Arm Power Control of the Modular Multilevel Converter in Photovoltaic Applications
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnergies. 2019, 12 (1620), . 10.3390/en12091620
In this paper, a control method is proposed that allows the extraction of maximum power from each individual photovoltaic string connected to the Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) and inject balanced power to the AC grid. The MMC solution used does not need additional DC–DC converters for the maximum power point tracking. In the MMC, the photovoltaic strings are connected directly to the sub-modules. It is shown that the proposed inverter solution can provide balanced three-phase output power despite an unbalanced power generation. The maximum power of the photovoltaic string is effectively harnessed due to the increased granularity of the maximum power point tracking. An algorithm that tracks the sub-module capacitor voltages to their respective voltage references is proposed. A detailed modeling and control method for balanced operation of the proposed topology is discussed. The operation of the MMC under unbalanced power generation is discussed. Simulation results are provided that show the effectiveness of the proposed control under unequal irradiance.