The success of modular multilevel converters (MMCs) in high-voltage direct current (HVDC) applications has fueled the research on modular converter topologies. New modular converter topologies are often proposed, discussed, and sometimes applied in HVDC, as well as other industrial application such as STATCOMs, DC/DC HVDC, medium-voltage direct current (MVDC), etc. The performance evaluation of new modular converter topologies is a complex and time-consuming process that typically involves dynamic simulations and the design of a control system for the new converter topology. Sadly, many topologies do not progress to the implementation stage. This paper proposes a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the cost and footprint of the converter and a procedure designed to rapidly evaluate these indicators for new converter topologies. The proposed methodology eliminates the need for dynamic simulations and control-system design, and is capable of identifying whether a particular converter is worth considering or not for further studies of a specific application, depending on the operating requirements. Thanks to the method outlined in this work and via the key parameters quantifying the “relevance” of the analyzed converters, promising topologies were easily identified, while the others could be rapidly discarded, resulting in saving valuable time in the study of the solutions that have a real potential. The proposed method is first described from a general point of view and then applied to a case study of the new converter topology—Open-Delta CLSC—and its application in two use cases.
Damiano Lanzarotto, Florent Morel, Pierre-Baptiste Steckler, Konstantin Vershinin
Published in MDPI Energies