This paper presents a drive system based on a modular multilevel converter (MMC) with high-frequency magnetic channels between adjacent-arm submodules (SMs), suitable for medium-voltage, high-power three-phase variable-speed machines. The configuration employs chains of dual half-bridge (DHB) modules linking adjacent SMs of three-phase symmetrical arms. The DHB modules are operating as power channels enabling energy exchange to restore the power imbalance among the SM capacitors. This allows arms' ripple-powers to be entirely decoupled through bidirectional power transfer between adjacent-arm SMs, resulting in a near ripple-free SM capacitor voltage profile. Therefore, the MMC common problem of wide voltage fluctuation across SM capacitors is comprehensively solved, independent of the operating frequency. Additionally, a significant reduction in the sizing requirement of SM capacitance is achieved. The configuration is able to drive multimegawatt machines from standstill to the rated speed at the rated torque operating condition. The operating principle of the proposed MMC configuration is explained and necessary mathematical analysis is derived. Features and viability of the proposed drive system are verified through simulation and experimentation.
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- Dual half-bridge (DHB)
- high-frequency (HF) transformer
- low motor speed
- medium-voltage (MV) variable-speed drives
- modular multilevel converter (MMC)
- power decoupling
- submodule (SM) capacitor voltage-ripple