Review of dc–dc converters for multi-terminal HVDC transmission networks

Grain Philip Adam, Islam Azmy Gowaid, Stephen John Finney, Derek Holliday, Barry W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents a comprehensive review of high-power dc-dc converters for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems, with emphasis on the most promising topologies from established and emerging dc-dc converters. In addition, it highlights the key challenges of dc-dc converter scalability to HVDC applications, and narrows down the desired features for high-voltage dc-dc converters, considering both device and system perspectives. Attributes and limitations of each dc-dc converter considered in this study are explained in detail and supported by time-domain simulations. It is found that the front-to-front quasi-two-level operated modular multilevel converter, transition arm modular converter and controlled transition bridge converter offer the best solutions for high-voltage dc-dc converters that do not compromise galvanic isolation and prevention of dc fault propagation within the dc network. Apart from dc fault response, the MMC dc auto transformer and the transformerless hybrid cascaded two-level converter offer the most efficient solutions for tapping and dc voltage matching of multi-terminal HVDC networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalIET Power Electronics
Issue number2
Early online date25 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2016


  • autotransformers
  • bridge circuits
  • DC-DC power convertors
  • HVDC power convertors
  • HVDC power transmission
  • power transformers
  • time-domain analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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