Differential Flatness-Based, Full-Order Nonlinear Control of a Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC)

IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology


Modular multilevel converter (MMC) is an attractive topology in industrial applications such as high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system where fast power control is required. The most conventional control method for MMC uses cascaded structures, where the power transmission and internal energy dynamic (outer loops) is limited by the “frequency separation” constraints since the dynamic choice of the currents (inner loops) must consider the tradeoff between rapidity and robustness. In this article, we present a new control method based on a differential flatness theory. The main interest of the proposed control is the possibility to obtain a very high dynamic performance of the MMC power flow, even under noisy measurements and parametric disturbances. Using the well-known average model of the MMC, a flat output is proposed, proving the differential flatness property of the MMC. Trajectory tracking controllers of ac grid active and reactive power are proposed using input-state full-order linearization. Simulation results, including losses corresponding to a realistic case of on-shore, point-to-point HVDC interconnection, are presented to show the performance of the proposed control scheme even with strong measurement noise.

Pierre-Baptiste Steckler, Jean-Yves Gauthier, Xuefang Lin-Shi & François Wallart

Published in IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology