Modular multilevel converter based LCL DC/DC converter for high power DC transmission grids

Ahmed Aboushady, Khaled Ahmed, Dragan Jovcic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This paper presents a modular multilevel converter (MMC) based DC/DC converter with LCL inner circuit for HVDC transmission and DC grids. Three main design challenges are addressed. The first challenge is the use of MMCs with higher operating frequency compared to common transformer-based DC/DC converters where MMC operating frequency is limited to a few hundred hertz due to core losses. The second issue is the DC fault response. With the LCL circuit, the steady state fault current is limited to a low magnitude which is tolerable by MMC semiconductors. Mechanical DC circuit breakers can therefore be used to interrupt fault current for permanent faults and extra sub-module bypass thyristors are not necessary to protect antiparallel diodes. Thirdly, a novel controller structure is introduced with multiple coordinate frames ensuring zero local reactive power at both bridges in the whole load range. The proposed controller structure is also expandable to a DC hub with multiple ports. Detailed simulations using PSCAD/EMTDC are performed to verify the aforementioned design solutions in normal and fault conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 17th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications (EPE'15 ECCE-Europe)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • DC grids
  • LCL DC/DC converter
  • modular multilevel converter
  • MMC
  • nearest level modulation
  • NLM


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