Design and control of a modular multilevel HVDC converter with redundant power modules for noninterruptible energy transfer

Gum Tae Son, Hee Jin Lee, Tae Sik Nam, Yong Ho Chung, Uk Hwa Lee, Seung Taek Baek, Kyeon Hur, Jung Wook Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

283 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents design and control methods for fault-tolerant operations with redundant converter modules, one of the most prominent features in modular multilevel converter (MMC) topology. In fully implementing MMC functionalities, a nearest level control is applied as a low-switching modulation method. A dual sorting algorithm is newly proposed for effectively reducing the switching commutations of each power module as well as for voltage balancing control. Built upon these primary MMC topological and control features, its redundant operation is comprehensively investigated for fail-safe energy transfer. In particular, a novel spare process is proposed to handle an emergency situation when the number of faulty power modules exceeds the module redundancy. Since topological redundancy may cause the switching commutations of power modules in an arm to be unevenly distributed, a practical and effective mitigation measure is incorporated to keep the energy balance while avoiding the undesired switching stresses. Rigorous simulation studies for MMC and its application for high-voltage direct current are performed to demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of the proposed spare process under normal and emergency conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6185713
Pages (from-to)1611-1619
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received October 20, 2011; revised February 04, 2012; accepted March 05, 2012. Date of publication April 17, 2012; date of current version June 20, 2012. This work was supported in part by the Basic Science Research Program (No. 20110014440) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and in part by the Power Generation and Electricity Delivery program (No. 2011T100100144) of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. Paper no. TPWRD-00896-2011.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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