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JPE, Vol. 17, No. 2, March 2017
A Fast Sorting Strategy Based on a Two-way Merge Sort for Balancing the Capacitor Voltages in Modular Multilevel Converters
Fangzhou Zhao, Guochun Xiao, Min Liu, and Daoshu Yang
Area High Power Converters
Abstract The Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) is particularly attractive for medium and high power applications such as High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) systems. In order to reach a high voltage, the number of cascaded submodules (SMs) is generally very large. Thus, in the applications with hundreds or even thousands of SMs such as MMC-HVDCs, the sorting algorithm of the conventional voltage balancing strategy is extremely slow. This complicates the controller design and increases the hardware cost tremendously. This paper presents a Two-Way Merge Sort (TWMS) strategy based on the prediction of the capacitor voltages under ideal conditions. It also proposes an innovative Insertion Sort Correction for the TWMS (ISC-TWMS) to solve issues in practical engineering under non-ideal conditions. The proposed sorting methods are combined with the features of the MMC-HVDC control strategy, which significantly accelerates the sorting process and reduces the implementation efforts. In comparison with the commonly used quicksort algorithm, it saves at least two-thirds of the sorting execution time in one arm with 100 SMs, and saves more with a higher number of SMs. A 501-level MMC-HVDC simulation model in PSCAD/EMTDC has been built to verify the validity of the proposed strategies. The fast speed and high efficiency of the algorithms are demonstrated by experiments with a DSP controller (TMS320F28335).
Keyword Capacitor voltages balancing,Fast sorting algorithms,Modular multilevel converter,Two-way merge sort
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