Multilevel medium-frequency link inverter for utility scale photovoltaic integration

Somasundaram Essakiappan, Harish S. Krishnamoorthy, Prasad Enjeti, Robert S. Balog, Shehab Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)


A multilevel topology with medium-frequency ac link for medium-voltage grid integration of utility photovoltaic (PV) plants is discussed in this paper. A megawatt-scale PV plant is divided into many zones, each comprising of two series-connected arrays. Each zone employs a medium-frequency transformer with three secondaries, which interface with the three phases of the medium voltage grid. An insulated-gate bipolar transistor full-bridge inverter feeds the MF transformer. The voltages at the transformer secondaries are then converted to three-phase line frequency ac by three full-bridge ac-ac converters. Second line frequency harmonic power does not appear in the dc bus, thereby reducing the dc capacitor size. Cascading several such cells, a high-quality multilevel medium-voltage output is generated. A new control method is proposed for the cascaded multilevel converter during partial shading while minimizing the switch ratings. The proposed topology eliminates the need for line frequency transformer isolation and reduces the dc bus capacitor size, while improving the power factor and energy yield. This paper presents the analysis, design example, and operation of a 10-MW utility PV system with experimental results on a scaled-down laboratory prototype.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6882198
Pages (from-to)3674-3684
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • High-frequency transformers
  • inverters
  • multilevel inverters
  • photovoltaic power systems
  • solar power generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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