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This paper presents a control method for modular multilevel converters (MMCs) as an interface between renewable energy sources and the grid. With growing penetration of renewable energy sources in the power grid, the developments in converter technologies and controller designs become more prominent. In this regard, dynamic and steady state analysis of the proposed model for an MMC use in a renewable energy based power system are provided through dc, 1st, and 2nd harmonic models of the converter in dq reference frame. This detailed configuration is then used to accomplish converter modulation and controller design. The first novel contribution of this control method is to provide an accurate pulse width modulation (PWM) strategy based on network and converter parameters, in order to achieve a stable operation for the interfaced MMC during connection of renewable energy sources into the power grid. In addition, the proposed method is able to mitigate the converter circulating current by inserting a second harmonic reference in the modulation process of the MMC, which is the second contribution this paper provides over other control techniques. A capacitor voltage balancing algorithm is also included in this control method to adjust each sub-module (SM) voltage within an acceptable range. Finally, converter’s maximum stable operation range is determined based on the dynamic equations of the proposed model. The functionality of the proposed control method is demonstrated by detailed mathematical analysis and comprehensive simulations with MATLAB/Simulink.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-449
Number of pages11
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • capacotor voltage balancing
  • circulating current control
  • modular multilevel converter
  • MMC
  • power system dynamics
  • renewable energy sources


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