D5 Module

Module Module Module

(e) 3L-ANPC PWM-1 (f) 3L-ANPC PWM-2

69

Simulation Results

550 550

500 500

450 450

400 400

PLOSS (W)

350 350

PLOSS (W)

300 300

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module T5/D5 Module T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module T5/D5 Module

(g) 3L-ANPC DF (h) 3L-ANPC ALD

Figure 5-3 Loss distribution of generator side converter topologies for wind speeds of 6, 8, 10 and 12m/s

The 2L-VS Converter (Figure 5-3 (a)) is again the topology that is most heavily loaded among

the tested converters. The reason is the same one described in the grid-side converters. The

exposure of the module to the full extent of the dc-voltage plays again a negative role in the

amount of switching losses. However the total losses of each component of the modules look

well distributed. Even though the conduction losses of the diodes are higher than those of the

IGBT’s as a result of the largest conduction time, due to the switching characteristics of the

IGBT the switching losses of the IGBT part of the module are higher. This creates a balance

between the total losses of the IGBT and the diode.

For the 3L-NPC converter (Figure 5-3 (d)), the image of the loss distribution between the

switches changes compared to the grid-side converter. The largest part of losses are now

spotted at the inner modules (T2/D2 module). However the conduction losses are now better

distributed between the inner diodes and IGBTs. This can be featured as a built-in advantage

of the 3L-NPC topology when used at the generator side as the IGBT mandatorily conducts

during zero state of both voltage cycles. On the other hand the diodes have the vast majority

of conduction losses during the other two states. Even though this feature appears to be a

deteriorating factor for grid-side converter, it serves well for the generator-side converter.

In PWM-1 strategy of the ANPC converter (Figure 5-3 (e)) a different power loss distribution

is observed than this of the grid-side. Due to the significantly less switching losses that diodes

produce when run through the same current with IGBT’s, diodes of the inner modules are

heavier loaded than those of the outer switches. Therefore conduction losses become a

determining factor for the heaviest loaded component.

The PWM-2 strategy of the ANPC generator-side converter (Figure 5-3 (f)) shows a great

inequality of loss distribution among the components. The vast majority of losses are spotted

in the inner modules. Therefore this particular strategy seems to be more ineffective

regarding loss distribution compared to the other topologies.

70

Simulation Results

In the DF strategy of the ANPC generator-side converter the smaller switching frequency has

the same impact as in grid-side converter (Figure 5-3 (g)). Switching losses are also shared

between the inner and outer modules. However when it comes to the inner power module,

the diode is taking most of the conduction losses. This makes the inner diode the most heavily

loaded component of the converter.

In the ALD strategy of the generator-side converter a 100% Stress-out strategy has been

chosen (Figure 5-3 (h)). This selection has again been made in an attempt to balance the losses

between the most heavily loaded components. Therefore the total amount of the

distributable switching losses loads the outer switches in order to “relieve” the inner IGBT

which displays the largest part of dissipated losses. Even though the inner switches still take

up the biggest part of the load, the distribution among the individual parts of each module is

improved.

The 3L-HB generator-side converter (Figure 5-3 (c)) presents an improved image compared to

the graph of the grid-side converter. The losses of the modules are once again increased

compared to the losses of the other topologies. This can be attributed to the smaller number

of switches sharing the load which denotes biggest conduction times and more frequent

switching of the components. However losses are more distributed between the IGBT’s and

the diodes of each switch module which constitutes an improvement.

Regarding the 3L-T2C converter (Figure 5-3 (b)) all modules appear to be subjected to the same

amount of losses. However, the diodes of the outer modules are the most heavily loaded

components, a reasonable outcome given the fact that they are exposed to the full extent of

the dc-voltage and that they are of higher voltage rating than the utilized middle switches.

Summarizing, some first conclusions can already be made regarding the power losses and

their distribution among the power components of the studied wind turbine converters.

Initially, an observed trend is that in the topologies that utilize switches of higher voltage

rating, those switches mostly constitute the weak links of those topologies. This is mainly

because of the exposure of those switches to the full dc-link voltage which increases

significantly the switching losses compared to those of the switches with half the voltage

rating. Added to that, the H-Bridge topology also appears to face large amount of losses due

to the continuous switching of its components and the smaller number of switches that share

the total amount of conduction or switching losses. For the aforementioned reasons three

(2L-VSC, 3L-T2C, 3L-HB) of the studied topologies show a larger amount of losses than the rest

but not necessarily a worse distribution.

Regarding the remaining two converter topologies, the 3L-NPC presents an unequal loss

distribution between outer switches and inner switches for the grid-side converter but shows

71

Simulation Results

a very decent distribution on the generator side. In the ANPC converter, PWM 2 switching

strategy appears to have a negative effect on the loading of the inner switches taking into the

account that it combines the higher conduction losses that occur at the inner IGBT modules

with higher switching losses on the same switches. PWM 1 strategy improves this feature and

exhibits better distribution of losses among the components loading the outer switches with

the majority of switching losses. However this serves not as well in grid-side converters as in

the generator-side. Finally, DF and ALD strategies appear to achieve better distribution of

losses among the components compared to the other tried converters and switching

strategies.

Some more general conclusions can be drawn from this power loss study regarding the factors

that affect the power losses of a component. First of all, the rating of a module is an important

parameter in that estimation. The amount of switching losses changes from one module to

another according to the current and voltage ratings.

A second significant parameter is the type of the specific semiconductor that is subjected to

the losses. Even though the conduction losses that a diode and an IGBT produce when they

are run through the same current can be quite close, the switching losses of an IGBT and a

diode when on the same current and voltage differ with the IGBT producing significantly more.

Additionally the packaging method of switches employed plays a significant role in the amount

of losses dissipated. Within the framework of this thesis the type of switches employed are

IGBT modules which are packaged together with the antiparallel diode. In the case that the

components employed were separately packaged the amount of power losses would differ.

Apart from that, the type of switch employed also affects the amount of losses dissipated. A

typical example that can be mentioned is the study case of [15] where IGCT switches are

employed instead of IGBT’s. As a consequence the amount of switching losses is remarkably

larger than the conduction losses and proves to be the determining factor in the thermal

response and the reliability of the examined topologies.

The switching frequency can understandably also change the image of the power losses

distribution. Therefore, the high amount of switching losses is the main limiting factor when

it comes to the determination of a switching frequency for a converter in a trade-off with the

quality of the voltage output. To be more specific, an example is showcased in Figure 5-4

where the losses of the NPC are plotted for a switching frequency equal to 8 kHz as in the

studied case and for a switching frequency of 2 kHz. It can be seen that when the switching

frequency is reduced, the conduction losses constitute the vast majority of the power losses

and the components that are subjected to the biggest part of them are the most heavily

loaded devices.

72

Simulation Results

450 450

400 400

350 350

300 300

PLOSS (W)

PLOSS (W)

250 250

200 200

150 150

100 100

50 50

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module Dnpc T1/D1 Module T2/D2 Module Dnpc

Figure 5-4 The difference in the amount of power losses on the components between a switching frequency of

8kHz (left) and a switching freequency of 2kHz (right)

The thermal response of the power semiconductors to the losses that they are subjected is

closely linked to the reliability of each converter. Apart from that, it constitutes a determining

factor when it comes to the selection of the power rating of the modules of wind turbine

applications. Besides, it has been mentioned that it is a usual practice to overrate the used

switches in order to forestall the development of high junction temperatures. Especially when

these components are used in wind turbine converters the temperature profile plays also an

important role in the selection of the appropriate cooling system with all the consequent size

and cost considerations. According to the already described thermal model (Paragraph 4.7)

and taking into consideration the power loss distribution that is showcased in paragraph 5.2,

the temperature profile of the components of the wind turbine converters that are tested are

studied for the four different wind profiles. The thermal performance of each converter will

be judged upon the uniformity of temperature characteristics among the components and of

course upon the amplitude of their junction temperature parameters.

Taking into account the already mentioned power and wind conditions, the simulations’

results regarding the junction temperature of each semiconductor of the examined topologies

are showcased in Appendix B. Due to the large amount of data, only the mean temperatures

and the maximum amplitudes of temperature oscillation ΔTj per wind profile are plotted as

characteristic figures of the thermal profile. The maximum values of the temperature

oscillations have been calculated with the help of rainflow counting. This way a clearer image

is provided regarding the build-up of the temperature as the wind speed increases. The

ambient temperature which is the reference temperature of the thermal model has been set

equal to 40oC.

The 2L-VSC develops high mean temperatures both in the grid and the generator-side. The

most heavily loaded components are the ones that show the highest mean temperatures but

also the largest maximum ΔTj values. Analytically, in the generator-side converter the diode

displays higher temperature values while in the grid-side the switch is the hottest device. Even

though the mean temperatures of the hottest components are large, the maximum

amplitudes of the temperature cycles are kept within acceptable levels. This can be attributed

to the larger modules that are used for this converter. The bulkier switches and diodes have

by default better thermal capacitance than the smaller ones as a result of the larger amount

73

Simulation Results

of material they employ. The loading of the generator-side components is also heavier than

that of the grid-side devices since the generator-side power losses are higher.

In the 3L-NPC topology differences are noted between the generator and the grid-side thermal

behaviour. On the generator-side converter the inner IGBT T2 develops the highest mean

temperature with the outer diode D1, the inner diode D2 and the clamping diode D5 following.

This comes as a result of T2 taking the majority of power losses. But when it comes to the

amplitudes of the temperature cycles, the diodes clearly show higher values than the switch

especially in larger wind speeds. This can be attributed to the thermal characteristics of the

diodes which are worse than those of the switches. The better thermal capacitance of the

switch allows it to have temperature cycles of smaller amplitude even though its mean

temperature is higher than the corresponding of the diodes.

On the grid-side the hottest semiconductor is clearly the outer switch with the inner switch

following. T1 displays the highest mean temperature and the highest ΔTj. This comes as a

natural consequence of the outer switches being the most heavily loaded components.

In the PWM-1 strategy of the ANPC converter there are not remarkable improvements

observed regarding thermal behaviour in comparison with the NPC. The almost identical

loading of the outer switches that the NPC converter and the PWM-1 strategy display on the

grid side reflect also on the junction temperatures with T1 developing the highest temperature

profile.

On the generator-side the fact that the clamping is achieved by active switches has as a result

that the inner diode D2 has the highest mean temperature and the largest maximum

amplitude of temperature cycles. Even though the clamping IGBT is subjected to more losses

it shows a lower mean temperature and a much lower ΔTj than the outer diodes.

In the PWM-2 strategy where the switching losses are transferred to the inner switch the

semiconductors with the highest temperatures are those of the inner modules. Therefore, as

can be seen in the data of Appendix B, the highest mean temperatures are observed at the

inner IGBT and diode. In the same principal as above, however, the diode exhibits higher

amplitudes when it comes to the temperature cycles due to the “worse” thermal response to

the dissipated losses. In the same fashion as in grid-side the hottest device is the IGBT of the

inner module showing increased mean Tm and ΔTj compared to the other components.

In the DF switching strategy, the image of the better distribution of losses among the

components is also noted in their thermal profile. On the generator side the inner diode is the

hottest semiconductor device. On the grid-side the thermal response of the T1 and T2 are close

in both plotted thermal aspects. This denotes an improved thermal behaviour as the thermal

load is shared between two components and it can be realized by the height of the

temperatures. The mean temperatures are significantly lower than the ones of the already

74

Simulation Results

mentioned converters and the amplitude of the junction temperature oscillations shows

remarkable improvement.

On the same terms, the thermal profile of the ALD strategy presents a large improvement in

thermal distribution compared to the other tested converters and strategies. On the grid-side

the selected Stress-in/Stress-out proportionality has brought the mean temperature of T1 and

T2 very close to the point that they almost identify. The difference in their ΔTj is also very small

and has to do with the difference in the type of losses they suffer. Nevertheless, on the

generator side even though the highest mean temperature is displayed by the inner switch

which is the most heavily loaded component, ΔTj exhibits a different trend. Due to the already

mentioned inferior thermal characteristics of the diodes compared to the IGBT’s, the

temperature cycle amplitude of the two diodes surpasses this of T2. For that reason it is noted

that a better strategy could have been chosen initially for the even distribution of the losses

between D1 and D2.

The H-Bridge displays an excellent distribution of losses among its components. On both the

grid and the generator side there is an identification of the temperature characteristics of the

hottest semiconductors. These are in the case of the generator-side converter the diodes and

on the grid side the switches of the topology. However compared to the other topologies, the

amount of losses they undergo increases the values of the temperature profiles of these

components.

Regarding the T-type converter, there are two different trends regarding the temperature

results from the topology. The first one is the thermal behaviour of the outer switch which

suffers the majority of losses. But due to the use of bulkier switches of higher voltage rating,

the thermal capacity and resistance of the outer modules provide a better thermal response.

On the other hand, the two middle switches have an identical temperature profile as they are

subjected to the same losses, but the utilized switches have half the voltage rating of the outer

ones. Nevertheless the large amount of losses that is dissipated at the outer switches define

the hottest semiconductors. Therefore, on the grid-side, even though at lower wind speeds

the middle module diodes, D2 and D3, have a mean temperature very close to that of T1 and

their ΔTj is the largest of the topology, at higher wind speeds the temperature parameters of

T1 are the highest.

Summarizing the above remarks, it is concluded that in the transition from power loss

estimation to temperature profile calculation, the power loss distribution is not the only

deciding factor. The differences in the thermal modelling of modules of different voltage

rating, but also between IGBT’s and diodes of the same module is also a significant parameter.

The temperature profile is one step closer to the estimation of the lifetime, since it is the input

of the lifetime model. Therefore it is understood that the particularities of each part of this

thermal modelling can make a difference in the reliability of a component and by extension

to the reliability of the converter.

75

Simulation Results

The principles of reliability and lifetime command that a system is as weak as its weakest link.

Therefore, the damage and the expected lifetime of a power converter are identified as the

damage and the expected lifetime of the component that is expected to fail first. Since the

consumed lifetime of each component is a function of its temperature profile, it is understood

that the components that will show the highest temperatures are the ones that are more

prone to failure. This does not exclusively concern the mean temperatures of the components,

but also includes the amplitude of the temperature cycles. Of course as far as consumed

lifetime is concerned, the count of the temperature cycles of each amplitude is a determining

factor but this aspect is not going to be analyzed in this paragraph.

120

110

2L-VSC

Mean Temperature (oC)

100

3L-NPC

90

PWM1

80 PWM2

70 DF

ALD

60

3L-HB

50

3L-T2C

40

6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure 5-5 Maximum mean temperatures of the converter topologies versus average wind speed for generator-

side converters

45

40

2L-VSC

35

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

3L-NPC

30 PWM1

PWM2

25

DF

20 ALD

3L-HB

15

3L-T2C

10

6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure 5-6 Maximum amplitude of temperature cycle of each converter topology versus average wind speed for

generator-side converters

76

Simulation Results

Following this philosophy, in Figure 5-5 and Figure 5-6 the maximum values of the recorded

temperature parameters of each generator-side converter are plotted together. From their

comparison the following can be noted.

The 2L-VSC presents the highest temperature profile and hence the worst thermal

response among the evaluated converters.

The 3L-T2C converter exhibits high mean temperature as well as quite large ΔT’s.

The 3L-NPC converter and the PWM-1 switching strategy show very similar plots that

almost identify. These are characterized by mediocre mean temperatures and

relatively high values of ΔTj.

Regarding the mean junction temperature of their hottest component, the rest of the

converter topologies are quite close. Among these the DF switching strategy displays

an overall better performance in this aspect. The ALD and the PWM-2 switching

strategies also exhibit relatively low mean junction temperatures especially at high

wind speeds.

Regarding the highest amplitudes of the temperature cycles, PWM-2 and ALD

strategies of the 3L-ANPC converter showcase the lowest values among the tested

converters. DF switching and the 3L-HB converter follow.

Summarizing the above, a preliminary conclusion is that three switching strategies (PWM-2,

DF and ALD) of the ANPC converter outmatch the thermal response of the rest of the tested

converters.

90

85

Mean Temperature (oC)

80 2L-VSC

75 3L-NPC

70 PWM1

65 PWM2

60 DF

55 ALD

50 3L-HB

45 3L-T2C

6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure 5-7 Maximum mean temperatures of the converter topologies versus average wind speed for grid-side

converters

77

Simulation Results

20

18

16 2L-VSC

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

14 3L-NPC

PWM1

12

PWM2

10

DF

8

ALD

6

3L-HB

4 3L-T2C

2

6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure 5-8 Maximum amplitude of temperature cycle of each converter topology versus average wind speed for

generator-side converters

Similarly, in Figure 5-7 and Figure 5-8 the corresponding measured thermal parameters of the

grid-side converters are plotted together. From their comparison the following can be noted.

The most elevated junction mean temperatures are displayed by the 3L-HB and the

2L-VSC topologies.

The largest values of temperature cycle amplitudes are observed in the 3L-HB, 3L-NPC

converters as well as in the PWM-1 switching strategy of the 3L-ANPC converter.

The best temperature performance is showcased by the DF and the ALD switching

strategies of the ANPC converter. Both their maximum mean temperatures and their

ΔΤj’s are the lowest.

Following the analysis of the thermal performance of the examined converters, the

temperature profiles as generated for the wind profiles of the simulations are used as input

parameters to the LESIT lifetime model as described in paragraph 4.9. Since this lifetime model

is proposed for a specific range of mean temperatures and amplitudes of temperature cycles

[48], the necessary (but not necessarily valid) assumption was taken that its application can

be extended for temperature cycles of lower amplitude. At this point it is necessary to restate

that all the modelling-related choices and assumptions have been made so that the

comparison among the examined converters can stress out the differences that are observed

from one converter to another in a simple and straightforward way. As mentioned in

subchapter 4.8, the deviation from the common practice to use overrated switch modules for

the simulations is one step towards this direction. To these one can add the selection of the

lifetime model proposed by the LESIT project even though more reliable and complex lifetime

models have been developed. As a result the extracted consumed lifetime values of each

converter topology may not be offered for safe conclusions regarding lifetime estimation.

However the fact that all the simulations and calculations are executed based on the same

references offers a solid basis upon which a fruitful reliability comparison can be conducted.

78

Simulation Results

As has been described, the tested converters have been examined for four different wind

profiles characterized by different average wind speeds. For the comparison of the consumed

lifetime of the devices of the studied converters the temperature profiles of a single wind

profile are used. The wind profile with an average wind speed of 10m/s was selected for two

reasons. Primarily, the average wind speed is close to the rated wind speed of the turbine

(12m/s) and therefore the high power losses of the converters during maximum production

can be imprinted within this time interval. Secondarily, the “distance” of the average wind

speed from the rated wind speed of the turbine allows variations in the power production of

the turbine hence more diversified temperature profiles. Therefore both the high power

cycles but also the intense variations of the wind speed can be captured by the selection of

an average wind speed of 10m/s.

The values of consumed lifetime of each component are listed altogether in Appendix C. In

Figure 5-9 the converter topologies are again displayed with their components marked with

color codes corresponding to their consumed lifetime after their simulated profile. The red

color components represent the devices with the higher consumed lifetime, the yellow ones

represent the devices with a medium inflicted damage, and the green ones represent the

devices that have low consumed lifetime. This color coding can accordingly be matched with

the temperatures of the devices, where the red semiconductors are the “hot” ones, the yellow

would be the “warm” ones and the green would be the “cold” ones. The dashed red circle

represents the component with the highest value of damage during this simulated time

interval.

79

Simulation Results

Figure 5-9 Consumed lifetime of the components of the tested back-to-back configurations with color coding

Based in that it is concluded that the components with the heaviest load and the highest

consumed lifetime:

80

Simulation Results

in the 2L-VSC are the switches on the grid side and the diodes on the generator side

in the 3L-HB converter are similarly the switches for the grid side and the diodes on

the generator side

in the 3L-T2C converter is the outer diode D1 for the generator side and the outer

switch T1 for the grid side

in the 3L-NPC converter is the outer diode D1 for the generator side and the outer

switch T1 for the grid side

in the PWM-1 switching strategy of the 3L-ANPC converter is the inner diode D2 for

the generator side and the outer switch T1 for the grid side

in the PWM-2 switching strategy of the 3L-ANPC converter is the inner diode D2 for

the generator side and the inner switch T2 for the grid side

in the PWM-DF switching strategy of the 3L-ANPC converter is the inner diode D2 for

the generator side and the inner switch T2 for the grid side

in the PWM-ALD switching strategy of the 3L-ANPC converter is the outer diode D1 for

the generator side and the inner switch T2 for the grid side

Additionally if the maximum values of consumed lifetimes per converter are listed in

ascending order as in Table 5-1 and Table 5-2, the comparison of the reliability of the tested

converters is now possible as the consumed lifetime of the converters identifies with the

maximum damage inflicted on their components.

Table 5-1 Maximum consumed lifetime per converter topology for generator-side converters

Topology Damage

3L-ANPC ALD 1.408E-06

3L-NPC 1.456E-06

3L-ANPC PWM-2 1.726E-06

3L-ANPC DF 3.972E-06

3L-HB 7.298E-06

3L-ANPC PWM-1 8.598E-06

3L-T2C 1.905E-05

2L-VSC 7.056E-05

Table 5-2 Maximum consumed lifetime per converter topology for grid-side converters

Topology Damage

3L-ANPC ALD 1.578E-07

3L-ANPC DF 2.153E-07

3L-ANPC PWM-1 6.958E-07

3L-NPC 6.972E-07

3L-T2C 9.111E-07

3L-ANPC PWM-2 1.063E-06

3L-HB 1.539E-06

2L-VSC 1.840E-06

According to these it is concluded that the generator-side converter with the best reliability is

the ANPC converter when using the PWM-ALD even though the optimal stress-in/stress-out

proportionality has not been selected. PWM-2 and the 3L-NPC also display reduced damage

and seem decent choices for the generator-side converter when it comes to reliability. The

3L-T2C and the 2L-VSC are, on the other hand the converter topologies with the lower

expected lifetime. On the grid-side the PWM-ALD and PWM-DF strategies of the ANPC

81

Simulation Results

converter showcase the lower inflicted damage. This comes as a natural consequence of the

clearly better thermal distribution that is exhibited by these two PWM techniques. The highest

damage values for the grid-side converter are observed for the 2L-VSC and the 3L-HB

converter.

Regarding more general observations, it is noted that there is a consistency between the

thermal response of the components of the converters and their reliability. The switches or

diodes that display high temperatures and large temperature cycles have been proved to have

a smaller expected lifetime. Added to that, it is clearly concluded that the transition from a 2-

level to a 3-level converter has a remarkable effect on the lifetime expectancy of the power

electronic system. Finally, the availability of different switching strategies for the ANPC

converter prove to be of great importance for the increase of the lifetime.

82

Conclusions and recommendations for future research

This chapter summarizes and comments on the results that have been recorded within the

course of this thesis. Based on these, useful conclusions are made regarding the studied case.

Apart from these, the observed dynamics of each device offer a wider insight into the power

loss and thermal response of the power electronic components. As a result more general

conclusions can be made regarding the reliability of the topologies when other power

conditions or switch combinations are applied. These conclusions can be of importance to the

future users of this methodology and converter designers. Additionally, certain suggestions

aim to trigger the attention of future research on the field of lifetime and reliability evaluation

of the wind power converters.

6.1 Conclusions

Within the framework of this thesis a reliability comparison has been conducted between

different topologies of multilevel wind turbine converters. This comparison includes both

generator and grid-side converters of back-to-back configurations. A detailed model of a 2MW

wind turbine system has been developed as a common reference upon which this comparison

takes place. The converters that have been tested have as a common basis the capability of

generation of three different levels of voltage at their output. Five different converter

topologies have been examined in total for one of which four alternative switching techniques

have been looked into.

Initially the PWM techniques employed are analyzed so that through simple steps the

conduction time of the converters can be discretized to smaller individual time intervals so

that the power losses of each component of the converters can be calculated. After the

composition of a detailed list of the conduction and switching losses of all the employed

devices, the constructed models have been used to simulate wind profiles of different average

wind speeds. With the help of the power loss models the evolution of the power losses against

the wind speed has been examined.

At this stage it has been realized that the converter topologies that employ switches that are

exposed to the full dc-link voltage, including the 2L-VSC, suffer significantly more switching

losses on these switches and therefore experience a disadvantage. Moreover, the most even

distribution of losses is achieved by certain PWM techniques (ALD, DF) of the 3L-ANPC

converter that distribute accordingly the amount of switching losses among the components.

The rest of the topologies and techniques display an intermediate situation. Different trends

are observed regarding the components that take the majority of losses in every case. Grid-

side converters tend to stress the IGBT switches more while generator-side converters load

the diodes more intensively.

Following, through the thermal modelling of the used power electronic components, the

junction temperature profile of each device has been generated and an integrated image of

the thermal response of each converter has been put together. By analyzing the temperature

profiles of these components useful information such as the mean temperature and the

maximum amplitudes of the temperature cycles have been extracted.

As a result the semiconductor devices with the highest temperature have been discovered for

all the examined converters. Moreover, the maximum values of the temperature parameters

83

Conclusions and recommendations for future research

displayed in each converter have been plotted together so that the thermal response of the

converters can be compared. From that comparison it has become known that on the

generator side the ALD, PWM-2 and DF switching strategies of the 3L-ANPC converter display

the lowest temperature values while the hottest components among the converters are found

in the 3L-T2C and the 2L-VSC topologies. Similarly on the grid side ALD and DF have a superior

thermal distribution while the 2L-VSC and the 3L-HB converters exhibit the highest

temperature values.

Eventually, with the use of the LESIT lifetime model where the temperature profiles of the

semiconductor devices are used as input, the damage or else the consumed lifetime of the

components is calculated. The results confirm the preliminary assessments that state that the

PWM-ALD switching method is the most appropriate for extended lifetime of converters on

both sides of the dc-link. The DF technique is also suitable for the grid-side converter while

PWM-2 as well as the 3L-NPC converter show good lifetime expectancy compared to the other

converters and switching strategies.

A first general outcome of this assessment is that the step-up from the 2L-VSC to a 3-level

converter increases the reliability of the power electronic system. The distribution of the

losses and the thermal load to more components clearly favors the increase of the expected

lifetime of the converter and that has been proven throughout the complete process.

Therefore, it can safely be generalized that going up a level in multilevel converters even

though more cost intensive increases the lifetime system.

Among others, it is proven that the larger number of components that the ANPC converter is

equipped with, provides it with the capability of multiple alternatives when it comes to

switching strategies. The advantages that each one of them has to offer can be utilized in

different cases of loads, frequencies and power factors. The ALD and the DF switching

techniques offer great improvement and can be considered for a number of different cases.

Firstly, the ALD strategy as its names commands can be adjusted according to case in order to

distribute the switching losses in a way that the total load can be distributed evenly between

the inner and outer IGBT modules. That brings a balance between the two components with

the highest load. Secondly the DF strategy with its unique sequence of states accomplishes

the same output with only half the switching frequency. This creates a uniform switching

pattern among all modules of the topology and reduces the switching losses to half improving

the developed temperatures and extending the lifetime of the converter.

However the case-specific results of this simulation obviously are not suitable for broad

generalizations. Beyond the wide insight that is offered through the analysis of all the different

aspects of these converters, there are a lot of other parameters that determine the ideal

converter in each case.

The following suggestions for future work are provided on the grounds of the desirable goal

that each of them may achieve:

The unique flexibility that the ALD strategy gives to the 3L-ANPC converter may be extended

if a clever temperature control loop can be integrated in the system. The ALD Stress-in/Stress-

84

Conclusions and recommendations for future research

out analogy can be adjusted according to the load conditions in order to ensure even

distribution of losses. However in the case of a wind turbine where the grid-code where the

conditions change continuously and the grid-codes include a wide range of power factors the

Stress-in/Stress-out proportionality cannot be set constant or change discretely. Therefore, it

is proposed that with the help of temperature sensors a control technique can be developed

that dynamically changes this factor according to the thermal feedback received.

Another proposed subject of further research is the investigation of the sensitivity of the

lifetime of a converter in relation to different factors affecting it. Different parameters like

switching frequency, power factor, voltage and current rating of the switches and other have

been proved to affect the loading of the converter components, deteriorate their thermal

response and reduce their lifetime. Therefore, the lifetime of a component and hence of the

converter topology can be determined as a function of these parameters and investigate the

relation.

The numerous parameters that can be altered in a wind turbine system like that gives the

possibility of limitless alternative systems to be investigated. A proposed topic of further work

could be the scaling up of the system in order to verify if the findings of this thesis apply for

other cases and if other rules apply. Another suggested area of research would be a series of

simulations with one of the multilevel converter topologies for a variety of wind speed profiles

and for the full range of the power factors of the grid code so a more detailed lifetime

calculation can be conducted.

85

Conclusions and recommendations for future research

86

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92

Appendix A: Power loss simulation results

Table A-1 Power losses of 2-level Voltage Source Converter

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

6 m/s 1 13.19 104.99 2.56 79.49 17.74 141.02 36.09 113.3

8 m/s 1 38.58 137.04 7.17 103.63 33.59 202.9 79.74 158.99

10 m/s 1 93.54 207.5 16.3 142.93 54 310.85 151.07 225.5

12 m/s 1 202.85 362.06 32.42 198.42 77.1 494.84 260.97 315.86

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 10.84 58.71 0.2 1.49 0.002 2.19 14.45 14.5

6 m/s 2 14.83 8.91 0.2 0.14 32.81 86.83 14.51 0.07

5 4.53 11.43 36.59 15.13

1 30.49 75.11 0.86 1.76 0.04 4.32 38.24 18.97

8 m/s 2 41.32 10.64 0.62 0.17 59.98 115.05 38.39 0.11

5 11.96 14.33 64.11 19.98

1 71.3 105.47 1.77 2.26 0.32 8.1 82.36 25.46

10 m/s 2 95.06 14.21 1.78 0.22 93.4 156.35 82.68 0.2

5 25.5 19.07 95.14 25.26

1 149.45 160.02 4.89 3.17 1.83 14.86 156.87 34.74

12 m/s 2 193.96 21.55 4.89 0.28 128.28 213.77 157.42 0.32

5 46.45 25.97 123.08 33.49

Table A-3 Power losses of 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-1 switching strategy

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 10.84 58.71 0.2 1.49 0.002 2.19 14.45 14.5

6 m/s 2 14.29 0.82 0.85 0.14 0.12 0.39 50.72 0.07

5 0.56 8.84 3.89 9.86 32.78 87.01 0.13 0.37

1 30.49 75.11 0.62 1.76 0.04 4.32 38.24 18.96

8 m/s 2 39.73 1.04 2.51 0.17 0.76 0.68 100.6 0.13

5 1.64 10.42 10.1 12.39 59.29 115.07 0.83 0.73

1 71.3 105.46 1.77 2.26 0.32 8.05 82.37 25.45

10 m/s 2 90.92 1.44 6.49 0.22 3.32 1.13 171.97 0.22

5 4.21 13.54 20.86 16.36 90.04 155.93 3.38 1.38

1 149.46 160.02 4.88 3.17 1.84 14.86 156.88 34.73

12 m/s 2 183.9 2.14 15.57 0.29 11.12 1.83 266.96 0.38

5 9.97 19.59 35.95 21.74 117.23 212.75 10 2.5

93

Appendix A: Power loss simulation results

Table A-4 Power losses of 3-level ANPC converter for PWM-2 switching strategy

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 10.93 0.82 0.2 0.14 0.002 0.39 14.51 0.07

6 m/s 2 11.38 68.11 4.08 11.42 32.69 89.24 14.58 14.91

5 3.38 0.82 0.65 0.14 0.11 0.39 36.44 0.07

1 30.71 1.03 0.62 0.17 0.04 0.68 38.4 0.12

8 m/s 2 32.08 86.49 10.71 14.29 59.28 119.95 39.04 19.85

5 9.07 1.03 1.89 0.17 0.72 0.68 63.26 0.12

1 71.49 1.42 1.77 0.22 0.32 1.13 82.69 1.94

10 m/s 2 75.41 121.05 22.59 18.96 90.49 165.86 85.58 27.34

5 19.52 1.39 4.72 0.22 3.01 1.13 91.83 0.2

1 148.27 2.1 4.89 0.28 1.83 1.82 157.43 0.32

12 m/s 2 159.48 184.8 40.72 25.69 119.19 231.99 166.31 38.86

5 35.19 1.99 10.72 0.28 9.32 1.83 113.34 0.3

Table A-5 Power losses of 3-level ANPC converter for DF switching strategy

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 10.88 28.92 0.17 4.42 0.002 1.1 13 7.09

6 m/s 2 12.83 33.51 2.47 5.61 16.5 43.23 32.71 7.67

5 1.96 33.31 2.27 5.61 16.54 43.33 18.35 7.37

1 30.6 36.85 0.53 5.2 0.04 2.16 35.95 9.22

8 m/s 2 35.89 42.41 6.62 6.96 30.11 57.33 69.96 10.42

5 5.33 41.73 6.01 6.95 30.09 57.36 32.2 9.53

1 71.4 51.38 1.56 6.76 0.32 4.02 81.66 12.36

10 m/s 2 83.16 59 14.57 9.1 46.74 77.9 128.97 14.54

5 11.84 56.85 12.82 9.07 46.36 77.78 47.82 12.21

1 148.84 77 4.42 9.77 1.83 7.39 167.04 17.07

12 m/s 2 171.73 89.04 28.19 12.13 64.26 106.8 216.78 20.54

5 22.61 82.49 23.38 12.02 62.44 106.7 61.84 15.18

Table A-6 Power losses of 3-level ANPC converter for ALD switching strategy

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 10.88 28.28 0.2 1.49 0.002 0 14.49 7.42

6 m/s 2 11.43 38.79 4.09 4.76 32.85 46.29 14.61 6.87

5 3.38 0.82 0.65 0.14 0.11 0.39 36.44 0.07

1 30.6 35.1 0.62 1.76 0.04 0 38.36 5.79

8 m/s 2 32.2 49.73 10.74 5.84 59.46 38.34 39.09 12.9

5 9.07 1.02 1.89 0.17 0.72 0.68 63.26 0.12

1 71.4 47.62 1.78 2.26 0.32 0 82.67 2.48

10 m/s 2 75.53 70.21 22.66 7.57 90.16 22.14 85.63 22.85

5 19.52 1.39 4.72 0.22 3 1.13 91.83 0.2

94

Appendix A: Power loss simulation results

12 m/s 2 158.87 107.89 40.83 10.05 117.02 4.38 166.32 37.79

5 35.19 1.99 10.72 0.28 9.32 1.83 113.33 0.3

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 12.76 68.19 2.46 11.39 16.45 78.61 32.63 15.62

6 m/s

2 12.76 68.19 2.46 11.39 16.47 88.71 32.54 15.58

1 35.74 86.69 6.61 14.17 30.06 102.79 69.79 21.33

8 m/s

2 35.74 86.69 6.61 14.17 30.06 118.27 69.74 21.32

1 83.01 121.59 14.54 18.63 46.8 137.05 128.65 29.9

10 m/s

2 83.01 121.59 14.54 18.63 46.75 162.09 128.85 29.94

1 172.48 186.12 28.12 25 64.61 183.61 216.27 42.49

12 m/s

2 172.48 186.12 28.12 25 64.79 225.83 216.45 42.51

Switch Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

Speed Tcon Tsw Dcon Dsw

1 11.21 90.47 0.2 4.43 0.002 3.16 16.02 106.36

6 m/s 2 3.93 6.81 4.49 33.16 32.8 86.85 36.66 0.41

3 3.93 6.81 4.49 33.16 32.89 87.05 36.56 0.41

1 32.93 119.38 0.65 11.32 0.04 6.22 43.81 143.25

8 m/s 2 10.71 8.07 11.85 43.38 59.95 115.08 64.09 0.86

3 10.7 8.07 11.85 43.38 59.99 115.14 64.05 0.86

1 80.31 182.36 1.94 14.93 0.33 11.77 96.99 193.51

10 m/s 2 23.71 10.75 25.23 59.42 93.1 156.38 94.91 1.71

3 23.72 10.75 25.23 59.42 92.96 156.15 95.04 1.71

1 175.45 318 5.51 21.38 1.98 22.95 189.74 256.05

12 m/s 2 45.17 16.65 45.98 80.4 126.49 213.7 122.93 3.25

3 45.16 16.65 45.99 80.4 126.47 213.53 122.94 3.24

95

Appendix B: Junction temperature of the power electronic components

components

In this appendix the temperature profile of the semiconductor components of each tested

topology are plotted. At the left part of each figure the mean junction temperatures of each

component are plotted versus the mean wind speed of each simulated wind profile. Similarly

on the right part of each figure, a graph of the maximum ΔTj’s has been plotted versus the

same mean wind speeds.

Generator-Side Converters

T1 D1 T1 D1

120

50

110

Mean Temperature (oC)

100 40

90

30

80

70 20

60

50

10

40 0

6 8 10 12

6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

T1 D1 T2 D2 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 D5

100 40

90 35

Mean Temperature (oC)

30

80

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

25

70 20

60 15

10

50

5

40

0

6 8 10 12

6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

100 40

90 35

Mean Temperature (oC)

30

80

25

70 20

60 15

10

50

5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-3 Temperature profile of generator-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-1 switching strategy

96

Appendix B: Junction temperature of the power electronic components

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

100 40

35

90

Mean Temperature (oC)

30

80 25

70 20

15

60

10

50 5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-4 Temperature profile of generator-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-2 switching strategy

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

90 40

35

Mean Temperature (oC)

80

30

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

25

70

20

60 15

10

50

5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-5 Temperature profile of generator-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-DF switching strategy

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

100 40

35

90

Mean Temperature (oC)

30

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

80

25

70 20

15

60

10

50 5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-6 Temperature profile of generator-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-ALD switching strategy

97

Appendix B: Junction temperature of the power electronic components

T1 D1 T2 D2 T1 D1 T2 D2

100

40

90 35

Mean Temperature (oC)

30

80

25

70

20

60 15

10

50

5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

T1 D1 T2 D2 T3 D3 T1 D1 T2 D2 T3 D3

100 40

35

90

Mean Temperature (oC)

30

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

80 25

70 20

15

60

10

50 5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

98

Appendix B: Junction temperature of the power electronic components

Grid-Side Converters

T1 D1 T1 D1

90 20

Mean Temperature (oC)

80

15

70

10

60

5

50

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

T1 D1 T2 D2 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 D5

90 20

Mean Temperature (oC)

80

15

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

70

10

60

5

50

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

90 20

Mean Temperature (oC)

80

15

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

70

10

60

50 5

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-11 Temperature profile of grid-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-1 switching strategy

99

Appendix B: Junction temperature of the power electronic components

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

Mean Temperature (oC) 90 20

80

15

70

10

60

5

50

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-12 Temperature profile of grid-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-2 switching strategy

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

90 20

Mean Temperature (oC)

80 15

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

70

10

60

5

50

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-13 Temperature profile of grid-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-DF switching strategy

T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5 T1 D1 T2 D2 T5 D5

90 20

Mean Temperature (oC)

80

15

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

70

10

60

5

50

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

Figure B-14 Temperature profile of grid-side 3L-ANPC converter for PWM-ALD switching strategy

100

Appendix B: Junction temperature of the power electronic components

T1 D1 T2 D2 T1 D1 T2 D2

90 20

80

Mean Temperature (oC)

70

15

60

50

10

40

30

20 5

10

0 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

T1 D1 T2 D2 T3 D3 T1 D1 T2 D2 T3 D3

90 20

Mean Temperature (oC)

80

15

Maximum ΔTj (oC)

70

10

60

5

50

40 0

6 8 10 12 6 8 10 12

Wind Speed (m/s) Wind Speed (m/s)

101

Appendix C: Consumed lifetime

In this appendix the consumed lifetime of the power electronic components of the examined

converters is displayed as calculated for a 10-minute wind profile with average wind speed of

10m/s.

Table C-1 Consumed Lifetime of components of 2L-VS converter

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 1.663E-06 1.840E-06

2L-VSC

D1 7.056E-05 1.114E-07

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 4.672E-12 6.972E-07

D1 1.456E-06 1.504E-12

3L-NPC T2 1.098E-06 6.580E-07

D2 4.923E-07 4.231E-13

D5 1.887E-07 3.325E-09

Table C-3 Consumed Lifetime of components of 3L-ANPC converter for the PWM-1 switching strategy

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 4.222E-12 6.958E-07

D1 1.437E-06 1.479E-12

3L-ANPC T2 2.511E-12 3.638E-08

PWM-1 D2 8.598E-06 2.658E-11

T5 9.445E-07 1.229E-11

D5 3.262E-11 1.659E-09

102

Appendix C: Consumed lifetime

Table C-4 Consumed Lifetime of components of 3L-ANPC converter for the PWM-2 switching strategy

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 N/A 1.333E-08

D1 4.730E-07 4.310E-13

3L-ANPC T2 1.145E-06 1.063E-06

PWM-2 D2 1.726E-06 2.304E-09

T5 1.178E-08 2.127E-11

D5 3.866E-08 1.031E-11

Table C-5 Consumed Lifetime of components of 3L-ANPC converter for the PWM-DF switching strategy

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 1.036E-12 1.134E-07

D1 1.251E-06 1.067E-11

3L-ANPC T2 1.311E-08 2.153E-07

PWM-DF D2 3.972E-06 2.095E-10

T5 1.258E-08 8.650E-10

D5 3.367E-09 1.067E-10

Table C-6 Consumed Lifetime of components of 3L-ANPC converter for the PWM-ALD switching strategy

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 5.857E-12 1.423E-07

D1 1.408E-06 6.041E-13

3L-ANPC T2 1.005E-06 1.578E-07

PWM-ALD D2 5.913E-07 2.040E-09

T5 2.609E-12 2.081E-11

D5 4.168E-08 1.006E-11

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 1.125E-07 1.539E-06

D1 7.298E-06 7.048E-10

3L-HB

T2 3.331E-07 1.538E-06

D2 7.292E-06 7.047E-10

103

Appendix C: Consumed lifetime

Generator-Side Grid-Side

Converter Converter

T1 4.735E-12 9.111E-07

D1 1.905E-05 2.608E-11

T2 1.110E-06 2.030E-10

3L-T2C

D2 6.152E-08 6.008E-08

T3 1.124E-06 2.029E-10

D3 5.713E-08 6.009E-08

104

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