Although a modular multilevel converter (MMC) is universally accepted as a suitable converter topology for the highvoltage dc transmission systems, its dc fault ride performance requires substantial improvement in order to be used in critical infrastructures such as transnational multi-terminal dc (MTDC) networks. Therefore, this study proposes a modified submodule circuit for MMC that offers an improved dc fault ride through the performance with reduced semiconductor losses and enhanced control flexibility compared to that achievable with full-bridge submodules. The use of the proposed submodules allows MMC to retain its modularity; with semiconductor loss similar to that of the mixed submodules MMC, but higher than that of the halfbridge submodules. Besides dc fault blocking, the proposed submodule offers the possibility of controlling ac current in-feed during pole-to-pole dc short-circuit fault, and this makes such submodule increasingly attractive and useful for continued operation of MTDC networks during dc faults. The aforesaid attributes are validated using simulations performed in MATLAB/ SIMULINK and substantiated experimentally using the proposed submodule topology on a four-level small-scale MMC prototype.
- Modular multilevel converter
- electrical engineering