Modulation for Cascaded Multilevel Converters in PV Applications with High Input Power Imbalance

Cascaded multilevel inverters, such as the cascaded H-Bridge (CHB) converter, are an attractive solution for multi-string photovoltaic (PV) systems, because they enable direct connection to the medium voltage grid and maximum power point tracking of multiple strings. As a challenge of the topology, the operation with high power imbalance in the strings is constrained by the over-modulation. This limitation is analyzed for sinusoidal modulation and the impact on the maximum power imbalance is demonstrated. For increasing the operating range with maximum power tracking in the strings, a discontinuous modulation with extended maximum power imbalance and reduced losses is proposed. The method is analyzed in terms of maximum power imbalance, efficiency and power quality. In addition, the method is validated on an experimental test bench.


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